By Gaylen Duskey

Calhoun drops hard fought affair to Roane Calhoun played its best basketball game of the season but it wasn't enough as Austin Nichols came off the Roane bench and looked like an all-state player to lead the Raiders to a 55-39 victory over the homestanding Red Devils Wednesday night.

With the Red Devils getting season-best games from Ryan Slider, Mason Sheldon and Trent Phillips the pieces seemed in place for an upset, however, Nichols was having none of it as he scored a game high 18 points on four three-point goals and a pair of two-pointers and led his team with seven rebounds, three assists and three steals.

With his spirited play combined with solid play by the Roane starters the Raiders were able to hold off every Calhoun charge despite the team's best effort of the season.

Nichols was not slowed down until the fourth quarter when the Red Devils brought defensive specialist Lucas Wilson off the bench to go head-to-head with him. Wilson's defense kept the ball away from Nichols over the last part of the game although the Raiders did find alternative shooters, including Hunter Bradley, who ended with 15 points.

Slider and Sheldon led Calhoun, 0-3, with 13 points each. Sheldon was especially effective in the second quarter when he rolled in eight points from inside the paint.

Slider was most effective on the glass where he had a team-high 13 rebounds and five steals.

Phillips only had two points but he was very effective off the boards with nine rebounds.

Tyler Gerwig also had only two points but he was effective on the boards with seven rebounds for the Red Devils.

Luke Moore and Caleb Schoolcraft rounded out the scoring for Calhoun with three each as both hit on a three-point field goal.

For Roane, 2-0, Willie Bowman added six points. Jacob Neal had five while Joey Reed and Daniel Humphreys added four apiece, Michael Bates two and Scott Meadows one.

The junior varsity game was somewhat of a mismatch because Roane has a freshman team and Calhoun does not. That meant that Calhoun's freshmen played as jayvees against Roane upperclassmen. The 68-16 Roane victory was not to be unexpected.

The Raiders jumped to a 30-0 lead as Calhoun did not score until Sam Brady hit a free throw at the 5:34 mark of the second period. By then things had already been decided.

Isaak Wilmoth led Roane, 1-1, with 12 points while Hunter Simmons and Austin Sloane chipped in with 10 each while Zach McKown added nine.

For Calhoun, now 0-3, Tyler Tanner and Gerwig led the way with four each. Tanner also led the Red Devils with eight rebounds.

Kameron Carder added three points while Wilson and William Baker had two each. Brady had one point but did have five rebounds.

Derek Dawson, Nick Watkins and Dustin Turner all played but did not score.

Calhoun tries to get its first win of the season Friday night when Braxton County comes to Mount Zion while Roane attempts to keep rolling against perennial power Ravenswood.

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