There’s just something about Great Falls-Lewisville. Whether they play in football, basketball or any other sport, the two Chester County rivals always put on a spirited contest. Lewisville’s realignment to 2A has done nothing to change that.
The latest installment in the schools’ basketball rivalry provided much of that same spirit.
Great Falls opened it up on the floor in the third quarter, turning a close lead at the interval into a convincing win over Lewisville, 76-65, in front of a rowdy packed house at the Lions Den.
“We learned to fight a little bit, man,” said Great Falls coach Jimmy Duncan after the game. “They’re a big test. They’re (a) top-ten (team) in 2A, a rivalry game. The kids were able to come in here and handle the pressure.”
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The Red Devils managed just a four-point lead after the first quarter, then got six points from star forward Kelton Talford in a 16-point second that set up the visitors for a somewhat comfortable halftime margin. Lewisville (1-4) made that advantage a bit less comfortable on the final possession before the horn, however. Lions guard Martez Moore drained a triple from the right wing, giving the Red Devils just a five-point halftime lead at 32-27.
Great Falls (2-0) came out firing on all cylinders out of the locker room. Duncan’s club went on a 16-4 run that provided some much-needed separation from the talented home side. Talford helped key that run, with some adjustments Duncan’s club made to help create space for him.
“They were playing good defense on him, so we kind of had to set some screens for him,” Duncan said. “Something simple, just to get the ball to him. Once we got the ball in there, he was able to go to work.”
Talford scored nine in a 27-point third period that helped give his side an 18-point lead after the quarter.
Lewisville made a run of its own in the fourth quarter, keyed largely by an 11-point effort by Maurice Grant and eight by Demetric Hardin in the period. The Lions went on a 9-0 burst to cut into the visitors’ advantage and draw within striking distance. A Talford dunk, though, helped to quell that run and excite the red-and-black-clad fans that traveled to Richburg.
The game is one of two that the sides will play this year, with the second coming January 2 at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte. Duncan cited the “championship atmosphere” of the contest in Richburg after the game, while acknowledging that he will need to get his kids even more focused for that tilt.
“I’m pretty much just gonna have to try to bring them in a little bit,” said Duncan. “They all think that they’re NBA players. They all wanna shoot it now, and now when they have an NBA logo (on the floor) … I think they all think (Michael) Jordan’s gonna be watching them. He’s not gonna be there. I’m gonna try to express that to them.”
The Red Devils went on a 16-4 run to start the third quarter, and an active, pressing defense helped key that run. The burst largely served to put the game out of reach. Duncan said the press would be a signature of this year’s Red Devil club.
“Extra possessions,” said Duncan of the benefit his team’s defense provides. “You limit their shots, and we get extra shot opportunities. That’s gonna allow for us to get a few more points.”
Great Falls guard D.J. Adams controlled the game for long stretches, helping generate turnovers and driving the lane. Adams also helped the Red Devils get out quickly in transition.
“D.J. Adams took over for us,” said Duncan. “Defensively, he had a couple of rips there, and he put himself in positions to draw fouls.”
Talford’s 23 points paced the Red Devils, with Adams tossing in 19. 11 of Adams’ points and 15 of Talford’s came in the second half.
Maurice Grant scored 17 for the Lions, one of three players in double figures on the home side. Jashawn Jason tallied 12, while Demetric Hardin contributed 11.
Great Falls plays a home matchup with Buford Dec. 4. Lewisville returns to the court at home against Eau Claire, also on Dec. 4.
Great Falls 76, Lewisville 65
Great Falls: D.J. Adams 19, Sincere Wilmore 3, Kell Brown 7, Jaylan Dunham 2, RonJ Stevenson 9, Kelton Talford 23, Ry’Derrick Jordan 9, KJ Abrams 2, Telonte Coleman 1.
Lewisville: Demetric Hardin 11, Torian Edwards 2, Jayon Talford 2, Martez Moore 8, Braxton Elms 5, Jashawn Jason 12, Maurice Grant 17, Jalen Clyburn 3, Jadon Scott 2, Devin McCrorey 2.
Team fouls: Great Falls 18, Lewisville 20.
Foul shooting: Great Falls 14-27, Lewisville 6-17.
3-pointers: Great Falls 4 (Adams 1, Wilmore 1, Brown 1, Jordan 1); Lewisville 5 (Moore 2, Grant 2, Hardin 1).
Records: Lewisville 1-4, Great Falls 2-0.
Amber Bass’ career night helped guide Lewisville past Great Falls Friday night. Bass turned in 27 points in a 60-16 victory by the Lions over the Red Devils.
Lewisville (1-0) led the visitors 15-7 after a period and 29-13 at the half, before Bass scored 14 points in a 22-point third quarter by the Lions. Great Falls (0-4) managed just three points in the third quarter, and were held scoreless in the fourth.
Lewisville returns to action Dec. 4 at home against Eau Claire. Great Falls is off until a Dec. 7 home tilt with Fairfield Central.