Knights beat Tigers, advance to district semis

Robinson beats Middleton for the third time this season in the first round of the playoffs.


Photo Jack Kirk

Treyshawn Howard (’22) battles through the Middleton defense to attempt a layup.

Jack Kirk, Sports Editor

The Robinson Knights faced off against the Middleton Tigers in the first round of the district playoffs, and walked away with a 78-63 victory.

After coming out of the first quarter down by three, Robinson outscored Middleton 25-12 in the second quarter to close out the first half, and held on to the lead for the entirety of the second half.

“I thought our effort level was much better tonight,” Coach Steve Smith said. “In the second quarter we really picked it up.

The team had a plan to beat the Tigers: push the pace.

“We wanted to speed them up and not allow the other team to slow the tempo,” guard Dexter Caldwell (’20) said. “We do better in a fast pace game.”

The team shot 52% from the field, and had four players with more than ten points.

“We shared the ball, we made a lot of good passes,” coach Smith said. “We were very selfless with the ball.”

The leading scorer of the night was guard Joseph Strickland (’20), who had 20 points with four made three-pointers.

The Knights grabbed 37 rebounds, with 18 coming on offense and 19 coming on defense. This gave them more opportunities to score, which proved pivotal for the team’s success.

“We were able to force them into taking bad shots so that created a lot of misses,” Strickland said. “Most importantly everyone made sure to box out so we had good positioning.”

Forward Treyshawn Howard (’22) lead the team in rebounding, grabbing 15 on the night. He also blocked eight Middleton shots, while scoring 11 points as well.

With the Knights advancing to the district semifinals, they will have to play the number one seed in the district, Blake. The two teams met three times in the regular season, with Blake winning all three encounters. The game will be held on Wednesday, Feb 12 at Chamberlain High School at 6:30 p.m. (9401 N Blvd, Tampa, FL 33612)

“We’ve been game-planning for them for a week now and we feel pretty confident in it,” Strickland said. “It really all comes down to execution.”