The King's Academy boys need more time together
The King’s Academy wants to play fast.
The Lions just don’t want to go quite as fast as Carter was willing to run on Thursday in TKA’s season-opening 81-53 loss.
Still, the opener was a good preview of what the Lions will face later this winter.
“That’s one of the best teams in the area and definitely one of the fastest teams,” said TKA coach Ian Britton. “With us, we’ve got a lot of guys who haven’t grown up playing basketball. So thinking that fast and putting them in that position to have to do that just sets us up for what we’re going to have to deal with when we get into our league.”
With a roster that’s half freshmen and sophomores, TKA just needs a little more time to settle in. Vitaly Nikitin had 18 for the Lions, including 12 points at the foul line. Jeremy Weech added 12 and Adam Deatherage had 10 in the loss. Deatherage, one of three seniors on Britton’s squad, said practice time is what’s needed.
“That’ll help,” Deatherage said. “Just keep getting used to playing with each other. Keep working, keep shooting and we’ll get there. It’s just a matter of time.”
Britton said he expects the team to get stronger as its sophomores mature. The Lions already have one sophomore starting in Ife Akinbayo. Another one, Isaiah Gilmore, broke his wrist during football season and should join the team as a solid contributer soon.
Britton said he feels like his team has some pretty good shooters, so the Lions need to do a better job of driving and kicking out for open looks. TKA is hoping to play at a brisk pace and Deatherage said solid rebounding is where that all starts.
“If we rebound well and limit them to one shot, then we can get out and we can run,” Deatherage said. “Then we can score really easily. If we can do that and play good defense, then we can do good things.”
With that in mind, Britton is focusing on what he calls finishing the defensive possession. He said Carter did a good job of getting offensive rebounds in the first half before the Lions were a little stronger on the boards in the second. That focus is important or else good defensive possessions are wasted.
“Great defense is great,” Britton said. “But unless you get the stop, unless you get that rebound and finish it off, it’s just like a great move here in the open court, unless you finish off the layup it doesn’t matter. We’re really trying to talk about finishing the stop.”