JEFFERSONVILLE — It hasn't been an easy month for the Jeffersonville boys' basketball team. It has gone 2-4 in February, including a 15-point loss at Class 3A Corydon earlier this week.
But there's still time to turn it around. Ask Drew Ellis.
The senior went off for 32 points on Saturday night, leading the Red Devils past pesky Castle 70-67 at Johnson Arena.
Jeff (10-10) evened its record at .500 with the win and picked up its second win in three tries.
"We've been playing harder, so it's nice to see the right side of the scoreboard," said Jeff coach Matt Pait. "Hopefully, we can carry this momentum forward."
Castle (14-7) trailed most of the night, but every time the Red Devils looked close to pulling away, the Knights had an answer. It took a steal and layup from senior Keenan Williams, who intercepted a long inbounds pass and took it the distance to finally close the door on the Knights.
In between, Ellis did most of the heavy lifting.
The 6-foot-3 senior got Jeff off to a hot start with 10 points in the first quarter, including a rare 4-point play, as he knocked down a 3 from the wing as he was fouled by a Castle defender.
Castle still led 19-18 at the end of the first, until Ellis kicked off a 12-3 run to open the second period, scoring eight points during the span that pulled Jeff in front 30-22 — and he found teammate Dionte Allen with a well-placed pass that led to a 3-point play to send the Red Devils into the locker room ahead 37-30.
After the intermission, the lead grew larger, ballooning to 11 at 46-35 on a basket by Leonard Kwitonda. Halfway through the third, Jeff continued to roll on one of Ellis' five 3-pointers, taking a 51-42 edge.
But Castle would not go away.