Knights fall to 10th-ranked New Manchester


William Randall

Senior Trinity Lewis drives the ball to the basket in a home game against New Manchester on Dec. 11.

Cole Parker

In their eighth matchup of the season, the Knights fell to No. 10-ranked New Manchester 66-35 in a one-sided game on Dec. 11.

The Knights are 2-6 overall and 1-1 in Region 6AAAAA, while the Jaguars are 6-1 overall and 1-0 in Region 6AAAAA.

“I expected them to do a lot better because, in practice, they’ve executed extremely well; their intensity has allowed them to play at a high level,” head girls basketball coach Dana Smith said.

Going into the region game, the Knights had a set of objectives that they hoped to accomplish.

“We always have three goals, which are to be consistent, to communicate with one another, and to have confidence,” Smith said.

Although the Knights scored the first basket of the game, the Jaguars quickly responded with six consecutive points. Throughout the first quarter, the Jaguars’ impenetrable defense forced several turnovers, which often led to fast breaks. At the end of the first quarter, the Jaguars were up 20-12.

Beginning the second quarter with a three-pointer, the Jaguars continued to develop momentum. On defense, the Knights struggled to box out for rebounds, which gave the Jaguars multiple second chance opportunities. The Jaguars were able to squeeze in a three-pointer at the end of the first half, which gave them a 43-18 lead over the Knights. 

“The energy was OK in the first half,” Smith said. “We always have a slow start, which is why we rely on our bench. Not having the fans contributes to this. At the end of the day, we just couldn’t get any shots to fall, which was tough in the first half.”

To start the second half, junior Lillian Wilson made a huge block, which hyped up the Knights’ bench. Unfortunately, the Knights failed to capitalize as they turned the ball over shortly after. The Jaguars were on top 58-26 at the end of the third quarter.

Similar to the rest of the game, the fourth quarter was lopsided in favor of the Jaguars.

The Knights’ next game is against North Atlanta on Dec. 12. Moving forward, the team hopes to develop its own tempo, along with more chemistry and confidence.

“Some of the things that we agreed to work on include being able to trust each other, play our own game, communicate on defense, and control the pace of the game,” Smith said. “We don’t ever want to come out and play the opponent’s game. We want to play at our own pace and our own speed.”