|By Gaylen Duskey |
It was there all night long. The chance to snap a 33-game losing streak … to
end a six-year losing streak to Gilmer was there. In what may have been the
Calhoun Red Devils' top chance at getting a win the chances were there … but
it just didn't happen.
Instead Gilmer County did what it had to do when it had to do it and left
the Red Devils once again on the short side of the score - 53-37 - in a game
played Friday night at Mount Zion.
The Red Devils, 0-12, started out on the right foot and took it to the
Titans early and were on top 14-8 early in the second quarter.
But then one of those inexplicable lapses hit the Red Devils as Gilmer
County went on a 16-0 run to take a lead it never relinquished.
Anthony Aviles was the key to the Titans' run as he scored 13 of the 16
points, thanks mostly to five steals from the Calhoun offense.
But the Red Devils mounted a comeback and closed to within four -24-18 - at
Calhoun came out smoking in the second half and pared the margin to a basket
on a couple of occasions only to have Gilmer, 3-8, right itself to even
things up maintaining that six-point lead - 33-27 - heading into the final
Once again the Red Devils pared into the lead and was behind only by four
when Mason Sheldon scored early in the period. The problem was that Sheldon,
who was on the bench much of the game after picking up three first half
fouls, fouled out. Without the forceful sophomore inside the Titans managed
to push the lead back out to seven then Gilmer Coach Steve Shuff basically
had his team let the air out of the ball.
With the methodic Titans slowing things down Calhoun was forced to be more
aggressive on defense, which led to a Gilmer encampment at the free throw
line led by leading scorer Austin Cunningham.
In the fourth period Cunningham, who had a game high 18, hit on eight of
nine free throws which allowed the Titans to slowly pull away for the final
Cunningham was backed by Aviles with 15 points.
They were the only two Titans in double figures as Austin Ratliff added
nine, Devon Dennis and Mitchell Hickman four each and Tinker Wright three.
Nick Roberts played but did not score.
Calhoun, which did not have a scorer hit double figures, was led by Caleb
Schoolcraft with nine.
He was backed by Ryan Slider with eight, Sheldon with seven, Ricky Hall with
six, freshman Tyler Gerwig with five and Luke Moore with two to go along
with his four assists. Trent Phillips and Lucas Wilson both played but did
Calhoun's ball handling was much better than its last game with only 18
turnovers but that number was skewed slightly by the defensive work of
Aviles, who had a game high six steals as the Titans came away with nine
The Red Devils controlled the boards against the smaller Titans with a 36-24
edge as Slider came away with eight, Gerwig seven. Sheldon had five rebounds
despite being on the bench with foul trouble for most of the game.
Calhoun returns to action Wednesday night with a home game against South
Harrison while Gilmer County entertains Clay County.
There was no junior varsity game.