Saturday, January 19, 2013

SPORTS STORY >> JHS gets two wins in River City play

Leader sports editor

The Jacksonville freshmen basketball teams got a River City Conference sweep of White Hall Thursday at Jacksonville High School. The Red Devil girls won 32-28 while the boys pulled off a 46-33 victory.

The Jacksonville boys ran out to a big lead early in the first quarter, but had trouble putting away the pesky Bulldogs. The Red Devils’ lead grew to 20 points twice and as many as 22 in the fourth quarter, but White Hall had its best run of the game in the last half of the final frame to make the score respectable.

Jacksonville post player Demarcus Hinton had a monster game. He finished with a team-high 10 points and a game high of 18 rebounds.

Jacksonville’s pressure took its toll early in the game as the Red Devils’ full-court defense forced seven White Hall turnovers in the opening period.

Jacksonville also struggled to score in the very early going. Gio Castellano came off the bench to spark the offense, scoring six straight points and leading the Red Devils to a 15-5 lead in the first quarter.

Jacksonville pushed its lead to 18 in the first three minutes of the second quarter, but was never able to distance itself much more the rest of the game.

Hinton scored two buckets and Castellano drained a three pointer to put the Red Devils up 25-7, but the game went into halftime with Jacksonville’s lead cut to 27-14.

Again in the third quarter, Jacksonville’s lead grew to 37-17, but a three pointer and bucket at the buzzer by Jordan Shaw made it 37-22 at the start of the fourth.

The Red Devils’ lead finally hit 20 points at the 4:35 mark of the fourth, and Laquan Smith’s two free throws made it 44-22 with 3:59 left in the game. From there White Hall outscored Jacksonville 13-4 the rest of the way.

Shaw did most of the damage for the Bulldogs. He hit two three pointers in the fourth, including a bank shot from the top of the key. He finished with a game-high 18 points and was the only Bulldog in double figures.

The win improves Jackson-ville to 9-2 while White Hall falls to 5-5.

The girls game was a game of second-half runs. Jacksonville grabbed a 9-4 lead in the first quarter and each team managed just six points in the second. White Hall scored the first four points of the third to make it 15-14, and Jacksonville took off from there.

The Lady Red Devils turned up the pressure and went on a 13-0 run. Most of the points came in transition after switching to a full-court defense. The Lady Bulldogs got just one more free throw after and Jacksonville took a 28-15 lead into the fourth quarter.

White Hall then scored the first six points of the fourth with pressure of its own. Jacksonville coach Jerry Wilson called timeout with 3:30 left and his team holding a 28-21 lead. The Lady Devils scored four quick points out of the timeout, but didn’t score again. White Hall scored seven straight and trailed by just four points with a minute left, but the Lady Bulldogs also failed to score again.

Jacksonville improved to 6-6 while White Hall fell to 3-7.