Red Devils slap clamps on Lewis

Russell Boys vs. Lewis

Red Devils slap clamps on Lewis



RUSSELL With six minutes remaining in the third quarter, Wyatt Yates drained a 3-pointer, the 31st point on the Lewis County side of the scoreboard.  The Lions would only add seven more points to their total inside Marvin Meredith Gym on Friday night as Russell pulled away for a 64-38 victory.  The Red Devils shot a scorching 60% from the field and quickly put distance between their opponent with an 11-2 spurt.  Tristan Miller splashed consecutive triples to get his team rolling, then finished off an increase the Russell advantage to double digits early in the second half.  “Tristan made a good shot to start with,” Russell coach Tom Barrick said. “We got a couple of plays where we got him free. He made plays and looked great. ... We got a couple of good baskets during that period. We have to get a better mentality about that, but we got a little energized when we made shots.  “It was a very positive game for us. It was something that we needed. ...  Not only are we battling our opponents, but we are battling illness and weather. You try to take that game as a positive, move forward and hopefully build on it.”  Griffin Downs added a layup and Brady Bell sank a bucket from downtown to send the Red Devils to the fourth quarter with a 49-33 lead.  “Miller got loose on three straight possessions,” Lewis County coach Joe Hampton said.  “We did an excellent job on him in the first half.  We had him a little frustrated and I think we relaxed because we thought it was easier than it was going to be.  Our defender guarded him relaxed and we didn’t stay attached to him. He is such a great shooter. In the first half, we stayed attached. In the second half for some reason, we decided to shortcut and go under some screens. When he got open, he made us pay.”  Lewis County (9-14) tallied just one basket in the fourth quarter. Trey Gerike hit a short jumper with 32 seconds left after Russell (8-12) opened the frame with 15 straight points.  Bell led the Red Devils with 18 points. Max Cantrell posted a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds. Downs also netted 10 and Miller added nine.  “I thought he was outstanding tonight,” Barrick said of Cantrell.  “They were playing off of Max and I thought he was very efficient at what he was doing on the offensive end. His effort on the glass was outstanding and he guarded (Lewis County forward Sam) O’Keefe all night when we were playing man-to-man defense.  That’s a pretty good night’s work when you can guard one of the premier players in the region and get a double-double on the other end.”  The Lions fought back from a double-digit deficit in the first half. Logan Liles found the range from beyond the arc late in the second quarter and swished three from downtown to cut the margin to four at halftime.  “We were right there,” Hampton said. “And when we got down there, with that nine-point explosion they had, it forced us to shoot too much outside. They did a good job defending us at the rim. We were trying to play catch-up and get it all back at once. They were good looks, but they forced our hand to take some of those.”  Barrick was pleased with the play of his bench. He said Downs and Donovan Moore provided some big minutes on both ends of the floor, helping the Red Devils to a 15-3 edge in bench points.  O’Keefe had a team-high 13 points. Liles followed with 12.  Russell improves to 3-3 in district seeding games.  Lewis County dropped to 1-4 and is now locked into the No. 4 seed in the district tournament.  “It was a game that I think our players needed, our fans needed and the school needed,” Barrick said, “in the sense that we have struggled closing out games. Closing this one out was a positive for us.”

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