Blue Devil hot streak continues with win over Hawks
When a basketball team is clicking at the rate of the Williston-Elko High Blue Devils, there’s really not much the opposition can do to stop them.
The Blackville-Hilda High Hawks found that out first-hand Friday night in the Devils’ Den.
Sparked by junior forward Keshawn Toney, the Blue Devils captured their fifth straight win of the season with a 53-39 win over the Hawks.
Toney reached double digits for the tenth time this season with 18 points. After scoring just four points in the first half, Toney came alive in the second half, scoring 14 points on six of nine shooting from the field. He also added seven rebounds, several steals and three assists.
The Blue Devils also benefited from the play of Desmond Murray who torched the Hawks for 15 points, 11 rebounds, three steals and two assists.
With the win, Williston-Elko High improves to 9-2 overall.
Williston-Elko High coach Mark Crossland said there was plenty of positives in the win, but he also saw room for improvement.
“Right now, we’re playing well but we also need to learn to be more patient at times on offense. This is a game of runs and you’re not going to be able to run the entire game,” Crossland said.
Blackville-Hilda High coach Ryan Moody said the team struggled early offensively.
“Offensively, we just weren’t able to match their intensity at the start of the game,” Moody said.
The Blue Devils came out hot to start the game. For the team, Murray, Demarkiis Doe and Parker scored baskets in transition for a 6-0 lead.
Midway in the opening quarter, the Blue Devils continued to have their way with the Hawks. On a two-one-one break, Austin Smith rattled in a three-pointer. Two possessions later, Toney scored on a jumper in the paint. Moments later, Parker ended the first quarter with a buzzer-beater basket to extend the lead to 17-4.
After battling through a tough first-quarter, shooting with just two of 13 from the field, the Hawks found rhythm on the offensive end of the court.
For the Hawks, Tyreke Walker got the troops going with six points on three of four shooting from the field. Jonathan Jackson and Adonis Davis converted on layups as the Hawks sliced the lead to 17-12 with 1:29 left in the first half.
The Blue Devils, however, fired back before the half. Dustin Taylor restored some order with a three-point shot to put the team ahead 21-12 at halftime.
“We have to learn to be patient and work our offense and try to get the best shot possible. Defensively, we have to play sound all game. I thought once we got out to the big lead in the first quarter, we got a little complacent,” Crossland said.
After scoring just four points in the second quarter, the Blue Devils regained their shooting in the second half.
For the team, Toney and Murray and Parker took charge of the offense. Toney scored 14 points, Murray added 10 and Parker contributed six points as the Blue Devils outscored the Hawks 32-26 to close out the game.