Devils zoom past Floyd

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Grayson County put up 53 second-half points, rallying from 11 points down to top the Buffaloes, 77-69.

By Craig Worrell, Sports Editor

 FLOYD -- According to his coach, Bubba Bowen pretty much carried Grayson County offensively in the first half. According to the stats, Floyd County sharpshooter Tucker Crawford carried Bowen like a backpack in the second half.

After accounting for 10 of Grayson County’s 24 first-half points, Bowen was all over Crawford on the defensive end after intermission, holding the Floyd shooter to a respectable 12 in the second half. Both elements were key as the Blue Devils rallied past the Buffaloes for a 77-69 nondistrict win Tuesday. “We played straight man [defense] but Bubba wasn’t playing help-side,” Grayson County coach Lucas Austin said. “He just guarded [Crawford] without helping. I thought Bubba had an excellent game. He played hard all night.” Crawford nearly matched Grayson’s team total in scoring in the first half, popping five 3-pointers and tallying 23 points as the Buffaloes (1-1) took a 34-24 halftime lead. But the Blue Devils (4-1) opened the second half on a 10-2 run and would catch the Buffaloes at 44 by the end of the third quarter. Eric Harvey scored Grayson’s final eight points of the period, including two tying foul shots to close the quarter. The Devils took the lead seconds into the fourth as Tyler Rutherford swiped the inbounds pass and converted a three-point play, then came up with another steal, feeding Steven Eller for an easy bucket. The quick start sparked a scoring frenzy that saw the two teams combine for 58 points in the final eight minutes. Harvey and Mikey Rodgers scored from the paint to widen the lead to 55-48, prompting a Floyd timeout, and Crawford was left alone coming out of the break and drained an uncontested 3-pointer to pull Floyd County to within 55-51 with 6:22 to go. Crawford had been limited to five third-quarter points by Bowen and scored 12 in the second half, leading all scorers with 36 points for the game. Cole Peters’ three-point play had Floyd within 65-59 at the 4:02 mark before Rutherford canned a trey from the corner to open an 8-2 run that put the Devils ahead by 11 points, 73-62, with 1:17 left. Rutherford and Harvey combined to sink 12-of-13 free throws in the fourth quarter, including 5-of-6 in the final 77 seconds, to seal the win. “My guys came out in the second half with their heads on straight and ran the floor and played good defense,” said Austin. “We’re just glad to get a win here.” Harvey led Grayson County with 26 points, 19 coming in the second half, and Rutherford scored all 16 of hits points after halftime. Eller finished with 12 points, 10 in the second half, as the Blue Devils outscored the Buffaloes 53-35 in the final two quarters. Bowen tallied 14 points, 13 rebounds and five steals. The first half wasn’t nearly as productive for anyone not named Crawford. Grayson barely shot 30 percent from the floor and trailed virtually the entire half, although Bowen drove the lane for consecutive baskets early in the second. But Crawford countered with three 3-pointers in a two-minute stretch to give Floyd a 28-17 lead. “We knew coming in that this would be a tough place to play,” Austin said. “The first half they got us back on our heels, and they did what we like to do, which is get up and down the floor, and they shot a lot of layups on us. They’ve got a good team and they played hard.” The Buffaloes would sink 6-of-14 from behind the arc in the half, compared to just 2-of-16 after halftime. “That’s a good basketball team and we’re fortunate to come out of here with a win,” said Austin. “I’m proud of my guys. They worked real hard.”   Grayson County......11  13  20  33––77 Floyd County..........17  17  10  25––69

Grayson County (4-1) Rutherford 3 9-11 16, Eller 6 0-0 12, Rodgers 1 2-2 4, Cornett 1 0-0 3, Harvey 8 10-13 26, Bowen 7 0-4 14, Blizzard 1 0-0 2. Totals 27 21-30 77. Floyd County (1-1) Crawford 12 6-6 36, Jones 3 3-4 10, Coartney 4 0-0 9, Harris 2 1-2 5, Peters 2 3-7 7, Conduff 1 0-0 2. Totals 24 13-19 69.

Three-point field goals – Grayson County 2-12 (Eller, Rutherford), Floyd County 8-30 (Crawford 6, Jones, Coartney). Rebounds – Grayson County 53 (Bowen 13), Floyd County 44 (Coartney 10). Turnovers – Grayson County 27, Floyd County 29. Team fouls – Grayson County 21, Floyd County 23. Fouled out – Eller, Rodgers, Blizzard. Technical fouls – Peters. JV – Grayson County 68-54.