RED SPRINGS — Three games into the season, the Red Springs basketball team has had its share of growing pains. There’s been the transition from football season, an overly aggressive defense that’s run into foul trouble, and a lineup shuffled due to disciplinary reasons.
In Wednesday’s 67-57 loss to Douglas Byrd, the problems snowballed on the Red Devils.
Forced shots turned a close first quarter into a seven-point deficit by halftime before the Eagles pulled away by as many as 19 points midway through the fourth quarter.
“Towards the end of the first half, we got away from what we wanted to do,” Red Springs coach Glenn Patterson said. “We started forcing some shots and I felt like if we would have ran the offense a couple of times, we would have gotten the shot that we wanted. Early on we were doing that but at the end of the first half we got away from that.
“If we run enough sets, we’ll be able to get the open looks.”
As the Red Devils (0-3) missed shots, the shooting struggles continued into the second half. Even as James Chavis posted himself under the net snagging rebounds, enough shots missed that Byrd had chances for fastbreak balls.
Red Springs made only three shots from the floor in the third quarter, including two layups by Chavis off second-chance opportunities.
Chavis was one of two players that provided consistent scoring, along with guard Jared Foster. The two clicked at separate points during the game. Foster capitalized early, scoring 12 points on the first half by using his quickness to sprint around defenders and into the paint. He finished with 15.
Chavis took over in the second, scoring 19 of his 22 points in the final two quarters, including 14 points as the Red Devils made a push in the final five minutes to narrow the lead to 10 points.
Byrd had three players finish in double figure scoring. The Eagles found shots both at the free-throw line and beyond the arc, nailing five 3-pointers in the first half and getting 20 chances at the charity stripe.
Kendall Hillman was one of two Eagles that finished with 15 points, which included hitting eight of nine free throws in the fourth quarter.
“We got a lot of fouls. They got to the free-throw line a lot,” Patterson said.
Patterson said many of his team’s early issues are fixable and will smooth out as the year progresses.
“The season’s young and early. I think if we keep playing, each game we’re going to better and better and by conference time we’ll be ready to play basketball,” he said.
Red Springs girls dominate defensively
The Red Springs girls didn’t give up easy shots and gave up even fewer rebounds in a 41-18 win against Douglas Byrd.
After trailing a 11-8 in the first quarter, the Red Devils (1-2) allowed only eight more points in the game, including a one-point third quarter and two-point second, to double-up the Eagles.
“When we talked to them at halftime we said ‘You’ve got to make sure that you don’t let up on them,” Red Springs coach Steve Sinclair said. “We have a four-point lead, we’re not up by 30, so you’ve got to make it 30.”
Byrd survived only on free throws in the middle quarters.
As Byrd struggled, Shantanna Norris and Lennaxsea Snow combined for 14 of the Red Devils’ 17 first-half points. Robyn McPhaul and Rocio Pecina provided the boost in the second half, with Pecina hitting two 3-pointers in the third quarter.
Norris led Red Spring with 10 points, and McPhaul had eight.
“If we play defense then our offense comes easy to us,” Sinclair said.
Deja Dawson led Byrd with eight points and accounted for four of the Eagles’ six made field goals.
Douglas Byrd 67, Red Springs 57
Douglas Byrd 17 20 13 17 — 67
Red Springs 15 15 8 19 — 57
DOUGLAS BYRD — Hillman 15, Ray 15, Sanchez 11, Generette 9, Harris 8, Raines 3, Montez 3, Conley 2, Teachey 2.
RED SPRINGS — James Chavis 22, Jared Foster 15, Baker 8, Atkinson 5, McGeachy 4, McLaurin 3.
3-Point Goals — DB: Ray 3, Harris 2, Generette, Hillman. RS: Baker 2, Chavis 2, Atkinson, McLaurin.
Records — Red Springs 0-3.
Red Springs 41, Douglas Byrd 18
Douglas Byrd 11 2 1 4 — 18
Red Springs 8 9 12 12 — 41
DOUGLAS BYRD — Dawson 8, Bell 2, Harris 5, Russell 2, Sledge 1.
RED SPRINGS — Shantanna Norris 10, McPhaul 8, Snow 6, Pecina 6, Smith 4, Leech 3, Brice 2, Mack 2.
3-Point Goals — DB: Harris. RS: Pecina 2.
Records — Red Springs 1-2.