Anthony “Nemo” Goode lands with both feet planted on the court. His arm is still stretched and his wrist bent in the follow-through. All eyes are glued on the basket. Behind him, RJ Daniels holds his hands straight up triumphantly. Mo Wright, Coach Dannton Jackson, and the ref hold up three fingers.
When watching the game, it’s easy to be awed by the highlight reel dunks, the smooth jumpers and easy threes. The pass from point guard to big man is a thing of beauty; the lobs are mesmerizing when they flush through the goal. The offensive energy is electrifying.
However, the Gold Rush are all about defensive efficiency.
Quick hands, blocked shots, and recovery defense has led them to where they are now. While not perfect, a 15-6 overall record is nothing to scoff at. The 10-4 home record is complimentary to a stretch of well-scheduled home games, but their 5-2 away record proves they can win on the road just as well as they can at home.
In the Gulf Coast Atlantic Conference, the Gold Rush are tied for second in the standings with Tougaloo College with a 4-1 record. Gold Rush have won against the 4-2 Philander Smith, 4-1 Tougaloo, 1-5 Edward Waters, and 0-4 Southern University at New Orleans. Their lone GCAC loss comes against the 5-0 Talladega College.
The Rush will not settle for just spectacular play—they want more, and they have a plan to go further.
“At this point, we know each other’s tendencies on the court,” says Rush player, Wesley Pluvoise-Philips, “which will help us improve on how we play together. Teamwork makes the dreamwork.”
The Gold Rush will play at home Feb. 2 against Edward Waters at 7:30 pm, Feb. 5 against Voorhees at 7:30 pm, and Feb. 9 against Talladega at 7:30 pm.
Alesha Smith powers forward with the ball in her hand. Whitney Gathright and Ireyon Keith, are on Smith’s left side; on her right is teammate Donyeah Mayfield and a Philander Smith defender. Smith leads the fast break, her eyes on the basket. Her teammates follow closely in case she misses the lay-up.
Sitting at .524 with a 11-10 overall record, the Gold Nuggets have gone 4-1 in Gulf Coast Atlantic Conference play. Their four GCAC wins came against the 1-4 Talladega College, 4-2 Philander Smith College, 1-5 Edward Waters, and 1-4 Tougaloo College. Their lone loss was a defeat by 3-0 Southern University at New Orleans.
So far in 2015, the Nuggets can boast having a GCAC Player of the Week in #25, Whitney Gathright. For the week of Jan. 12 through Jan. 19, Gathright, a 5’4 junior guard from New Orleans, posted 18 points on 6-9 shooting with 4-4 free throws, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists against Talladega; 20 points on 6-14 shooting with 4-4 free throws, 7 rebounds, 5 assists , and 4 steals against Loyola; and 14 points on 5-10 shooting with 2-5 free throws, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals.
The Nuggets can also boast two double digit wins: a 13 point rout Jan. 10 against Philander Smith and an 11 point rout against Tougaloo. They also held Tougaloo to 48 points, the second lowest scoring by a Nugget opponent this season.
The Nuggets will not settle for their current success, though.
“We plan to continue working hard and getting better everyday,” says Gathright. “We will focus on what we can do better to improve as a team.”
The Gold Nuggets will be at home Feb. 2 against Edward Waters at 5:30 pm, Feb. 5 against Vorhees at 5:30 pm, and Feb. 9 against Talledega at 5:30 pm.
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