Friday, February 03, 2012

SPORTS >> Freshmen Red Devils win in OT

Leader sports editor

Jacksonville’s freshmen Red Devils garnered mixed results this week, splitting their final two Metro Conference games and finishing the regular season in third place. On Monday the Red Devils had a chance to avenge a heartbreaking loss to Maumelle just a few days earlier. For a half it appeared the game would go down to the wire just it did the week before. But the Hornets took control in the second half and won by 10, 44-34.

In the regular-season finale, Jacksonville did go down to the wire for a second time against Sylvan Hills. And for the second time, came away with an exciting victory, beating the Bears 42-38 in double overtime.

“We just competed a lot better than we did against Maumelle,” Jacksonville coach Tirrell Brown said. “I thought we competed well for a half against Maumelle, then just stopped. We were in a 2-3 zone and their guards were in there getting offensive rebounds. That’s just effort.

“If we compete like we should, I feel like we have the capability to beat anybody.”

In Thursday’s game, Jacksonville never led by more than four points and Sylvan Hills’ biggest lead was two.

Kerry Knight led the Red Devils with 13 points while Maurice Young finished with 10.

Jacksonville beat Sylvan Hills by one point nearly two months ago. The final week of regular-season games shows that this weekend’s Metro Conference tournament is wide open.

The top four seeds are Maumelle, Watson Chapel, Jacksonville and Sylvan Hills. All four of those teams have played nailbiters with each other throughout the season.

The Metro Conference tournament begins today at Watson Chapel. Jacksonville has a first-round bye and will play at 3:30 Monday against Mills or Central Arkansas Christian.