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Blue Devils, Lady Knights turn tables

February 9th, 2010 12:00 am by George Thwaites





CASTLEWOOD — The Cumberland District regular-season basketball championships — for girls and boys — were unsettled at Castlewood on Monday night.


Last week’s entertaining showdowns at Coeburn were utterly and forcefully reversed.


In the girls’ game, the Lady Blue Knights placed four players in double figures as Coeburn rolled to a 77-50 victory over the Lady Blue Devils.


In the varsity boys nightcap, Castlewood enjoyed similar offensive balance in outgunning the Blue Knights 71-49.


“This game, they wanted it more than we did. No ifs, ands or buts. They shut down everything we tried to do,” said Coeburn coach Jeff Adkins, whose team would’ve been in the district driver’s seat had it prevailed Monday night.


“The bottom line is, if you don’t come ready to play championship ball, this is going to happen every night.”


Castlewood (14-4, 8-1) got 16 points from Justin Smith, with Zach Bush putting up 14, Ruben Rasnick scoring 13 and Seth Justice hitting for 10.


“We played well defensively tonight, that’s what I’m pleased with. They’ve got three super players over there and our goal was to hold two of them to double figures to give us a chance to win the ballgame,” said Castlewood coach Wayne Rasnick. “We did that, and that’s what happened.”


Holden Burke scored 19 points for the Blue Knights (13-6, 9-2) while Andrew Pate had 18. Phillip Riner, who scored 23 at Coeburn last week, was held to eight.


Coeburn will wrap up its regular-season run at Thomas Walker on Friday. Castlewood faces Rye Cove tonight, Ervinton on Wednesday and next-door rival St. Paul on Friday.


With so much basketball left to play this week, Rasnick was understandably reluctant to bask in the glow of Monday’s payback win over the Blue Knights.


It was impossible, however, for Coeburn girls coach Alan Atwood to completely conceal how tickled he was with his team’s decisive handling of the Lady Blue Devils.


“We had a big lead on them the last game and we didn’t take care of the basketball at the end. We worked on that, got better, and we really did our jobs tonight,” Atwood said. “I can’t be more proud of them. Great team effort.”


Freshman guard Haley Wyrick scored 13 of her 17 points in the first half to get Coeburn aloft. Wyrick also distributed seven assists and committed no egregious, game-changing turnovers.


Samantha Perry and Lindsay Lawson were a combined force on the boards. Perry scored 17 points to go with 15 rebounds while Lawson put up 15 points and pulled down 14 rebounds.


Guard Hannah Light scored 12 points, dishing off six assists.


“Coming in, we still felt like we could tie. We’re one game back right now,” Atwood said. “I felt that if we came in tonight and proved that we were a better team, we’d still have a say in the race.”


Haley Gilbert scored 18 points to pace the Lady Blue Devils (12-7, 7-2) while Nicole Counts added 10.


“We didn’t play well. Every facet of the game was completely one-sided,” said Lady Devils coach Barry Ruff, whose squad’s poor shooting undermined its defensive effort.


“I think we shot 12 percent the first half. They shot something like 80 percent the first half,” he added. “You could tell the difference. They didn’t miss many shots and we missed a bunch.”




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