The final game of a junior high triple header on Nov. 28 at North Adams High School was an eighth grade boys affair pitting the host Green Devils against the visiting Peebles Indians. The battle turned out to be high-scoring affair with the Devils holding off a furious fourth quarter rally by the Indians to post a 58-45 win to open their 2015-16 campaign in the Southern Hills Athletic Conference.
The first three quarters were totally in control of the Green Devils, who used their size advantage and quickness at the guard position to roll to a big double digit advantage, but the Indians didn’t fold and rallied in the fourth quarter but ran out of time as North Adams claimed the high-scoring 13-point victory in a rematch of last season’s SHAC seventh grade tournament championship game.
The Devils came out firing early with a three-point basket by Dalton Gardner and another by Zach Osborne to lead 15-4 after one quarter, holding the Indians to nary a basket over the first six minutes, just free throws by Weston Browning and Alex Camp. In the second frame, the Devils pounded the ball inside to their big man Austin McCormick, who responded with seven points, including an old-fashioned three-point play. Toss in two baskets from guard Isaac Young and North Adams was off to the halftime break with a big 31-11 lead.
The Indians may have been the smaller team but they weren’t lacking for spunk and in the third period Peebles got five points from Colin Neal on baskets from inside and outside the arc, but the Devils’ offense stayed in high gear and hit seven of eight free throws to keep their lead comfortable at 42-20.
The fourth quarter was a different story as the Indians found their stroke, especially guard Weston Browning. Browning was on fire in the final six minutes, firing in a trio of three-pointers on his way to an 18-point period, on his way to a game-high of 25 points.
Peebles sliced into the big North Adams lead, cutting it down to 10 at 52-42, but unfortunately for them with only 30.6 seconds to play. A free throw by Osborne and then a put back bucket by McCormick sealed the deal in the final half-minute for the Devils as they garnered the 58-45 win.
In the victory, Austin McCormick led North Adams with 18 points, joined in double figures by Isaac Young with 15. Cameron Young added 8, with Zach Osborne getting 7 and Michael Hayslip 4 off the bench. The Devils’ cause was aided by the team hitting 22 free throws in the game.
Peebles’ Weston Browning led all scorers with 25 points and he was joined in double figures by teammate Colin Neal who scored 10.
The Green Devils will be back in action on Dec. 2 with a trip to Whiteoak in another SHAC match up, while the Indians will travel to Ripley that same evening in conference action.
PJH 4 7 9 25 —45
NAJH 15 16 11 16 —58
PJH (45): Browning 9 4-8 25, Camp 0 2-2 2, Neal 4 0-0 10, Shelton 1 2-4 4, Hunt 1 0-0 2, Shoemaker 1 0-0 2, Team 16 8-14 45.
NAJH (58): C. Young 1 6-9 8, Osborne 2 2-4 7, Whalen 1 1-2 3, Gardner 1 0-0 3, I. Young 5 5-7 15, McCormick 5 8-10 18, Hayslip 2 0-0 4, Team 17 22-32 58.
PJH: Browning 3, Neal 2
NAJH: Osborne 1, Gardner 1