The North Adams eighth grade boys team kept right on rolling this week, picking up two more wins to improve their record to 12-0 for the 2015-16 season. The Devils faced West Union at home on Monday, Jan. 11 and had to rally late to get past an improving squad of Dragons 48-43 and then came back on Wednesday night to knock off Whiteoak handily 59-21.
The West Union game was a downright good junior high boys game, with both teams battling down to the wire before the Devils pulled out the win. It was a battle of the big men as North Adams’ Austin McCormick and West Union’s Mizael Gapi went blow for blow all night, McCormick finishing with 18 points and Gapi leading all scorers with 19.
The first quarter began well for McCormick as he scored 7 points in the first six minutes, dominating in the paint to help the Devils grab a 13-9 advantage. Both teams were hot on the offensive end in the second period with West Union getting two buckets each from Gapi and Zane Kingsolver, while the Devils got a three from Dalton Gardner and four more in the paint from McCormick. At the half, the Devils were still on top, but only by a margin of 26-22.
Back came the Dragons in the third stanza, taking the lead at 29-28 on a bucket by Brycen Staten, but the Devils answered right back with a three-pointer from Zach Osborne to retake a lead they would never relinquish. At the end of the third period, North Adams was still in front, stretching their lead to 40-32.
The Dragons attempted to rally again in the fourth, mostly behind the work of Gapi, who hit shots from inside and out on his way to 9 points in the final six minutes. North Adams only managed two field goals in the final quarter, but one of them was a big three from point guard Cameron Young, his only basket of the game coming at an opportune time, that helped them hold on for win #11, a five-point win over the pesky Dragons.
McCormick’s 18 topped the winners, joined in double figures by Dalton Gardner with 11. Issac Young was solid as usual with an all-around excellent floor game and 7 points.
West Union was paced by Gapi’s 19, with Brycen Staten adding 11 and Zane Kingsolver 8.
After their win over Whiteoak on Wednesday that moved them to 12-0, the Devils have SHAC contests remaining with Fairfield, Fayetteville, Lynchburg, and Manchester as they look to repeat as conference regular season and tournament champions.
West Union will be hoping for a rematch in the SHAC Tournament, but will finish the regular season with games against Lynchburg, Ripley, Eastern, Fairfield, and Peebles.
WUJH 9 13 10 11 —43
NAJH 13 13 14 8 —48
WUJH (43): Staten 5 0-0 11, Kingsolver 3 2-4 8, Gapi 9 1-2 19, Carter 1 0-0 2, Whaley 1 0-0 3, Parker 0 0-2 0, Team 19 3-8 43.
NAJH (48): C. Young 1 0-0 3, Osborne 2 0-1 5, Whalen 0 4-5 4, Gardner 3 4-5 11, I. Young 3 1-2 7, McCormick 8 2-3 18, Team 17 11-16 48.
WUJH- Staten 1, Whaley 1
NAJH- C. Young 1, Osborne 1, Gardner 1