RLS ends Neal win-streak

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Class 2A Red Level ended Class 4A W.S. Neal’s four-game win streak Monday night in the Tigers’ home debut, winning 65-56.

The victory came as a result of his players keeping their composure when it was most needed, Red Level coach Fred Kelley said.

In the third quarter, W.S. Neal’s Rashad Crook fouled out of the game, which started a brief verbal altercation in the crowd.

“When (Crook) fouled out there, all of our players just kept their composure and kept playing ball,” Kelley said. “For a young team, we were real pleased with that. That’s how you’ve got to do it. You’ve got to keep focused on the game.”

After the crowd was controlled, play resumed after approximately two minutes.

It was a significant win for Red Level because the Tigers had already lost to W.S. Neal twice times this season.

“That was our third time as a close game like that,” Kelley said. “It was a hard-fought game.

“We got beat the first two times on a last-second shot,” he said. “We could’ve easily done it again. We lost by two at their place and at the (Flomaton) tournament we lost by three.”

Red Level (4-6) outscored W.S. Neal 13-11 after the first quarter and took a 29-19 lead at halftime.

Red Level’s Troy Nolen led with 17 points and was 9-of-12 at the free throw line. Trey Salter and Preston Ryce also had good nights for the Tigers with 14 and 12 points, respectively.

In addition, Red Level’s O.J. McGee had three dunks during the game and finished with eight points and a team-high 10 rebounds.

W.S. Neal cut into Red Level’s lead by three points early in the fourth quarter. The Tigers took over from there, scoring 16 points compared to Neal’s 12.

Kelley said his team’s “bench play” did well Monday night.

“For the first time, all of our bench play has finally seemed like it has come around,” he said. “We got some big minutes out of some players that just stepped up. I think that helped us down the stretch. We had a little bit more strength I thought.”

“It was a huge win for us,” Kelley said. “I’m proud of our guys and I hope we can get the semester exam week finished (this week).

“It was good to get the first win here and that was our first one at home,” he said. “We’ve been on the road for nine straight games and it was sure nice to get back. We’re looking forward to doing battle with Florala.”

In girls varsity action Monday night, W.S. Neal won 34-27.

The Tigers will be on the road Friday night against Florala. The B-team starts at 4:30.