|By Gaylen Duskey SPORTS EDITOR|
Good teams find a way to overcome adversity and Gilmer County is a good team.
Saturday night the top-ranked Class A Titans played without star guard Nick Dent and still took a 71-63 decision over the visiting Calhoun Red Devils.
They did it by doing the things they needed to do such as getting balanced scoring and making key shots when needed. Gilmer had balanced scoring with four players in double figures and it scored when it needed too, particularly from the foul line down the stretch whenever Calhoun tightened things up.
Calhoun had the Titans on the ropes late in the third quarter when it went on top by eight, 46-38, on a basket by Marcus Davis.
But that was the high water mark for the Red Devils as Gilmer scored 14 straight points.
While Calhoun was going cold as ice from the floor Gilmer was making its run. When the smoke had cleared the Titans had taken a 52-46 lead.
From then on it was Calhoun's turn to play catch up and that something the Red Devils could never pull off. The Titans shot 15 free throws down the stretch and made enough of them to hold off any charge Calhoun made. Overall Gilmer County shot 20 free throws to four for the Red Devils.
"Calhoun played with so much heart for all the adversity they are going through right now," Gilmer coach Steve Shuff said. "There are things more important than basketball games and for Marcus to play the way he did and for Tim to be able to coach. That takes great character."
Shuff was alluding to surgery on Robert 'Tank' Davis earlier in the day. He is Tim's father and Marcus' grandfather.
Davis led Calhoun in scoring with a game high 23 points. Jake Perkins who had 18 points and 13 rebounds before fouling out backed him.
"Losing Perkins really hurt them," Shuff said. "You could see some of the air go out of them when he fouled out."
Tristan Harris added eight for the Red Devils while Zach Houchin had seven points and eight assists. Mike Batten chipped in with five and
Shawn Hillegas three. Derek Roberts and Ryan
Goob' Fitzwater played but did not score.
Anthony Reale led Gilmer County with 22, including eight straight free throws down the stretch. He was backed by Richard Ratliff with 15, Jacob Lilly with 14 and Seth Butler with 11.
Gilmer County won the reserve gave 45-41.
Calhoun County, now 8-4, travels to Clay County Wednesday night.