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A new coach and new players were not enough to lift the Williamstown boys' basketball team past its rival, Grant County, as a horrid shooting night combined with a lax defensive effort were too much for the Demons to overcome, falling 84-57 to the Braves on Dec. 8. The loss was the Demons' sixth consecutive to Grant County.
"Grant was red-hot, they shot well and we couldn't throw it in the ocean tonight. That's the story of this game," Williamstown coach Stacey May said. "We had a bad shooting night, and we did not show up defensively at all."
For the Braves, who improved to 2-2 with the win, they got a solid scoring night from both Cody Kinman and Lucas Sharp. Kinman finished with a game-high 27 points on 11-of-16 shooting from the field, while Sharp was seven-of-11 from the field en route to 15 points. He also dished out five assists and recorded three steals.
"I was a little nervous because they are our cross-town rival and you see them everywhere. It was a big game, and it's a big win for us. It was big for us to come out and get up on them early so they knew they couldn't play with us," said Sharp.
GCHS head coach Ron Kinmon said the play of Sharp was crucial in the Braves' victory.
"Lucas is truly playing like a senior, and he is leading by example and playing hard every night. We got a great effort out of him," Kinmon said.
The Braves opened the game on a 10-2 run backed by three baskets from Sharp and two others from Kinman and never looked back.
"It is a nice win and it got us our first district win. I was concerned because Williamstown is a good team. They've played close, and I was nervous about them," Kinmon said.
Williamstown's Patrick Spoonamore hit a basket to cut the deficit to 15-9, prompting Kinmon to call a time out and his team responded by holding onto a 24-15 lead after the first quarter.
"I cannot explain it. We had a bad shooting night. If we shoot well and play as a team, I feel like we can beat anyone, but it just wasn't our night. They hit their shots and we didn't," Spoonamore said.
The Braves put the game out of reach after opening the second quarter on a 11-2 run to push their lead to 35-17 with just over four minutes remaining in the first half. The lead swelled to 40-19 following a basket by Kinman and Grant County settled in for a 44-27 halftime advantage.
Grant County's lead stretched to 66-37 after the third quarter and with approximately four minutes remaining, the lead was extended to 80-45 following a three-pointer by C.J. Parker.
May said he felt like his team quit for the first time all season.
"After the third quarter, we laid down and quit. I think the kids wanted this one so bad that they put all their emotions into it, and I hate it for them. We'll bounce back," May said.
The Demons were led by Jacob Kramer's 16 points and six rebounds.
"Grant came to play and they knocked down some shots. When we play as a team, we are as good as anyone we will play. I think we will bounce back from the loss, and in all reality, it was just another game. We will be fine," Kramer said.
Both May and Kinman said a defensive adjustment by Grant County was the difference in Kramer's output not being higher.
"They were in a 3-2 zone, limiting Jacob on the inside and allowing us to shoot it from the outside. We didn't shoot well and we gave them absolutely no reason to come out of their zone," May said.
"We went from a 3-2 zone to a 1-3-1 to match up with Jacob in the middle, and we did a good job of mixing it up," Kinmon said.
Kramer said that the changing defense took the Demons out of their offensive rhythm.
"Whenever they went to that extended 3-2 zone I was able to score points, but then they packed it in and it was tough for us," Kramer said.
Despite the loss, May was quickly looking forward to the Jan. 8, 2008 meeting at home against Grant County.
"Grant County has to come to Williamstown. Give Ron Kinmon credit, he did a nice job and they showed up. I think our kids will look forward to Jan. 8," May said.
In addition to the scoring output by Kinman and Sharp, the Braves got nine points from Joe Soden, eight from Kody Thompson, six each from Caleb Kinmon and Parker, five from Ethan Shipp, four from Randy Morris, and two each from Sean Henry and Livingood.
The four points for Morris was a career high for the football player turned basketball player.
"It is nice to come back, score some points and now I am in the record books forever. It's a great feeling to beat them. I thought it would be a battle, and Williamstown is not as bad as people think, but we were fortunate to hit some shots and get the win," Morris said.
After Kramer's production, the Demons got 13 points from Spoonamore and 11 from Wes Philpot. Other scorers were: Zack Anglin and Patrick Gatewood with four each, Dustin Bryan with three, and Storm Mason, Michael Walter and Devon Hurley, all with two points.
Williamstown15 12 10 20 -57
Grant County24 20 22 18 -84
Williamstown (57): Jacob Kramer 14, Patrick Spoonamore 13, Wes Philpott 11, Zack Anglin 4, Patrick Gatewood 4, Dustin Bryant 3, Storm Mason 2, Michael Walter 2, Devon Hurley 2.
Grant County (84): Cody Kinman 27, Lucas Sharp 15, Joe Soden 9, Kody Thompson 8, Caleb Kinmon 6, C.J. Parker 6, Ethan Shipp 5, Randy Morris 4, Sean Henry 2, Jarrod Livingood 2.