Devils leave Titans feeling blue

George Thwaites • Jan 5, 2008 at 12:00 AM

NICKELSVILLE — Twin Springs basketball fans took at least one consolation away from Friday night’s Cumberland District opener with Castlewood.

The Blue Devils might be in their district, but at least they’re not in the Titans’ division.

The Castlewood boys hit a dozen shots outside the arc on their way to a 75-34 victory at Twin Springs.

In the girls’ game, Kayla Gordon hit four trifectas in the second quarter, catapulting the Lady Blue Devils into a 72-41 win over the Lady Titans.

“We played a little flat the first quarter. This little holiday layoff and all. But at the end of the first quarter, we talked about stepping the tempo up,” said Castlewood girls coach Barry Ruff. “What can I say about Kayla? She shot the lights out in the second quarter.”

Gordon finished with 24 points for the Lady Blue Devils (4-6, 1-0). Lorren Evans fired up 14 while Shaina Hall and Nicole Counts put up 10 points apiece.

Lady Titans coach Jordan Mullins would like to have seen more of those shots contested.

“They shot the ball extremely well, but we left them all day to shoot,” Mullins said.

“They’d penetrate, we’d help, and I don’t know why we were so slow-footed. They had time to set up camp, cook a meal and take a nap before we got out there to them and recovered.”

Tamara Campbell scored 15 points to pace the Lady Titans (1-6, 0-1). Katie Lane contributed 13.

“I am so disappointed in the way we played defense tonight,” Mullins said. “I don’t think there’s a team in our league or on our schedule that should put up 70 points on us.”

Castlewood boys coach Aaron Williams was actually a little surprised that his squad broke 70 on the Titans. Getting 12 trifectas from six different players obviously helped to explain the margin. But he thought the keys to victory lay elsewhere.

“The longer the shot, the more the variables. Our thing is, can we get through a game when we’re not shooting that well? Can we still win the game?” Williams said.

“That’s why our defensive effort has to be there. Tonight it was. If we hadn’t hit those shots tonight I think we still could’ve pulled it out because of the way we played defense.”

Two other factors that pleased Williams: turnover margin and rebounding margin. The Blue Devils held a 27-16 advantage on the boards and committed 13 turnovers to the Titans’ 22.

Senior guard Patrick Fisher led Castlewood with 14 points, also distributing 10 assists.

Williams said Fisher is getting closer to the form he had prior to last year’s season-ending knee injury.

“You can tell he’s starting to get it out of his mind. It’s been tough to overcome but he’s been working hard on agility stuff and it’s paying off for him,” Williams said.

Chris Smith added 13 points for the Blue Devils (6-4, 1-0) while Ethan Collins scored 12. Ryan Meade had eight points to go with 10 steals and five assists. Zach Bush had six rebounds while Travis Carter grabbed five.

The Titans, who trailed 19-15 after a scrappy first quarter, succumbed to pressure in the second period and trailed 41-22 at the half.

Inexperience worked against Twin Springs, said coach John McCrary.

“The turnovers just killed us. At one point we turned the ball over in the backcourt four out of five possessions and they got four baskets off of them. It turned the game around,” McCrary said.

“In our eyes, those were kind of unforced turnovers. I don’t mean they weren’t playing good defense. They were. But our two primary ball handlers had 11 turnovers at the half between them and some of those passes were just out of fear.”

Devon Matthews scored 10 points to pace the Titans (3-3, 0-1).

“The key will be how we react. This is a pretty good thumping. If we tuck our tails, this could be a pretty big blow to the team,” said McCrary, whose squad returns to the floor tonight in a non-district meeting with Council.

The Blue Devils travel to St. Paul tonight for their district Round 1 with the Deacons.

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