Rocky Mount coach Michael Gainey sees the development of his team happening in three parts.
First, he had to have strong guard play. Lastly, the bench will start to contribute.
But in the middle of those two units, he needed his sophomore big men to develop. By Monday’s 67-64 win over Hunt, it looks like that may be happening for the Gryphons.
Joseph Blue and Shyheim Battle didn’t have to take many shots far from the cylinder to rack up 27 and 14 points, respectively.
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“Those two young kids, they’re scrappy. They go at it,” Gainey said.
Blue had seven rebounds and Battle had six.
Battle drew more contact when he slashed to the rim, making 6 of 9 free throws while shooting 4 of 9 from the field.
Blue took the most shots on his team, making 13 of 23 after a cold 1 of 6 start to the night. Blue stuck with the game plan as a senior, or a 3-point specialist would, and kept taking the same shots he knew he could make until the percentages – and the game itself – finally swung Rocky Mount’s way.
“They needed to score big time,” Gainey said. “Everybody contributed to this team. It’s not just five guys. We’re comfortable going 13 deep, but they’ve got to play their role.”