Boys Basketball: No. 5 Northwest Guilford hands Southwest Guilford first loss since Feb. 2018

High Point, N.C. — No. 5 Northwest Guilford opened its 2019-20 season with an 83-69 victory over Southwest Guilford, which is the first loss for the Cowboys since Feb. 22, 2018.

“I thought our energy was great,” said Northwest Guilford head coach Lee Reavis. “I thought we shared the ball; did a good job of moving the ball. Defensively, we played with a lot of energy, got deflections, and made it tough on them (Southwest Guilford) there in the third quarter … Being our first night out, we’ve got some things to work on, but it’s a good building block.”

Southwest lead 13-9 after the opening quarter behind stellar post play from seniors Miles Taylor (six points) and Aamaj Platt (four points).

Northwest then opened the second quarter on a 9-2 run, which led to Southwest calling timeout with 4:50 left in the frame. Rutgers commit Dean Reiber tallied eight of the Vikings’ 22 points in the frame to help the visitors take a 31-27 lead into the half.

The Vikings began to press the Cowboys in the third quarter, which lead to transition points off a handful of turnovers. Northwest outscored Southwest 28-14 in the frame, which had the Vikings on top 59-43 after three.

Sophomore Connor Ballou made three triples in the fourth quarter to help Northwest fend off Southwest. The Cowboys would trim the Vikings’ lead down to as little as nine, but could never make enough stops on the defensive end to mount a comeback. Northwest went on to win the game by 14 at 83-69.

Key Players

Connor Ballou (Northwest Guilford So.) – Held to just three points in the first half, but the sophomore wing erupted for 15 in the second half to finish with 18 (team-high) on six made threes.

Miles Taylor (Southwest Guilford Sr.) – Paced the Cowboys with 23 points, which was also a game-high. Taylor scored 17 of those 23 in the second half.

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Bryce Causey (Southwest Guilford Sr.) – After scoring 20 points on Saturday against Montgomery Central, Causey was held “in check” by the Vikings with only scoring 13 points in Tuesday’s loss.

Dean Reiber (Northwest Guilford Sr.) – The Rutgers commit was second in scoring for the visiting Vikings with 15 points.

What Does It Mean?

Northwest Guilford finished the 2018-19 season with an 18-8 record. 12 players were on the Vikings’ roster a year ago and nine are back this winter.

With that said, Reavis and his team began the 2019-20 season with expectations. Northwest came in ranked 4th in the preseason HighSchoolOT Top 25 West boys basketball poll. The Vikings fell one spot to 5th in the latest poll after opening their season a bit later than most and only come in behind North Mecklenburg, Greensboro Day, Cannon School, and Ben L. Smith.

The Vikings are off to a 1-0 start after handing Southwest Guilford its first loss since Feb. 22, 2017 (78-34 to Cox Mill) after going 32-0 and winning the 3A state title just a season ago.

Southwest Guilford leads the head-to-head series between the two schools, 19-14. Northwest Guilford had lost three in a row before winning at “The Ranch” in the only regular season meeting between the two Guilford County foes this season.

2019-20 is Greg Vlazny’s first year as the Southwest Guilford boys basketball coach and Tuesday was the first defeat he suffered in his new position (was an assistant on Guy Shavers’ staff at Southwest). Vlazny and his Cowboys will look to start a new winning streak (previous was 32 games) later on in the week by hosting another Metro Conference team in Ragsdale.

What’s Next?

No. 5 Northwest Guilford (1-0) will play its first home game of the season on Wednesday night against Eastern Guilford.

Southwest Guilford (3-1) looks to bounce back on Friday night by welcoming Ragsdale to High Point.

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