Red Devils to use games for experience

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By Mark Clark

With the annual William Henry Shaw Christmas Tournament losing much of the luster it has had over the years, Central coach Bobby Wright says he will use the event to give his team some needed playing experience to prepare it for the coming area slate. The tournament will not crown a champion and has no elimination. Instead, the tournament will give each participating team three games to play.

The Shaw tournament is the second of two tournaments the Red Devils will play in over the next 10 days. Before heading to the Shaw, Central will travel to Dothan for the Northview Invitational. Central received a bye in the first round which began last night. The Red Devils will play their first game on Friday against an opponent to be determined. The Red Devils will also play on Saturday whether they win or lose in the first round.

“The Shaw is not like the old tournament that was held. I really do not like the formats that have been used in recent years. I like the old format. But, it is what it is. I’m going to use the three games I have to get my guys some playing experience. We are young and we need to play as many games as we can before we get into the area schedule,” Wright said.

At the Shaw tournament, Central will play Kendrick at Spencer at 5 p.m. ET on Dec. 27. On Dec. 28, the Red Devils will play at Northside against Northside in an 8 p.m. ET game. ON Saturday, Dec. 29, Central will play Spencer in an 8:30 p.m. ET game at the Columbus Civic Center.

Last week, Central went 2-1 with its second loss coming to Sidney Lanier. The Red Devils defeated Lanett and Hardaway.

“I am not going to make excuses. We should have beaten Sidney Lanier. I expected them to be a good team. They were 9-0 coming in here and ranked in the Class 6A Top 10. We played without Tremere Brown, but we still should have won. Tremere was sick last week,” Wright said.

Central held a 14-11 lead on Sidney Lanier after a quarter and 23-17 at halftime. In the third quarter, Central saw Sidney Lanier erase that lead as the Poets outscored the Red Devils 25-10 to lead 42-33. Central outscored Sidney Lanier 19-16 in the final quarter, but it was not enough to pull back ahead.

Devonte Mathews led Central with 15 points in the loss. Josh Biggs scored 10 points for Central.

Against Lanett, Central won 46-30. The Red Devils ran ahead to a 17-10 lead in the first quarter and led 26-18 at the half. At the end of three quarters, Central led 34-26.

Tremaine Porter led the Red Devils in scoring with 20 points. Mathews had 12 points.

In their last game of the week, Central ran past Hardaway 80-53. Central led 21-15 at the end of one quarter. At halftime, Central led 46-27. When the third quarter ended, the Red Devils led 66-38.

Porter had 24 points to lead Central’s scorers. Brown had 13 points, Mathews had 12 points and Jerrell Bellamy scored 10 points for Central.