Monday, November 10, 2014

SPORTS STORY >> Red-White scrimmage at fast pace

Leader sports editor

The Jacksonville varsity basketball teams unveiled their many new faces Tuesday in their annual Red-White games at the Devils’ Den. Both teams featured several new players, and some of the old players didn’t look quite the same. 

The boys unveiled a wide open, up-and-down-the-court style that head coach Vic Joyner says will be seen quite a bit this season.

“We have scorers, as you could see,” said Joyner. “And ain’t none of them one bit shy about jacking that ball up. We’re small so we’re going to have to play fast.”

The Red Devils played two 15-minute periods with a non-stop clock, then one 10-minute period with a non-stop clock and no foul bonus. The White team led almost the entire game, but the Red team ended up with a 54-51 victory.

The Red team took the lead when a steal by Laquawn Smith led to a layup by Kevaughn Wallace for a 42-41 lead. It capped a 6-0 run, but was short-lived. Craig Watson put the White team back up with a 3-pointer, but Smith answered with a three pointer of his own, the first of eight-straight points by the junior guard.

After the 3-pointer, Tyree Appleby got a steal but missed the layup. Smith got the putback for a 47-44 Red lead. He then got a steal, layup and one to make it 50-44.

Devin Campbell slashed into the lane for a dunk at the other end for the White team, but Appleby penetrated and lobbed a pass up for Tedrick Wolfe, who caught it and slammed it home with one hand to make it 52-46.

Post player Maurice Lambert got two back for the White team. Jarvis McChriston then scored with 50 seconds left to make it 54-48 for the Red team. Kahlil Hill nailed a three with 27 seconds remaining to pull the White team within three. A steal then led to three long range attempts that would have tied it, but all three missed the mark, the final one as the buzzer sounded.

Smith wasn’t the only one with a scoring burst in the game. In the second period, junior Braylin James got hot, hitting three, 3-pointers and making all three free throws after being fouled on a trey.

Smith led all scorers with 18 points while Wolfe and James each finished with 14. Campbell had nine points while Watson and Lambert finished with eight points each.

The Lady Devils only played two periods and finished with the White team winning 31-25. The difference in that game was better offensive execution by the White team, while the Red team relied on its speed and defense. Girls’ coach William Rountree would like to see more offensive execution, especially since his starting point guard and best shooter played for Red.

“I thought the group that should’ve executed the offense the best got out-played,” said Rountree. “I thought Alexis James did a good job of getting the offense going and running the offense. Tatiana Lacy played well. But this is just a Red-White game. We let some players coach and I think we got caught up a little bit in trying to freelance too much – not that big of a concern.”

Desiree Williams led all scorers and dropped in 16 of her team’s 25 points. Alexis James led the White team with 10 points while Asiah Williams added eight for White.

Both teams take part in jamborees today. The Lady Devils will be at J.A. Fair while the boys are playing at North Pulaski.