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RJR men’s basketball has had an unexpectedly great season so far. If you asked most people before the season started, they would probably say that West Forsyth would win the Frank Spencer as well as the CPC Conference. However in the final of the tournament last month, RJR managed to pull out their first Frank Spencer victory since 2000.
“I thought that (winning the Frank Spencer) was great for the kids who have been in the program for a while,” Head Coach Billy Martin said.
The win also came with 3 All-Tournament Honors for Chris Freeman, Tim Henry, and Akia Pruitt. Pruitt also received tournament MVP.
The only loss that the demons had before the Frank Spencer tournament was against Mt. Tabor, and the only losses since been against West Forsyth and against Norcom, the current Virginia state champion.
“We played a real good game against Norcom and it was good to stay with them for most of the game,” Martin said. The Demons even had the lead at one point against Norcom, but the real goal this season is for the team to beat their arch-rival, Mt. Tabor.
The last time the Demons played against Mt. Tabor this season, they were routed due to Tabor’s lights-out shooting. The team expects to have a different result when Tabor comes to Bryson Gym on Januray 29th.
“I’m expecting a better game than what we had over there. We just have to compete,” Martin said.
Tabor is currently undefeated in conference and only lost once this season, in the Frank Spencer tournament.
“We’ll have to work on being mentally and physically tough for the tabor game,” senior forward Chris Freeman said. “We also have to get off to a better start in the game,” Freeman added, remembering Tabor’s enormous run to start the previous game.
But if there’s any one thing that will help the Demons, it will be the crowd. Last year, RJR vs Tabor game at Bryson broke attendance records in memory of the late Stuart Scott. This year, it shouldn’t be any different.
“It was a really bittersweet to see all of the Reynolds students have such pride for their school and at the same time remember Stuart Scott,” junior Allie Rice said.
This year, not only will Stuart Scott still be remembered, but there will also be 9 hall of fame inductions taking place at half time. Also, there will be a pep rally during 4th period on the day of the game, so huge attendance numbers are expected.
“Playing Tabor is always a fun matchup to watch, but this year it will be amazing because both teams are so good,” said senior John Babcock.
Babcock, like many other seniors, is hoping to witness a victory over Tabor in basketball. None of them have ever seen that in their 4 years at Reynolds, but the game on January 29th could change that.
( UPDATE: 2/1/16) The Demons pulled out the victory on Friday as they prevented a comeback and held on for a 10 point win over Tabor. This was the first time that the Demons have beaten Mt. Tabor in men’s basketball since 2007!