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Central earns rare win on Holt's home floor

Devin Crawford led Holt with 24 points, but he couldn’t get this shot past the long arms of Antwon Bryant (40). (Photo by Michelle Lepianka Carter)

HOLT | Jevaris Richey and Vincent Davis combined for 44 points Friday in leading the Central High School boys basketball team to a 55-43 victory over Holt.

"Holt is a team that always gives us trouble at their place, so we needed to win this one," Central coach Robert Watson said. "It says a whole lot when you play a team that you struggle with at their home and you finally get a chance to win one. It gives the kids a chance to realize that they can go even a little further than that.

"I couldn’t get relaxed because it was a big game for us, even though we’re not in the same area. Any time you’re playing a team from your own county, it’s big."

Richey, a junior guard, made four 3-pointers and scored with a game-high 31 points. Davis, a junior forward, added 13 points.

Richey had six rebounds and four assists and went 6 for 7 from the foul line in the second half.

"I thought he played well," Watson said. "I definitely appreciate the way he shot free throws. Of course, he had a few more turnovers than I care for, but all in all he really played a great game."

Davis converted three three-point plays and scored 11 points in the second half.

Central (11-3), which led 23-21 at the start of the third quarter, built the lead to 40-25 on a three-point play by Davis. The Ironmen (10-7) cut the deficit to 40-28 as Kernard Williams made a free throw and Brian Murray made a layup. In the fourth quarter, Holt cut the deficit to 51-43 on two free throws by Jailon Foster and one foul shot by Shamar Sims. Richey answered by sinking two free throws with 42 seconds left. Richey provided the assist on Antwon Bryant’s layup, which was the last basket for the Falcons.

"Our guys have a tendency to throw balls away," Watson said. "We have a tendency to make silly fouls that cause other teams to hang around in the game."

Devin Crawford, a senior guard, led Holt with 24 points. Dee Hughes, Murray and Foster scored four points each.

"They had a lot to do with those shots we were taking missing," Holt coach Torrance Beard said. "My guys just wouldn’t be aggressive on the offensive end.

"A couple of those guys that didn’t play much got out there and really gave a good effort. We just never could get in a rhythm. I couldn’t find five guys just to do something positive all at one time."

Holt missed 15 of 28 free throws.

"We shoot free throws for at least five to 10 minutes every day in different situations, even with consequences behind missing them in practice, and we still shoot like that," Beard said.

Central plays at Tuscaloosa County on Tuesday. The Ironmen play at Fayette County next Friday.