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January 19, 2014

H.S. BOYS’ BASKETBALL: Ellis scores 26 to lead Devils past Providence

After switching positions, Jeff seniors knocks down five 3s

JEFFERSONVILLE — The Jeffersonville Red Devils entered the game on Saturday against Providence in a position they haven't been in very often, if at all.

Jeff had dropped four in a row and obviously didn't want to see the streak go to five.

Drew Ellis saw that it didn't — with a little help from his “family.”

Being asked to run the point on Saturday, the 6-foot-3 senior scored 26 points, including three of his five 3-pointers in the fourth quarter, as the Red Devils turned back Providence 61-51 at Johnson Arena.

"I was feeling good tonight," Ellis said. “My teammates were all moving, letting me run the point and we weren't making turnovers. And a big thing, we we're getting stops. They made a run at us in the second half and we got it together and made it work."

According to Jeffersonville coach Matt Pait, he knew it was coming.

"Drew walked around all day with a smirk on his face," Pait said. "I asked him, 'Are you going to drop 30 tonight or what?’ And he just kept on smiling.

"I'm not going to call Drew a point guard, but when times are tough, we'll go to him. I thought Chad Hudson and Keenan Williams did a great job as well when they were in there, as well as Tyrise Major. Tonight it was point guard by committee."

Providence trailed only 42-39 entering the fourth quarter. Freshman Juston Betz hit a 3-pointer to tie the game. Ellis and Hudson then drilled back-to-back 3s for Jeff to build the lead to six. Grant Goad of Providence was then fouled trying a 3 and made all three free throws to pull the Pioneers to within three again.

Ben Shahroudi then stole the ball from Ellis at midcourt, went in for a layup and it was a 1-point game.

Many players may have been down on themselves after the turnover. Not Ellis. Not this night anyway.

Ellis drained a 3 from the left wing and was fouled by former Jeff/GRC World Series teammate Brad Koerner. He hit the free throw and the lead was back at five.

Goad then hit 2 of 2 at the line for Providence to cut the lead to three, then, you guessed it, Ellis knocked down another 3 to push the lead back to six with 2:40 left. Nick Hayes scored to cut the lead to four at 55-51 with 2:02 left.

Yet another 3 by Ellis and an Ellis putback of a Leonard Kwitonda to put the game on ice.

"That four point play was big," Pait said. "That helped seal it.”

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