(12/24/2011)
By Gaylen Duskey

realfang@citlink.net

What do you call a 65-38 setback?

In the case of Calhoun's 65-38 road loss at Ritchie County Friday night it's called progress since the Rebels beat the Red Devils by 51 (81-30) just a couple of weeks ago.

And if you compare the second half of the game to the first half the progress is even more pronounced.

Why?

Because in the second half the Rebels enjoyed only a 26-21 advantage over the Red Devils and that came thanks to their uncanny three-point shooting where they hit four of six attempts.

In the game the Rebels were an outstanding 10 of 15 from behind the three-point line.

Calhoun coach Danny Bunch said while he wasn't satisfied with losing he was pleased with the way the team played in the second half when it showed him hustle and spirit, especially on defense.

He said the offense was better too especially since the Red Devils slowed things down a bit and did not try to hurry the tempo of the game beyond what they do well. Calhoun started out pretty well but Ritchie parlayed two three-point goals and Calhoun's inability to get the offense going into a 15-9 lead at the end of the first quarter.

The second quarter was one of those the Red Devils would just as soon forget as most everything they did was wrong while most everything the Rebels did was right. For instance Calhoun turned the ball over 14 times (18 in the first half and 23 in the game) while Ritchie was four three-point goals and 24 points overall.

That 24-8 outburst put Ritchie on top 39-17 and made the second half a challenge to Calhoun's mental toughness more than anything else. The Red Devils did not roll over and played the Rebels or even terms for the last 16 minutes giving Bunch hope for the future.

Calhoun, 0-6, which did not have a player in double figures was led by Caleb Schoolcraft with nine. He was backed by Ryan Slider with eight and Trent Phillips with seven. Mason Sheldon added five while Tyler Gerwig had four, Luke Moore three and Ricky Hall two. Isaac Coon played but did not score. Hall led Calhoun on the boards with six rebounds while Gerwig and Sheldon added five each and Phillips and Slider had four each. Schoolcraft led the way in assists with two.

For Ritchie County, 2-2, Paige Haught and Ryder Bolin combined for 41 points while Haught netting 21 and Bolin 20. Both were dynamic three-point shooters with Bolin hitting four and Haught three. They were the only two Rebels to hit in double figures as Jesse Hilvers and Justin Sage added six each while DJ Burgess and Nathan Shipe had five apiece. Bobby Michels and Reno Jackson had two each while Adam Cronin played but did not score.

Haught led the Rebels with a game high 10 rebounds.

In the junior varsity game Ritchie broke on top early and smother the Red Devils 63-19.

Ritchie has a ninth grade team so its junior varsity is all upper classmen while Calhoun's junior varsity is mostly freshmen. Dylan Frye led Ritchie with 14 points. He was backed by John Hogue with 11. Michels added nine while Brad Leggett chipped in with seven. Levi Lamp, Jackson and Hilvers had six each and Kelvy Holden had four for the 2-2 Rebels.

For 0-6 Calhoun William Baker led the way with five points. He was backed by Tyler Tanner and Zach Thomas with four apiece while Tyler Gerwig and Lucas Wilson had two each and Sam Brady one. Derek Dawson, Nick Watkins and Dustin Turner all played but did not score. Wilson and Thomas led Calhoun on the board with five each while Tanner and Brady had the only two assists for the Red Devils.

Calhoun returns to action Thursday night against Buckhannon-Upshur in a first round game of the Ritchie Invitational Tournament at 6 p.m.

Ritchie plays Doddridge in the nightcap about 20 minutes afterwards.

The winners play each other and the losers play each other on Friday for the championship and third place. There is no junior varsity contest.


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