By KEVIN HARRIS
Before Friday night’s rivalry game at Johnson Arena, the New Albany students chanted that the Jeffersonville Red Devils, who were 13th in this week’s Associated Press Class 4A poll, were over-rated.
But once the contest started, Jeff proved them wrong.
The Red Devils showed they deserve a spot in at least the top 10 with a convincing 70-46 victory over the hated Bulldogs. It was Jeff’s second consecutive triumph over its archrival. New Albany now leads the all-time series, 76-75. With the win, the Red Devils (9-2, 3-0 Hoosier Hills Conference) moved into a first-place tie with Columbus East in the HHC standings.
“We started off good,” Red Devil coach Chad Gilbert said. “The way our stuff is set up, it is set up to get us in scoring position.”
Three Red Devils scored in double figures, led by senior guard Darryl Baker with 26 points. Baker shot 12-of-19 from the field and 2-of-5 from 3-point range.
“We just tried to get him off early and New Albany was ready for it,” Gilbert said. “But he stayed within himself. Darryl is not only a great basketball player, but he’s a mature young man. It’s a pleasure to coach him and the rest of the guys on the team.”
It was a big night for Jeff’s Myles Harvey, who poured in a career-high 19 points on 9-of-13 shooting. Teammate Keenan Williams had 11 points, and Red Devil junior guard Drew Ellis chipped in eight.
Gilbert likes the balanced scoring he has been getting from his starting lineup, which includes Baker, Ellis, Williams, Harvey and guard Jacquari Chandler.
“Myles can score, Darryl can score, Drew can score and Keenan can score. And then in the championship at [Bob Wettig Tournament] in Richmond [last Saturday], Jacquari showed he can score. Jacquari scored 13 there,” Gilbert said. “When you have five guys who can score, that makes you really effective.”
The Red Devils tallied the final eight points of the first quarter to lead by double digits at 20-9.
But New Albany (4-5, 2-2) slowed down Jeff in the second stanza by switching to a 2-3 zone defense. The Red Devils managed just nine points in the period as they led 29-21 at halftime.
“When we went to zone in the second quarter, we thought we had a chance because they weren’t scoring against it,” New Albany coach Jim Shannon said. “But we weren’t scoring on the other end the whole game. They did a job defensively taking us out of what we wanted to do.”
In the second half, it was all Jeff. The Red Devils outscored the Bulldogs in the final 16 minutes, 41-25.
In the third quarter alone, Jeff tallied 21 points to New Albany’s seven to go up 50-28 at the end of the stanza. The Red Devils shot 20-of-30 from the floor in the second half.
“Boy, in that third quarter — halfway through it — it got ugly. We just couldn’t stop the bleeding, and they played really well,” Shannon said. “We got killed on the boards. They got every loose ball tonight. We got beat in every category. I can’t think of one category that we played better than them.”
Point guard Jermaine Parrish was the only New Albany to score in double figures. The senior had a season-high and game-high 28 points, shooting 8-of-21 from the field and 6-of-12 from 3-point range. Parrish also was 6-of-8 from the free-throw line.
New Albany registered a season-low point total. The Bulldogs suffered their worst setback to Jeff since they lost 86-55 in the 1992 Seymour Regional.
“I thought we would play them closer than that. I thought it would be a game,” Shannon said. “At times, we weren’t sure what we were trying to do. There was a lot of standing around and watching the ball. We would throw it in the post and drop it.”
Both teams will have HHC home games next Friday. Jeff will take on Floyd Central, while New Albany will host Madison.
JEFFERSONVILLE 70, NEW ALBANY 46
New Albany 9 12 7 18—46
Jeff 20 9 21 20—70
New Albany (4-5, 2-2 HHC): Jermaine Parrish 28, Jeff Byrne 5, Anthony Edwards 5, Garrett Arnold 2, Conner Henes 2, Leondre McBirth 2, Javen Reeves 2, Dustin Cochran 0, Louis Donastorg 0, Chad Hudson 0, Zach Landrum 0, Josh Rogers 0.
Jeff (9-2, 3-0): Darryl Baker 26, Myles Harvey 19, Keenan Williams 11, Drew Ellis 8, Kortrell White 4, Jacquari Chandler 2, Troy Avery 0, Chandler Dale 0, JC Kinnaird 0, Leonard Kwitonda 0, Devin Shackelford 0.
3-point field goals: New Albany 7 (Parrish 6, Byrne); Jeff 6 (Baker 2, Ellis 2, Harvey, Williams).
Rebounds: New Albany 23 (Reeves, Arnold 4); Jeff 34 (Williams 9).
Turnovers: New Albany 14, Jeff 15.
Total fouls: New Albany 8, Jeff 12.
Fouled out: none.
Junior varsity: Jeff 27, New Albany 26, OT.