Friday, February 10, 2012

SPORTS >> Jacksonville comes back on Parkview

Leader sportswriter

It’s been nearly a month since Jacksonville went to Little Rock Parkview and beat the Patriots in their own house. Parkview was No. 1 in class 6A at the time and unbeaten before the Red Devils handed the Patriots their first loss of the season.

Tuesday night No. 2 Parkview (17-4, 5-4) traveled to No. 1 Jacksonville (17-4, 7-2) seeking revenge. It came down to the very end, but Jacksonville came from behind to beat Parkview 54-51 at the Devils’ Den.

Parkview was the aggressor in the first half, and led 16-11 at the end of the first quarter. Jacksonville battled back in the second quarter, but still trailed by five before Brandon Brockman hit a one-handed floater in the paint to cut the Patriots lead to three. At the half Parkview led 25-22.

“I challenged the kids at halftime,” said Jacksonville coach Victor Joyner. “Parkview looked like they wanted it more than we did. They were more aggressive on the 50-50 balls, and I just challenged them at halftime.

“They had to get after it. We weren’t competing the way we wanted to compete in a high-profile game, or any game. You have to compete, and I thought they finally started getting aggressive in the second half.”

Jacksonville came out with more of a competitive edge in the second half. About midway through the third quarter Dewayne Waller hit a three-pointer to give the Red Devils their first lead of the game.

The score was tied at 35 before David Johnson hit a late basket. Crushawn Hayes hit two free throws with no time on the clock, giving Jacksonville a 39-35 lead going into the final quarter of play.

The fourth quarter was a battle as the lead was exchanged on several occasions. Parkview regained the lead with 4:31 left to play after Anton Beard hit two free throws to make the score 45-44.

After another Red Devil bucket, Imara Ready made two more baskets for Parkview to give the Patriots a 49-46 lead. Jacksonville came back to tie it after free throws from Tirrell Brown and Aaron Smith.

With 1:08 on the clock, Smith gave the Red Devils a three-point lead after an and-one play that caused the gym to shake once the basket fell through. Once Parkview scored its final basket, Waller hit a midrange baseline shot with 17.8 seconds left to give Jacksonville the 54-51 lead.

Parkview pushed the ball up court and post player Emmanuel Adoyi heaved a three that was off the mark. The Patriots grabbed the offensive rebound and kicked it out to Ready who tried another three, but it was no good and the home crowd stormed the court as time expired.

“I just challenged them to be more aggressive. They were beating us to balls. They were getting second shots. They were driving to the lane any time they wanted to,” Joyner said. “We had no backside rotation, and you can’t beat a good team like that with guys that aggressive. We had to get more aggressive point blank, and they came out and were a little bit more aggressive.”

The statistics were as close as the game itself. Parkview edged Jacksonville on the boards, out-rebounding the Red Devils 23-22. Parkview finished with 22 turnovers to Jacksonville’s 20. The Patriots had a slightly better free throw percentage on fewer attempts, shooting 79 percent as Jacksonville shot 72 percent.

Justin McCleary led Jacksonville with 14 points. Smith scored all 10 of his points in the second half. Waller had 12 points while Brown finished with eight points and nine rebounds. Beard led all scorers with 18 points. Ready finished with 15.

Jacksonville traveled to Searcy yesterday to resume 7A/6A East Conference play.