By Blake Long | Special to the Journal
CALHOUN CITY – Demetris Evans didn’t feel right in the first half against Ashland. And apparently, neither did the rest of his team.
Evans responded by scoring 19 of his 21 points in the second half in helping Bruce to a 59-44 win over Ashland in the Loggins Classic.
“He wasn’t feeling good in the first half for some reason,” Bruce head coach Davin Young said. “I don’t know if he was sick, but the second half he seemed like he was in a mood to play.”
It wasn’t just Evans that seemed to come alive in the second half. After scoring only 20 points in the first half combined, the Trojans scored 21 points in the third quarter followed by 24 in the fourth.
Bruce’s zone defense kept dangerous Ashland shooter Darius Dukes in check. A week after scoring 39 points against Shannon, the Trojans held Dukes, who is averaging 31 points-per-game, to only 14.
“Darius had a bad shooting night,” Ashland coach Kenji Wells said. “I attribute that to the length of Bruce and them actually pushing him off the three-point line.”
Bruce, the Daily Journal’s 4th ranked team, held leads of 12-5 after the first and 20- 14 at halftime.
Evans scored five points in an opening half 7-0 run to up Bruce’s lead to 27-14. The Blue Devils would respond after a timeout with their own 6-0 run capped by two Dukes’ baskets to make it 27-20. Bruce (7-0) would lead 41-28 after the third before the Blue Devils cut the lead to six at 41-35 with 5:31 to play.
That was as close as Ashland (5-11) could get, as Donta Armstrong scored seven points in the closing inutes to secure Bruce’s victory.
Jarvis Tillman added 10 points and missed a doubledouble by a rebound for Bruce, while Dwanye Shegog came off the bench to score 11 for the Blue Devils.