By Gaylen Duskey

Calhoun opened its 2012-13 basketball season by suffering a 70-41 setback at Ritchie County in a game with a deceptive final score.

Yes, the final score was indicative of how much better Ritchie County was than the Red Devils. But, it was not a matter of how bad Calhoun was, it was a matter of how good Ritchie was.

The improved Red Devils - Calhoun didn't score 40 points in a game until at least the halfway mark of the 2011-12 season - gave the Rebels a contest and was making it even more of a contest until hitting a, as Calhoun Coach Danny Bunch said, "dry spell."

That came in the third quarter after Calhoun opened on a 7-3 run that cut the Rebels' 16-point halftime lead back to 12. But then the "dry spell" hit.

During that period of time the Rebels outscored Calhoun 23-7 to make what was becoming a game into a runaway.

The Rebels' outburst was triggered by mercurial forward Mark Davis and cat-quick guard Justin Sage. With Davis playing strong defense, grabbing just about every loose ball and doing the same with the rebounds he triggered several easy layups by Sage, getting most of his nine assists in that quarter.

Sage led the Rebels with 22 points while Davis added 18.

Another thing the Rebels did right was shooting from outside as they managed eight three-point shots compared to a pair by Calhoun, both by Luke Moore.

Calhoun led very early in the contest but Ritchie found its footing midway through the first period and moved out to a 13-8 lead after the first quarter. The Rebels, 1-0, moved the lead to 16 at halftime, 32-16, setting up Calhoun's brief spurt and then its "dry spell."

Junior Ryan Slider led Calhoun with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

Ricky Hall and Tyler Gerwig added nine each, with Hall adding eight rebounds, while Moore had six, Mason Sheldon, Derek Dawson and Sam Brady two apiece and Lucas Wilson one. Trent Phillips and Tyler Tanner both played but did not score.

The reserve game was something of a matter-of-fact win by the Rebels who jumped to a 24-5 first quarter lead and never looked back in a 56-19 win over the Red Devils.

Jayden Allender led the Rebels with 14 points and 10 rebounds while Bradley Leggett added 12 points.

Freshman Ethyn Miller led Calhoun with six points and four assists. Tanner was next with four points followed by Dakota Jarvis with three, Luke Sheldon and Brady with two each and Austin Gribble with one, William Baker and David Workman both played but did not score, although Workman did have a team high 10 rebounds.

Calhoun will try to right its ship Thursday night when it travels to Wirt County while Ritchie will try to go 2-0 when it plays Roane.

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