|By Gaylen Duskey |
Calhoun played one of its best games in recent years and had Wirt County on the ropes before a trio of incidents, including two in the fourth quarter allowed the run-and-gun Tigers to finally pull away to score an 81-67 victory Thursday night.
But the game was much closer than that and had things gone just a little bit more favorable to the Red Devils …
But they didn't.
Fouls - and there were a ton of them - played a key role in the Tigers' win.
The first and perhaps biggest foul was the fifth foul called on Lucas Wilson.
Wilson scored but one point during the game but it was his defensive efforts that kept the Tigers Kaleb Nell from getting perhaps 50. As it was Bell scored 31 but it was his scoring late that helped the Tigers pull away.
Wilson had shadowed Bell throughout and kept him from getting the ball for a lot of the game. He even got Bell in foul trouble when he picked up his fourth in the second quarter and was forced to sit out all of the third quarter.
When that fourth quarter foul went against Wilson instead of Bell it allowed the junior sharpshooter to run free again and that made a big difference.
The second fourth quarter incident was actually a series of incidents happening to Ryan Slider.
Slider led Calhoun with 30 points while grabbing 13 rebounds and handing out a handful of assists but in the fourth quarter he went down with an injured leg and was out for a while. When he returned he had two baskets waived off by the officials, one on a called charge and the other on a called walk with both calls being able to go either way. The final incident was when he fouled out late in the game taking with him a good deal of the explosiveness of the Red Devils' offense.
The third incident was an old Calhoun bugaboo - missed free throws.
Overall, Calhoun was 19 of 36 from the free throw line with some of the misses coming on the first of one-and-one opportunities.
Despite the individual brilliance of Slider Calhoun was far from a one-man show.
Center Ricky Hall had an outstanding game with 14 rebounds and 11 points as the Red Devils worked the ball inside to the 6-5 senior.
Mason Sheldon scored only two points but he added 10 rebounds and Calhoun controlled the board against the Tigers.
Luke Moore had eight points and played a smart on both ends of the court.
Trent Phillips, who was the first Red Devl to foul out, had six points off the bench while Tyler Gerwig added five. Sam Brady and Derek Dawson both scored a pair off the bench while Tyler Tanner played but did not score.
Bell was backed by Hunter McCoy with 13 points while Austin McVey added 11 and Dustin Garner nine.
Wirt won the junior varsity game by a 77-37 count, putting the Red Devils away for all intents and purposes with a 26-5 first quarter outburst.
Calhoun was led by Tanner with 11 points and nine rebounds.
Austin Gribble backer Tanner with six points while Brady and Ethyn Miller chipped in with five each. Luke Sheldon added four with Justin Workman and Dakota Jarvis getting three each. William Baker played but did not score.
Wirt was led by Luke Smith and Brad Crouser with 14 each while McCoy, Jake Brannon and Kyle Windland all had 10.
Calhoun will try for its first win of the season when it travels to Roane County Tuesday night while Wirt County will attempt to go 2-0 when it travels to South Harrison the same night.