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The frigid air of Catawba County wasnâ€™t the only thing that was cold Wednesday night.
Maidenâ€™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.
â€śI think we started out real flat. We had a bad first quarter,â€ť said Maiden boys basketball coach Doug Miller. â€śA 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.â€ť
While Maiden got decent shots in the first quarter, the ball only fell once â€” when Nate Johnson hit a mid-lane jumper. On the opposite end, West Caldwell quickly found its rhythm and seemed to hit every shot.
â€śWhen we come out of the huddle, we struggle to start with,â€ť Miller said, adding that means changes are coming for the Blue Devilsâ€™ pre-game warm-up routine. â€śWe have got to find a way to come out of the locker room with some fire.â€ť
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.
â€śOnce that first quarter was over, I thought we settled in a little bit,â€ť Miller said. â€śWe started to be patient on offense and a little more disciplined on defense, but give them some credit. They are a good basketball team.â€ť
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 â€” 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 â€śhead and shouldersâ€ť above where they were last year. Last year, Maiden finished the season 1-22 and was winless in conference play.
â€śWe have had a couple of close games,â€ť he said of the Maiden team that falls to 3-5 overall and 0-2 in conference action. â€śWe felt like, at times, we have played really well, and at times, we didnâ€™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.â€ť
West Caldwell improves to 5-3 overall and 2-0 in conference play.
West Caldwell 51, Maiden 33
For the second time in less than 24 hours, Maidenâ€™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 Caldwellâ€™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.