Tuesday, December 21, 2010

SPORTS>>Red Devils get most of roster in first round

Leader sportswriter

Fans got to see the Jacksonville Red Devils in action against Brinkley in the first round of the Red Devil Classic on Monday.

In fact, they got to see every single one of them in action.

The bench cleared early and often during the Red Devils’ 78-39 rout over the Tigers, as all 16 players on the Jacksonville roster saw adequate playing time.

Starters Jamison Williams, Tirrell Brown, Justin McCleary, Dewayne Walker and Raheem Appleby played the first four minutes and built a 12-2 lead before giving way to the reserves.

“That’s three games in a row that we’ve been able to rest our main

guys, which is a good thing,” Jacksonville coach Victor Joyner said. “Another thing is, we hadn’t played since Friday. We didn’t get a chance to work on timing and execution, and that could be a detriment, I don’t know.

“You have to get out there and play the game.”

The Tigers were severely outmanned in a tournament that did not look to get any better for them with a Tuesday game against Little Rock McClellan and today’s matchup against either Little Rock Catholic or a rematch with Jacksonville.

The Red Devils (9-0) performed their first-round clubbing in typical fashion with a flurry of three pointers and crowd-pleasing dunks.

McCleary got things started with a three-pointer with 6:34 left in the first quarter, and Williams followed with a dunk. Brown scored on a putback on the next possession to make it 7-0, then Walker got in on the action with a three-pointer.

Appleby set up his dunk from half court when he stole the ball and passed to McCleary, who tossed it back for the dunk from the baseline that got the Jackson-ville fans out of their seats.

Jonathan Patterson extended the lead with a basket and free throw, followed by a steal he took all the way for a dunk with 3:48 left in the first quarter to make it 17-2.

The starters made another appearance in the last four minutes of the third quarter, when Appleby hit a three-pointer and one last dunk to make it 53-23 and start the continuously running clock under the sportsmanship/timing rule.

Walker, Appleby and Dustin House each had eight points to lead Jacksonville.

The rout capped off an entertaining night that featured three overtime games.

Catholic beat Little Rock Christian in the first boys game, followed by an overtime thriller between North Pulaski and Little Rock McClellan.

The Falcons and Crimson Lions had already split two games, but North Pulaski came from behind to tie the game in regulation and eventually won 57-55.

The tournament, sponsored by Southern Floor and Blinds and John Johnson attorney-at-law, had just two boys teams the past two years but increased the field with an earlier start date this year.

“It was outstanding,” Joyner said. “There was some pretty good support. There was a history there with Catholic and Christian, and those two wanted to play again. Then, in the North Pulaski game, they had already split one game apiece, and their fan base was interested in seeing the conclusion of that.

“Of course, the Jacksonville people turned out, and that’s always nice to see.”