WEST FRANKFORT — Du Quoin blistered the nets in the first three quarters taking a 28-point lead at one point to win its third game in a row with a 67-52 win over West Frankfort in a cross-division River-to-River Conference boys basketball game Tuesday.
"It was nice to jump out 23-9 to start the game, have a 21-point lead at the half and push the lead further in the third," said Du Quoin coach Justin Barrington. "Our guys played a pretty good help defense the first three quarters. Holding a team to 27 points after three quarters we’ll take that anytime, especially on the road."
Du Quoin, from the Mississippi Division improved to .500 at 12-12 while West Frankfort from the Ohio, who came back with a strong fourth quarter, fell to 4-17.
"They had several kids shoot the ball well from the perimeter and when we finally got out to contest their shooters that obviously left open the middle, so it was pick your poison," said West Frankfort coach Kevin Toney. "They’re athletic and skilled and they can all shoot it and they give us some difficult matchups because of their size and length. I was glad our kids hung in there and competed in the second half."
The Indians finished with three players in double-digit scoring led by sophomore guard/forward Lamontay Daughtery with 18, followed by 11 each from Josh Heape and Braeden Pursell. Will Woodside just missed that distinction with nine points.
"Having almost four guys in double figures is always a pleasant surprise," Barrington said. "They didn’t take contested shots, but took good shots and we had a couple times we passed up a good shot to take a great shot and that’s showing some signs of maturity. We’re excited about seeing that tonight."
The Indians shot over 55.6 percent from the field over the first three quarters (20-of-36), including 5-of-7 from the beyond the arc in the first half.
"We moved the basketball very well," Barrington said. "Almost all of our points were off of assists and that was nice to see the guys sharing the basketball."
West Frankfort got on the board first with a 3-pointer by Keagan Thrash 25 seconds into the game, but the Du Quoin responded with 12 straight points, including back-to-back 3-pointers by Pursell and Daughtery to get the run going.
Lucas Wolfe snapped the run with a layup, but that didn’t stop the Indians momentum as they extended the lead to 14-points with 1:36 remaining in the first on another from beyond the arc by Pursell.
The two teams traded baskets as the Indians led 23-9 heading into the second quarter. Du Quoin shot 8-of-14 from the field in the first quarter and 3-of-5 from beyond the arc as well as 3-of-4 from the free throw line.
Du Quoin took up where it left off in the second quarter scoring the first seven points before Brendan Russell sank a 3-pointer with 1:41 remaining in the half to cut the lead back to 18.
Pursell made his third 3-pointer of the half 12 seconds later and followed with a layup to extend the lead to 23. Josh Melvin scored with 31 seconds remaining to cut the lead to 21 at the half.
The Indians held a 26-point lead with 2:35 remaining in the fourth, but the Redbirds finished strong with a 13-2 run that included two 3-pointers by Gavin Gaylor.
Kyle Hammers led the Redbirds with 13 points with Gaylor and Brendan Russell finishing with eight points each.