— In recent middle school basketball contests:
Collins maintained contact for most of the evening against a talented Beckley-Stratton squad before seeing the game slip away in the latter stages.
“It (the deficit) was single digits most of the game,” said Collins coach Andy Kees. “Beckley-Stratton is about as good as it gets around here.”
Stratton beat Collins by 53 points in the first meeting.
Michael Martin tallied 15 points to lead Collins. Other scorers were: Jacob Cassidy, 5; Dallas Jones, 4; William Gibson, 4; Tyrese Selinger, 2; and Isaiah Moore, 2.
Tarek Payne scored 21 and Levonte Carter 12 for Beckley-Stratton.
Collins (6-9) played at Ansted last night.
After that, the Little Devils will be idle until the county tournament, which will be held on Feb. 13-15 at the Fayette County Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Building in Fayetteville. In a departure from recent years, during which the teams were divided into Class AA and Class A divisions at separate locations, the field will include Ansted, Collins, Fayetteville, Meadow Bridge and Valley, in addition to Saints Peter & Paul Catholic School. Seedings have yet to be determined.
The Little Devil boys avenged an earlier setback to Valley, handing the Greyhound boys their third loss in 15 games.
“We didn’t come out with any energy, and we missed easy shots,” said VMS assistant coach John Whitt. “We were just outplayed.”
“We played real well,” said Collins coach Andy Kees.
Kees said a key for his team was to keep a lid on Valley’s Tracy Conliffe, who burned the Little Devils for 32 points in the teams’ first meeting. “Obviously, it all starts with containing Tracy Conliffe,” Kees said. “Our main goal was to keep him slowed down.”
They did, limiting Conliffe to three points.
Michael Martin scored 16 points to lead Collins. Others in the scoring column were: Tyrese Selinger, 8; Jacob Cassidy, 7; William Gibson, 4; Dallas Jones, 2; and Andrew Work, 1.
Nathan Kincaid netted 10 points to pace Valley, which hosts Fayetteville on Thursday.