Staff Photo: John Bohn Archer's Brian Hamlet (12) is blocked by Shiloh's Nate Mason (1) during the first period of Tuesday's game played at Archer.
To understand Shiloh basketball just examine its last two wins.
A week ago, the Generals took down region and Snellville-rival South Gwinnett and followed that with another region win Friday on the road at Berkmar, avenging a loss earlier in the season. And how they put those games away couldn't have been any different.
Up by just four at halftime against South Gwinnett, the Generals ripped off a 20-2 run to open the second half and they did it with quickness. Guard Nate Mason scored six points and the senior Cordell Rhymer led the way with seven. Evyn Smith hit a 3-pointer in the run and Bryan Thompson scored four.
Then, three days later, it was the 7-foot junior Trayvon Reed taking over in the fourth quarter to put away a strong Berkmar team. The highly-recruited Reed scored 10 of his 12 points and grabbed four of his five rebounds in the final eight minutes to help secure the Region 8-AAAAAA road victory.
"We have a real deep team, we have a versatile team," said Rhymer, who has been with the Generals for four years and typifies this team's success. Rhymer can play three different positions and gives Shiloh a spark on the boards and on defense.
An out-of-state road trip for a tournament in Milwaukee notwithstanding, the Generals are winners of five straight, are 13-2 overall and 9-1 in region to lead 8-AAAAAA. They beat Archer in overtime, took down Dacula by one and rolled past Parkview. They head out-of-state again this week to play in the Montverde Academy Invitational Tournament in Florida.
And what makes Shiloh a tough opponent is just how it won its last two games: The Generals can beat you in the halfcourt and they can get out and run. Reed can dominate the post and the junior, transfer Mason is growing into a pure point guard with a penchant for flash.
Yet to hear the Generals' players, how and who become less of a concern with each game.
"We are not selfish, we are all looking to win," Mason said. "I had a bad game (the other day) and I was OK, because we won. I was trying to get others involved because I saw I wasn't scoring."
Unselfishness mixes with the roles of guys like Rhymer and Thompson and Smith. Reed can hype a crowd with a slam and Mason can make a defender look lost with his quick first step or no-look pass, but its the other players which bring out this success. It's rebounds and screens. It's Mason not firing up shots on a bad shooting night or Reed content to watch a huge run while he cheers from the bench.
The light gets bigger as the success gets greater, and even a young team like Shiloh understands.
"That's the good thing, they are very unselfish," head coach Kim Rivers said. "They look out for each other which is the key to being a good team."
"We are good, if we keep working," Mason said.