After dropping two close games to begin the season, the JV boys’ basketball team notched its first win of the season on Tuesday with a dramatic 24-22 win at Spartanburg Day.
Points were scarce for both teams during the first half, as Asheville School took a 14-4 lead into the intermission. The Griffins clawed back over the course of the second stanza, but key baskets by Blues’ freshmen Taylor Kuehn and Demetrius Whitaker in the fourth quarter kept Spartanburg Day at bay just long enough for Asheville School to escape with the victory.
Kuehn was the leading Asheville School scorer with seven points, but it was the rebounding of Whitaker and sophomore Aniedo Udoh that made the difference for the Blues. Udoh is averaging 8.6 rebounds per contest through the first three games while Whitaker is close behind at 7 rpg.
“Our top two rebounders, Aniedo Udoh and Demetrius Whitaker, have been an invaluable part of our success,” said coach Richard Jones. “They’re scrappy under the basket. When they get us a board, especially on the offensive side of the court, that makes a huge difference. It’s deflating to the other team, and it often puts more pressure on their defense as they spend more time chasing our guards around the perimeter. Ultimately, we want to wear the other team down on defense. Aniedo and Demetrius are big factors in that effort.”
The Blues will host Forsyth Country Day on Friday in the South Gym. The game will be the team’s second in the auxiliary gym after opening the season in the facility against the Asheville Trailblazers. The gym has come to feel like home for the JV boys, and boasts tremendous acoustics that lend to a true home court advantage.
“There’s nothing better than playing in front of a gym packed full of Blues fans and we had that opportunity in our first home game this season in the South Gym,” said Jones. “It was electric! The fans were loud. Their cheers affected the other team and hyped us up. It made a big difference for us. We’re pumped to get to play there again this Friday.”