Tuesday, November 18, 2014

SPORTS STORY >> Red Devils get wins in boys’ and girls’ play

Leader sports editor

While the Jacksonville football team was seeing its remarkable season come to a close on Friday, the basketball team got its season underway with an 80-70 victory at West Memphis. The Red Devils went on a 13-4 run midway through the third quarter to open up a tie game, then held on in the fourth quarter for the victory.

Jacksonville coach Vic Joyner was pleased overall with his team’s performance, but was at least glad to see his team find a way to win in the second half.

“It was an ugly basketball game,” said Joyner. “We’ve got some guys not playing in the moment, worrying about too many other things. We’ve got to get more focused on what’s going on out on the court. In spots we competed when we had to. It’s just that some people I thought were going to be the ones to step up didn’t do so. If we’d have had everybody playing like I think we should, we wouldn’t have had much trouble at all I don’t think.”

Joyner’s case in point can be found in the fact that the smaller Blue Devils outrebounded Jacksonville 35-30.

“They just outhustled us most of the game,” Joyner said. “That’s the pitiful thing about it. That’s what was so ugly. I can’t hardly handle players not hustling.”

The game was tied at 33 at halftime, but sophomore point guard Tyree Appleby went on a scoring streak in the third quarter to lead the Jacksonville run. Appleby’s scoring streak was aided by a Joyner adjustment that moved senior Devin Campbell, the team’s leading scorer last year, from the post to the perimeter.

“Appleby kept us in the game hitting big shot after big shot,” Joyner said. “Devin wasn’t getting enough touches. By moving him outside it made them adjust their defense and open things up for us a little bit. Appleby was able to get to the rim a few times and hit some big shots outside.”

The duo led Jacksonville in scoring. Appleby finished with a game-high 24, including 18 in the second half. Campbell added 20 while Tedrick Wolfe scored 12 and LaQuawn Smith added 10 for the Red Devils. Jacksonville hit 19 of 27 free-throw attempts while West Memphis made only 12 of 23.

The Lady Devils improved to 3-1 with a 70-48 victory over Pine Bluff Dollarway in the third-place game of the Mid-South Classic at Pine Bluff High School on Saturday.

Senior point guard Antrice McCoy matched her season average so far, scoring 26 points, including 16 in the second half.

The Lady Devils’ lead was only 20-19 at the break, but pressure defense and the inside-out game of McCoy and junior post Tatiana Lacy broke the game open in the final two quarters. Lacy scored 11 of her 13 points in the 50-point second half.

Sophomore guard Ale-xis James added 10 for Jacksonville while Desiree Williams scored eight and Asiah Williams added seven.

Both Jacksonville teams were at Hot Springs on Tuesday. Look for details of those games in Saturday’s edition of The Leader. The Jacksonville boys also begin play in the Centennial Bank Classic at Searcy High School on Thursday. The Lady Devils will play in the West Memphis Classic beginning next Monday.