Blue Devils ground Hawks, 65-52

  • Austin Smith, who has developed a well-rounded game, led the Blue Devils with six steals against the Hawks.

The Williston-Elko High Blue Devils grounded the Hawks of Blackville-Hilda High by a score of 65-52 on Jan. 30 in Blackville.

The Blue Devils controlled the contest throughout as they sizzled to a 15-point first half lead behind 10 first-half points by Desmond Murray. Murray went on to highlight the Blue Devils’ offense on the night with 22 points, four assists and four steals.

With the win, Williston-Elko High improves to 13-4 overall and 8-2 in region play. The win also gives the Blue Devils the season sweep over the Hawks.

Williston-Elko High coach Mark Crossland said his team continues to play well.

“This was another good effort tonight. There was no letdown after the big win over Ridge Spring-Monetta High,” Crossland said. “We did some things really well in the first half. The second half, however, was a different story. We got a little careless and sloppy on the offensive end.”

The Blue Devils had several other players who shined in the contest.

Austin Smith was one of those players. Smith turned in his best shooting game of the season. He scored 18 points on six of nine shooting from the field and knocked down a career-high six 3-pointers.

Junior center Keshawn Toney also played well. He was aggressive on the boards, finishing with a team high 13 rebounds to go along with six points and four assists.

The reliable Demarkiis Doe had another good, all-around performance with seven points, nine rebounds, six steals and four assists.

The Hawks had an uphill battle playing without two of their starters. Despite trailing by as much as 15 points in the first half, the Hawks showed some major fight in the second half.

For the Hawks, Tyreke Badger got the troops going with 10 of his team-high 16 points. That coupled with good performances from Kuwaun Odom and Denzel Saxon with eight points each allowed the Hawks to outscore the Blue Devils 29-28 in the second half.

In other action, the Blue Devils scored in a 59-49 decision over Denmark-Olar High Friday night in Williston.

In that contest, the Blue Devils had three players scoring in double figures. Meddikis Priester took control of the Blue Devils offense, finishing with a game-high 16 points. He also contributed four rebounds and two blocked shots.

Desmond Murray turned in another well-rounded performance with 13 points, 10 rebounds and five assists. Austin Smith added 10 points, six steals, two rebounds and two assists.