Lordstown knocks off Chalker for 1st win

LORDSTOWN — It was a Northeastern Athletic Conference battle when Lordstown hosted Chalker on Tuesday, and the Red Devils came away with a 50-47 victory.

“I’m proud of these guys,” Lordstown coach Tyler Spencer said. “We only have eight guys on the team. I’m just so happy for these guys. It’s been a long season, and they deserve it.”

The Wildcats were ahead 15-10 at the end of the first quarter, thanks to the work of junior Daniel Keller (team-high 18 points) and freshman Tegun Noble.

However, the Devils gained the advantage in a back-and-forth affair that came down to the final buzzer.

Sophomore Seth Chambers nailed a 3-pointer from the corner to put Lordstown in front. But, Tanner Kelson had a steal, and a layup, and it was all tied up 25-25 at halftime.

Lordstown senior JT Adams (16 points, 10 rebounds) came out strong to start the second half. Adams swished one from downtown. Then, he had a pair of steals, and he took the ball the length of the court and completed an and-one.

“We played hard,” Adams said. “We played with a lot of effort. We played good defense, and we rebounded the ball. Plus, we ran our offense correctly.

“We knew we had to bring more effort in the second half. We had to keep the turnovers to a minimum, and we had to rebound the ball. That’s what wins basketball games.”

Lordstown built a 37-29 lead before Chalker went on a 6-0 run to close out the third quarter, but the Devils were ahead 37-35 heading to the fourth.

The Wildcats ramped up the defensive pressure, and junior Nicholas Karr (11 points) completed an and-one, as Chalker grabbed the lead 42-41 with 5 minutes left in regulation.

“Hats off to Lordstown,” said Wildcats coach Michael Karr. “We didn’t execute, especially down the stretch. We only have one senior (Andrew Kirkland). He’s the sole survivor of the program for the last couple of years. Lordstown played like they wanted this game more than us.”

And, freshman Gannon Force (game-high 21 points) had a lot to do with it. Force had multiple steals, and he went 4-for-4 from the free-throw line in the fourth to help seal it.

“My teammates stepped up tonight,” Force said. “Colton Hickman stepped up. JT Adams played a great game. We were confident down the stretch.”

The Devils missed a chance to put the game out of reach at the line with 6 seconds to go. But, the Wildcats failed to send it to overtime with a last second shot.

“We’re a very young team,” Spencer said. “We’re led by our freshman Gannon Force. Our senior, JT Adams, had a heck of a game tonight. He showed up. He did a little bit of everything. He scored and rebounded. He’s a leader out there. I’m very proud of him.”



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