Wednesday, February 01, 2006

SPORTS >> Red Devils run away late against Bombers

Leader sports editor

The Jacksonville boys quickly squelched a brief scare last Friday night at last-place Mountain Home. After dominating most of the game, the Bombers cut the Red Devils’ double-digit lead to three points just seconds into the final quarter. After a quick timeout by interim head coach Jerry Wilson, Jacksonville came out of the break with renewed intensity and put the game away, winning going away 59-45.

Wilson couldn’t be reached for comment, but head coach Vic Joyner watched the film and had mostly good things to say about his club’s performance on Monday.

“They just stepped up the defensive intensity in the fourth quarter and that was the difference,” Joyner said. “We’ve been getting a little relaxed about our defensive principles lately, and we talked about it and tried to correct it. They got back to that in the fourth quarter.”

Joyner also said an offensive adjustment in the fourth quarter helped as well. A new scheme installed just last week wasn’t working, and a late change paid big dividends.

“Coach Wilson made a good coaching move,” Joyner said. “We put in a new offense specifically designed for their matchup, and the kids just weren’t comfortable with it. They just weren’t running it right.

“I noticed that he just scrapped it in the fourth quarter and went back to some things we had done earlier in the year against matchups, and it helped. It got our postmen back down around the basket and we started getting a lot more second-chance points.”

Lavar Neely led all scorers with 20 points while junior forward Kajaun Watson added 16.

The Red Devils improved to 14-6 and 4-3 in the AAAAA-East. The Bombers dropped to 5-15. The win also put Jacksonville alone in third place behind 7-0 Jonesboro and 6-1 Forrest City.

Three teams are tied for fourth. Cabot, Sylvan Hills and Searcy are all 3-4. West Memphis is 2-5 in fifth place.

The Lady Bombers remained one game behind undefeated Cabot in the race for the league championship with a 56-23 win over the Lady Red Devils.

Mountain Home started the game hot from the outside, and ran out to a 35-7 lead by halftime. The lead grew to as much as 43-9 two minutes into the third quarter before reserves played out the rest of the game.

Jacksonville’s Tarneshia Scott led all scorers with 10 points while Samantha Dean led Mountain Home with nine points.

Mountain Home improved to 14-6 overall and 6-1 in league play while Jacksonville fell to 2-16, 0-7.