By Gaylen Duskey

Calhoun was close to digging its way out of the hole and beating Roane County Thursday night but unlike horse shoes, hand grenades and drive-ins close doesn't count.

Instead the visiting Raiders were able to withstand Calhoun's comeback attempt by hitting their foul shots when the game was on the line in the 68-57 victory.

On several occasions in the final period Calhoun was able to cut the lead to single figures but with the Raiders scoring seven of their final nine points from the charity stripe the Red Devils were never able to get over the hump.

Ryan Slider led the Red Devils' fourth quarter attack as he scored 15 of his game high 26 in the period as Calhoun outscored Roane 25-20, paring the Raiders' sizeable 48-32 third quarter advantage.

The game was a far cry from the first time the two teams met and Roane blasted the red Devils by 31, 65-34.

The Raiders, 7-2, took a 17-12 lead after the end of a quarter and pushed it out to 32-24 at the half. The Raiders went up by 16 at the end of three but unlike before the Red Devils didn't fold.

Instead they fought back and made it close. Just not close enough.

While Slider played an outstanding all around game with 11 rebounds, five steals and five assists to go with his 26 points he had help from a strong supporting cast.

Ricky Hall added 10 points and 14 rebounds and the Red Devils dominated the boards 41-23. Mason Sheldon also had double figures in rebounds with 10 to go along with his eight points.

Lucas Wilson had seven points and Tyler Gerwig added six. Gerwig's big contribution came on the defensive side of things as he played a lot of man-to-man against the Raiders' leading scorer Jacob Neal. Although Neal ended up with 22 he was kept out of the flow of the Raiders' offense until hitting three three-point goals in the second half.

Calhoun also had some good defensive play from Trent Phillips, Sam Brady, Luke Moore, Derek Dawson and Ethyn Miller, all who played but did not score.

Brad Reichard backed Neal with 12 and Zack McKown added 10.

Tyler Harper had seven, Scotti Meadows six, JC Nichols four, Quintin Corbett Three austin Spears two and Elijah Onwuka and Austin Sloan one each for the Raiders.

Roane also won the junior varsity game but, like before, the Red Devils made it a lot closer than the 52-point blowout (76-24) it was the first time.

Although Calhoun fell 65-37 there were a few anxious moments for the 8-0 Raider reserves.

With Brady doing the majority of the scoring - actually all of it in Roane 14-13 first quarter advantage - Calhoun kept things very close and trailed by only seven at half, 26-19.

But with Brady on the bench in the third quarter saving playing time for the varsity game Roane outscored Calhoun 23-11 to take a 49-30 lead after three essentially putting the game away as the Red Devils went with a bunch of its reserve reserves after that.

Brady led Calhoun, 2-6, with 19 points and nine rebounds. He was backed by William Baker with eight, Tyler Tanner with seven and Miller with three.

Dakota Jarvis, Luke Sheldon, David Workman, MyKia Holbert, Riley Cain and Nick Watkins all played but did not score. Austin Gribble had to set out with a foot injury.

Ryan Errickson led Roane with 14. He was backed by Grant Hardman and Eli Kutcheray with eight each. Hunter Simmons had seven, David Heeter and Alex Pavalok six each, Chuck Siders and Alex Ashley five each and Issak Wilmoth, Ryan Bates and Joe Riley had two each as all the Roane players scored.

Calhoun will try to get back on the winning side of the ledger Tuesday night as it travels to Clay for a doubleheader.

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