The Frederica Academy boys basketball team were at full strength for the first time in weeks as they earned its first region win Tuesday night.
In the first two region games of the season, the Knights struggled with a team not at full strength and turnovers.
With a close loss to Pinewood Christian and a deflating defeat to St. Andrew’s, the Knights were able to move past those two losses and push hard for a region win.
Head coach Carl Nash said his team not being at full strength was a drag but knows that it happens. Now, with the return of a healthy Jordan Triplett and William Jobe, the Knights were able to leave their mark in Dublin.
“I think the main thing was we were efficient last night,” Nash said about the team’s performance. “I thought defensively, we were able to get out on the shooters a little bit better. We changed up a couple things offensively. We got Jordan Triplett back so he was able to get some penetration against their 1-3-1 defense.
“You don’t just want to stand out there and pass the ball back and forth and think you are going to be able to score. You have to be able to get the defense to move. (Jordan) helped us do that, and I thought our two bigs played really well against that zone. They tried a lot of different looks against us and we had an answer each time.”
Vic Riden and Jobe, the two bigs Nash mentioned, were stellar all game as they combined for 41 of the 70 Knights points in the win.
“They ran a box and one against William Jobe, and we were able to score against that because our other guys picked up their part of the game,” Nash said. “Victor Riden was able to get some good dump downs against that.”
Nash liked his team efficiency on both ends of the court, but he couldn’t help but praise the defensive side of the ball for shutting down Trinity’s shooting.
“Defensively, we picked it up on that end,” Nash said. “We played man-to-man the entire game. We were able to do that because we did a good job of staying with the personnel that we had. If we had to switch off we did it to where we were able to push out their shooters and make them dribble and put it on the floor. We gave up some layups, but I’d rather do that then give up some of the good ones that they had.”
Jobe’s 22 points is something that is anticipated every night, with opponents trying to find a game plan on how to stop the 6-foot-8 sophomore who has the ability to shoot from anywhere on the court.
“I think what happens is people are going to double team William most of the time,” Nash said. “But if they do that, we have other resources that we need to be able to use.”
The other resources Nash has at his hands are Riden, Triplett, Jacob O’Connor and his x-factor — Bryce Reilly and Xavier Preston
“With Bryce Reilly and Xavier, those two guys are x-factors,” Nash said. “If you can get them to score off the ball and get some shots off penetrating and picks, I think you can get that from those guys. It opens up the floor for the rest of our players.”
The Knights will face their toughest test of the season thus far Friday night when they welcome their rivals Bulloch Academy.
The two schools have traded hands at the region title the last three years, and Nash is hoping Friday night his team is focused to get back to .500 in region play.
“This year I think as long as we have our team together and they are very focused like they were last night and we are able to take a game plan we can make it work,” Nash said. “If they follow it, I think we will be in really good shape. It’s going to come down to who wants it more. Are we going to play hard at home? Are we going to be able to stay out of foul trouble? Those kinds of things.
“I think for the most part we are starting to get a little better. Friday is a really big game for us. We can go into the second half of the region 2-2, and I think that will be really good for us. We would be in second then. I think if we can do that then it really propels us to the second half.”