Friday, February 04, 2011

SPORTS>>Devils pounce on Patriots

Leader sports editor

One of the primary reasons the Jacksonville Red Devils beat Little Rock Parkview 60-44 on Tuesday could be seen in the way the players responded to the victory, coach Vic Joyner said.

“There wasn’t any hoopla, there wasn’t anybody jumping up chest bumping,” Joyner said of the all-business demeanor the players carried out of their meeting following the 6A-East victory. “That isn’t their mentality. They’re just a quiet kind of unassuming team.”

Jacksonville took its first lead, 10-9, on a running jumper by Justin McCleary, and never trailed again. Parkview was within 33-29 with 2:49 left in the third quarter but Jacksonville closed out the quarter with a 10-0 run beginning with Terrell Brown’s short baseline jumper and ending with McCleary’s three-point play that made it 45-29 with 2.2 seconds left.

“We kept scoring,” Joyner said. “At the point where we had the lead we weren’t worrying about increasing the lead.

“We just wanted to come down and score and maintain what we had. We didn’t want them to go on no 8- or 10-0 run.”

Jacksonville outscored Parkview 15-13 in the fourth quarter as it maintained its double-digit lead the rest of the way.

“We played entirely too soft,” Parkview coach Al Flanigan said. “We couldn’t stop them on the defensive end and they were red hot on offense. They just took it to us.”

“They pull for each other, they like each other,” Joyner said. “There’s no in-fighting, no animosity. There’s no heroes and no stars. They’re all kind of on the same level and that’s how it’s been with them all year. And they just compete.”

Parkview standout and Arkansas Razorbacks signee Aaron Ross scored 28 points, but he was the only Patriot with 10 or more points.

“We just executed,” Joyner said. “We spread the floor and wanted to make them play defense more than two or three passes.”

Jacksonville countered with the tandem of Raheem Appleby and McCleary, who scored the Red Devils’ first 17 points. Appleby finished with 26 points and 4 had 17.

But Joyner said every player did something to help out, whether it was a key rebound or a defensive play.

“You have to have a little depth to win, especially against somebody as good as Parkview and Aaron Ross,” Joyner said. “Everybody has got to contribute. If it’s just a minute here or a minute there everybody has to contribute and I thought everybody stepped up tonight.”

“We couldn’t get a stop,” Flanigan said.

The game was rescheduled from Jan. 11 because of winter weather. Jacksonville was snowed out at Little Rock Hall on Friday and makes its return visit to Parkview on Tuesday.

“It’s a long way from over,” Flanigan said of the conference race. “I imagine the winner might have three or four losses and then it might come down to a tie.”