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January 4, 2014

BOB WETTIG MEMORIAL TOURNAMENT: Allen gives Jeff 76-74 win over Norwell

Devils will face host Richmond in today’s quarterfinals

AUSTIN, Texas — • BOB WETTIG MEMORIAL TOURNAMENT

RED DEVIL SHOWDOWN

Allen gives Jeff 76-74 win over Norwell

Devils will face host Richmond in today’s quarterfinals

By GREG MENGELT

greg.mengelt@newsandtribune.com

RICHMOND — Jeffersonville football star Dionte Allen played basketball for the Red Devils as a sophomore before deciding not to play a year ago.

Friday’s 76-74 victory over Norwell in the quarterfinal round of Richmond’s Bob Wettig Memorial Tournament reminded him of what he missed out on a year ago.

“It’s crazy coming back and playing in games like this,” Allen said. “I forgot how much fun these games can be.”

Allen scored the game-winning bucket with 2.5 seconds left to put the Class 4A No. 16 Red Devils in today’s semifinals against the host Richmond at 1 p.m. at the 8,100-seat Tiernan Center. Richmond’s Red Devils are unbeaten and ranked No. 7 in Class 4A.

“I’ve heard a lot of good things about them,” Allen said. “We’re up for the challenge the way we’re up for every challenge. We won’t play this game any different than any other game.”

With Friday’s quarterfinal game tied at 74 apiece, Allen took an entry pass from Drew Ellis. Allen turned and made a move toward the basket. Undersized David Vogel went to the ground as if Allen had run him over. No call was made. Allen regrouped and easily banked home the game-winner.

“It was exactly what we drew up,” Jeffersonville coach Matt Pait said. “I told the guys after the game I was proud of them for running the play and executing it exactly as it was drawn up. I told them that’s the sign of a good team.”

“I knew it was coming to me,” Allen said. “We went at [Vogel] all game. Obviously, I’ve got weight on him. Coach told me to go up strong and it worked exactly the way it was drawn up.”

Norwell had a chance to win the game in the final seconds. With 2.5 seconds left, the Knights threw an inbound pass full court. It went off of Ellis’ foot and out of bounds under Norwell’s bucket with 1.1 seconds left. The time didn’t keep Vogel from getting off a good look from the wing. He missed just short and the Knights fell to 4-2.

“It was a good game,” Pait said. “I knew they were a really good team. That’s the kind of game we need to play in. It was a tourney-type game. That’s why we’re here. It was a good game between two really good teams.”

Both teams held leads as large as seven points, but it was tight almost the entire way. Norwell led 16-9 early before Jeff went on a 8-3 run to get within 19-17 at the first break.

The Devils opened the second quarter on an 11-2 run — making it 19-5 overall — to take its largest lead at 28-21 at the 5:14 mark of the second quarter. However, the Knights hit six straight free throws and Drew Shively hit a 3 to get Norwell within 39-36 at halftime.

The third quarter had four lead changes and four ties before Tyrise Major gave Jeff a 59-57 lead going into the final period.

Again, the two teams were even in the fourth until a Demarre Sims 3 gave Jeff a 70-66 lead with less than three minutes remaining. A pair of steals helped the Knights get back within 72-71 with 55 seconds remaining before Major hit a pair of free throws for a 74-71 Jeff lead with 53.1 seconds to go.

Norwell’s Brent Bales then hit a clutch 3-pointer with 37 seconds left to tie the game, leading to Allen’s game-winner. Norwell was 10-of-26 from behind the 3-point line. Jeff was 7-of-14.

“When games come down to the wire, it’s nice to know the work we do in practice pays off,” Allen said.

Keenan Williams led the Red Devils with 17 points and eight assists, and is one of the leading candidates for the tourney MVP after two games.

“You can’t stop Keenan off the dribble,” Pait said. “He did a great job attacking tonight and he made great decisions when they doubled him on his drive.”

Sims, who has taken some of the playing time left open by the absence of Myles Harvey, had 14 points on 6-of-10 shooting. He scored nine of his points, including seven in a row at one point, in the second quarter with Ellis on the bench in foul trouble.

“I thought Demarre played great,” Pait said. “He’s played two great games here. He’ll be a big help from us down the stretch.”

Allen went 5-for-7 from the floor for 10 points. He added 12 boards for a double-double. Drew Ellis had a rough shooting night, but still managed 10 points.

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