(02/11/2006)
By Gaylen Duskey
realfang@citlink.net

For one night at least Calhoun's boys basketball team played like a real team.

It was confident.

It was solid on offense and outstanding on defense.

Frankly it was a lot better team than the team it was playing - Wirt County.

True it was only the Red Devils second win in 19 games but the 59-49 victory over the 6-12 Tigers was one where they finally lived up to the promise.

For Calhoun several players made strong contributions:

- Tommy Gerwig had a game high 22 points and played a strong floor game.
- Tyler Shartiger had 10 points and was an intimidating force on defense.
- Steve Cunningham was a terror on the boards tearing the ball away from Wirt players on several occasions. He also chipped in 10 points most coming on shots close in to the basket.
- Josh DeWeese, John Dodd and Jacob Dodd combined to play a solid game despite a plethora of fouls which saw them in foul trouble nearly from the opening whistle as DeWeese, the starter, was off the floor quickly with three quick fouls.

John Dodd came in and got several quick fouls and did his brother Jacob, who had led the junior varsity's 54-40 victory with 15 points.

But the best performance of the night came from a sophomore point guard who finally found himself - Matt Houchin.

Houchin, who is following in his brother Zach's footsteps as the Red Devils' point guard, did all the things that a point guard is supposed to do all game long.

But it was in the fourth quarter where he elevated his game to a higher level.

In the fourth quarter he played more like a veteran than he did like a sophomore.

All he did in the fourth quarter was score 10 of his 15 points knocking down the Tigers after Wirt had tied the game at 39-39.

Houchin started the onslaught with a three-point goal, which put the Red Devils up by three - 42-39 - and gave them a lead they would never relinquish. Wirt did cut the lead to one on a basket by Clint Stanley but Calhoun pushed it out to three again when Gerwig made a one-and-one situation.

It was Calhoun's first one-and-one opportunity of the second half coming at the 5:01 mark of the fourth.

Wirt had been in the bonus situation since 3:09 of the third quarter as the Tigers nearly set up camp at the free throw line.

After Gerwig's free throws Houchin scored again to give the Red Devils a five-point lead.

Wirt 's Chase Mills scored on a free throw to make it 46-42 but after that Calhoun had a basket by Cunningham, a free throw by Houchin and a basket by Shartiger to push the lead to nine, 51-42.

After that it was a basket by Calhoun then a couple of free throws by Wirt the rest of the way as the teams battled back and forth with the lead swinging between six and 10.

The Red Devils are idle until Thursday when they travel to St. Marys in the LKC battle for 11th place.

The loser (St. Marys is 1-16) of the North-South matchup will be the last place team in the conference.


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