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December 15, 2012

H.S. BOYS' BASKETBALL: Despite 70-50 win over Creek, Gilbert not entirely happy with Devils’ effort

Jeff holds Dragons to 17 second-half points

SELLERSBURG — The Jeffersonville Red Devils continued their great start to the 2012-13 season on Friday night with a 70-50 victory at Silver Creek.

But that does not mean that Jeff coach Chad Gilbert was entirely pleased with his team’s performance. Gilbert thought his players were selfish at times and need to gel better as a unit.

“We don’t have selfish guys, but tonight was one of the most selfish games I’ve ever been involved in. That’s not our identity — our identity is being unselfish,” Gilbert said. “Our kids played hard, but we negated our hustle and grind with our fouling. We didn’t drop to the basket when the ball went inside. We stopped making our rotations on our press. We did not hustle back and we were leaking out on the [fast] break.”

The Red Devils (4-1) almost pulled out a victory on Tuesday night at Johnson Arena against Kentucky’s top-ranked team, Louisville Ballard. The Bruins won 69-67, but Gilbert thought his team might have received too many pats on the back following Tuesday’s near-upset.

“We got guys in kids’ ears saying we’re going to do this and do that or whatever else, but we’ve got to focus and play our type of basketball,” Gilbert said.

The Dragons (1-5) gave the Red Devils all they wanted in the first half, as Jeff led 37-33 at halftime. The Red Devils took a 30-23 midway through the second quarter after a Drew Ellis bucket.

But the Dragons got their deficit down to 34-33 late in the stanza thanks to a 10-4 run. During the spurt, Silver Creek knocked down 7-of-8 free throws along with sophomore Gabe Bauer nailing a 3-pointer.

The Red Devils, though, closed out the half with a putback by Keenan Williams and a Myles Harvey free throw.

“I thought they came out focused with a real ‘prideful’ effort,” Silver Creek coach Brandon Hoffman said about the Dragons’ first-half performance. “We talked before the game that there are no more days when Silver Creek plays Jeff when we are scared to play them. We wanted to take it to them and I felt like we were able to do that in the first half while we had our legs.”

Gilbert blamed his team’s fouling for helping the Dragons close the gap before intermission.

“We allowed them to stay in the game by putting them at the free-throw line. Our fouls were selfish fouls,” Gilbert said. “Brandon had his guys ready. He does a great job with them. Silver Creek didn’t back down.”

Jeff got control of the contest in the early moments of the third quarter. Williams knocked down a 3-pointer to put the Devils up 40-33. Jacquari Chandler followed that up with a steal and layup to extend the advantage to nine points.

After Jeff got up 54-43 at the end of the third, it outscored Silver Creek 16-7 in the final quarter to sew up the win. The Dragons managed only 17 points in the second half.

“I thought we wore them out a little bit,” Gilbert said. “Our quickness will wear teams out.”

In the latter half, Hoffman thought the Red Devils stepped up their defensive pressure in containing the Dragons’ offense. Plus Silver Creek only had two timeouts during the entire second half, limiting Hoffman’s opportunities to stop play and give his players a breather.

“They picked it up on the defensive end and fatigue played a big factor,” Hoffman said. “It’s very taxing on guys to go up against great athletes like at Jeff.”

Four Red Devils scored in double figures. Senior Darryl Baker scored a team-high 21 points, followed by Williams with 18. Chandler had 13 and Ellis scored 11. Ellis also grabbed a game-high eight rebounds.

“I thought we were really out of sync. I’m happy with the effort, but I’m disappointed with the execution,” Gilbert said.

Bauer was the only Dragon to score in double figures with 22 points. He scored 16 in the first half.

“We have great hopes for Gabe,” Hoffman said. “He’s going to be a special player. There is not very many times that a sophomore has scored 22 against Jeff. But at the same time, there are still so many things he can do to get better. If there is anybody who is going to work hard, it’s him.”

Silver Creek’s Zach Davidson chipped in nine points.

Jeff defeated the Dragons for the 19th time in 20 games and now leads the all-time series, 70-11.

Jeff will host Class 2A No. 4 Clarksville next Friday. Silver Creek will visit New Washington tonight.

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