CASTLEWOOD — Castlewood’s Tyler Austin hit four 3-pointers during the opening four minutes to put the Blue Devils ahead for good in Wednesday night’s 74-54 non-district win over visiting Rural Retreat.
The kid was unconscious. Almost literally so, it would seem.
“I didn’t notice that I hit that many,” said the dynamic Castlewood guard, who seemed genuinely surprised to learn of it after the game.
It did all happened rather quickly. After Austin pulled up to stroke his fourth trifecta for the 17-5 lead at 4:52 in the first period, the Indians (1-14) resolved they’d had enough of that. They did such a good job keeping in a defender in his face for the remainder of his time on the floor, he didn’t have the leisure to reflect much on his opening salvo.
With Austin averaging 51 percent from 3-point range on the season, Blue Devils coach Doug Campbell feels comfortable giving him a qualified green light.
“He still likes to pump-fake and get on in there. So we try to tell him if he has a good look at it, we’ll take our chance with him letting it fly from the 3-point arc,” said Campbell.
Austin finished with 14 points on the night. Uber-athletic guard Reid Edmonds, who scored his 1,000th career point during the Devils’ nail-biting victory over Eastside at St. Paul last week, scored 19 points to pace Castlewood.
Both in transition and out of a halfcourt set, he slashed the lane to ribbons. He usually found a way to make something good happen, one way or another.
“We were able to spread it out on them. If they didn’t slide over and help we had a wide-open layup. If they did slide over and help I could kick it out. We were really knocking them down,” said Edmonds who distributed 10 assists.
Dylan Trent chipped in 10 points for the Blue Devils (8-5). Castlewood out-rebounded Rural Retreat 34-27 with all but one Blue Devils player accounting for at least one board. Edmonds had five.
Dalton Crockett and Jay Linkous led the Indians with 12 points apiece.
“Coming into the game we knew they had pretty good guards that could shoot the ball well. I told our kids we couldn’t leave the shooters. But they’re high school kids and sometimes communication gets messed up,” said Rural Retreat coach Bryan Sexton, a 2005 Lebanon High School graduate who played for the Pioneers under Dennis Price.
Castlewood’s starters sat out the entire fourth quarter. Given how difficult it was for Castlewood to overcome Cumberland rivals Eastside and Thomas Walker after a 13-day layoff, Campbell was tempted to keep them on the floor a little longer.
“Hopefully we’ll be hitting on all cylinders soon. We’re starting to get back into game speed,” said Campbell, whose team faces another district challenge with resurgent Rye Cove at home on Friday.