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Cold start dooms Blue Devils

December 17, 2010

Maiden's Nate Johnson shoots during the Blue Devils' Wednesday night loss.

The frigid air of Catawba County wasn’t the only thing that was cold Wednesday night.
Maiden’s offensive attack was just as icy.
The Blue Devils fell behind West Caldwell 22-2 at the end of the first quarter on the way to a 30-point loss in Maiden.
“I think we started out real flat. We had a bad first quarter,” said Maiden boys basketball coach Doug Miller. “A lot of that is to their credit, but for six out of the first eight games this year, we have
started with a slow start, and we got behind the eight ball.”
While Maiden got decent shots in the first quarter, the ball only fell once — when Nate Johnson hit a mid-lane jumper. On the opposite end, West Caldwell quickly found its rhythm and seemed to hit every shot.
“When we come out of the huddle, we struggle to start with,” Miller said, adding that means changes are coming for the Blue Devils’ pre-game warm-up routine. “We have got to find a way to come out of the locker room with some fire.”
The Blue Devils managed to find their shots as the game wore on, but the hole they dug to start was too much to overcome. Maiden trailed 38-14 at halftime.
“Once that first quarter was over, I thought we settled in a little bit,” Miller said. “We started to be patient on offense and a little more disciplined on defense, but give them some credit. They are a good basketball team.”
Led by Chris Michaux, Kendall Jones and Antonio Dula, Miller agreed that West Caldwell is probably the best team in the Catawba Athletic Conference right now. Michaux tied a game-high with 15 points, while Jones scored 14 and Antonio Dula and Nigel Robinson each scored 10.
Maiden started putting points on the board in the second half, behind a 15-point night for Jason Gantt, who hit five three-pointers — four in the second half. Holden Cox scored 8. Nate Johnson added 7, and Jalen Gibbs scored 6.
Even with the loss, Miller said the 2010 Blue Devils squad is “head and shoulders” above where they were last year. Last year, Maiden finished the season 1-22 and was winless in conference play.
“We have had a couple of close games,” he said of the Maiden team that falls to 3-5 overall and 0-2 in conference action. “We felt like, at times, we have played really well, and at times, we didn’t. We have got to be a lot more consistent. We still have lapses where we get back to where we were last year, but we have got to stop that and put all that behind us.”
West Caldwell improves to 5-3 overall and 2-0 in conference play.

Girls
West Caldwell 51, Maiden 33

For the second time in less than 24 hours, Maiden’s Lady Blue Devils faced a full-court pressing opponent on its own floor.
And for the second time in one day, the Lady Blue Devils suffered a loss sparked by a quick start by the visitors.
West Caldwell’s Stephanie Honeycutt scored 17 and Ravin Coulter added 11 to lead the Lady Warriors past Maiden on Wednesday, 51-33.
After building a 15-7 lead after one quarter, West Caldwell led 26-16 at halftime. Maiden only scored three points - all on free throws - in the third quarter, while the visitors added another 12.
Sabrien Gaither led the young Maiden team with 13, while Lindsey Klinck added 10.

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