Pizza Hut Little Four – Huge Success

Greensboro Day School’s 70-54 win over Dudley was accomplished with one of the best coaching jobs turned in by one of our area’s all-time best coaches at any level. Freddy Johnson can coach with the best of the best and that’s not to take anything away from coach David Price. Freddy Johnson, David Price, Phil Weaver, and Mac Morris will go down as four of the top men to coach high school basketball teams in Guilford County.

The job Johnson did in the Dudley game was probably one of the best pieces of coaching that we have seen around here since General Nathanael Greene and George Cornwallis threw up the first musket ball on the Quaker ballcourt, where the New Garden Friends Cemetary sits today, way back in the 1700’s. The game back then was more of a one on one battle but they needed some coaching whenever the troops would get tierd of watching and decided they wanted to start fighting.

I do like our line of thinking with Johnson, Price, Morris and Weaver all coming together to create a battle plan. Freddy Johnson came up with his plan and he put the ball in the hands of the General Alan Fox. Fox is one tough customer when it comes to running the show and he is almost like having a symphony conductor on the floor. The kid can orchestrate. Fox saw Dudley try three different defenders on him and none could stick with the sly Fox. Josh Chavis gave it a shot and hit the bench after committing 2 quick fouls. Johnathan Heard took his chances but he got out Foxed too. Heard saw the Fox run right by him and I will tell you this, Heard is one of the most improved defenders I have seen so far this season. Next up was Travis Foster and Travis brought some offense to the Panther attack but he did not have a trap that could catch the Fox.

Alan Fox was not a one man team, but he did earn the MVP trophy that he walked off the Coliseum floor holding ever so tightly. I like watching point guards do their magic and I think Fox is one of the hardest workers I have seen in my 35 years of tracking basketball, whether as a player, a referee, a coach, or announcing games on radio. I can appreciate little guys that work hard and I’m sure that coach Johnson feels the same way too.

Fox’s fellow Bengals deserve a ton of credit too. It was truly a team effort and with the addition of Johnny Thomas and Travis Leonard to the lineup and with the noticeable improvement of Josh Lanham and Brandon Davis and that stellar shooting behind the three point arc by Bruce Woodall and don’t forget the help provided by young freshman Jay Lewis, and with Big man Dana Cook coming up big off the bench these Bengals are looking good.

We mentioned Fox’s MVP honors and Alan was joined on the all-tournamenet team by Bengals Johnny Thomas, Josh Lanham, and Brandon Davis, along with Panthers William Graves and Rayshawn Polk. Polk was my favorite for the all-dunk team, and boy did he throw down some nice ones, but Travis Leonard deserves a spot on the all-dunk team also because he put down a two-hand jam that rocked the house and he took a two hand, arms extended swan-like bow for his efforts after the slam. I ran into coach David Price at Libby Hill Seafood on Summit Avenue the day after the title game and I told him the game will make his club a better team now that some of their key weaknesses have been exposed. Coach will take that game and use it as a learning tool. Freddy will take the game and file it away and start getting ready for his next game against Burlington Williams. The Bengal players will remember it all for a lifetime.

Congrats go along to the Dudley Panthers and their 2005 championship girls team grabbing their first Litle Four title in school history. Mekia Valentine has a big heart but she wasn’t willing to share any love with her enemy the Northwest Guilford Vikings. Dudley was primed after Northwest grabbed an early lead and once the lady Panthers turned up the heat there was no looking back. Valentine plays with a mean look on her face and believe me she does mean business. She owned the lane and with her Panther classmates having fun like they were back on the Lincoln Middle School playground, Dudley let it be known that 2005 was their year.

Nikki Kee for three, yesiree… Kee was money behind the line and Kendra Porter will make my all-defensive team any day of the week and twice on Sunday. With Sierra Little, Tiaera Reynolds, and Montague Austin these girls may win it all this season. Coach Kris Britton has found the right chemistry with this Dudley unit and Britton and the Panthers are hitting on all cylinders early in this campain. One big plus for the Panthers is that this team has only one senior(Valentine) among the top five players. Porter, Kee, Austin, and Little will have another chance to play for the Little Four Cup and we can look ahead to 2006, but coach Kris Britton wants to watch her team cut down the nets at the conference, sectional, regional, and state tournaments first. Dudley now has the Bulls Eye on their backs and they are ready to face all challengers with their first-ever Pizza Hut Little Four trophy sitting in the case at the school gymnasium over on Lincoln Street.

We say outstanding job to all the Greensboro Sports Council members and throw the BIG Shout Out to Tournament Co-Chairmen Brett Schulman and Dodson Schenck. The Sports Council and all Tournament sponsors worked extra hard to make this event a huge success and it was that and more, just ask any member of the championship teams or any of the Athletic Directors from the participating schools. We hope to see all of you back out at the Coliseum Special Events Center for next year’s tournament.