Former teammates at the University of Louisville, Tony Williams got bragging rights over DeJuan Wheat on Tuesday night.
Cameron Maddox scored 18 points and Jaylon Hall added 16 as the Williams-coached Doss High School boys basketball team beat Wheat-coached Valley, 60-44 at the Vikings’ J.C. Cantrell Gymnasium.
The playing careers of Williams and Wheat overlapped at U of L for one season in 1996-97, when Williams was a freshman and Wheat was a senior. That Cardinals squad finished 26-9, falling to North Carolina in the elite eight of the NCAA Tournament.
“He’s one of my favorite players of all time and a very close friend,” Williams said. “I’m really, really, really happy tonight.”
Doss improved to 11-5 in their first game back after a busy holiday schedule, which included three tournaments. The Dragons lost in the consolation final of the King of the Bluegrass Holiday Classic at Fairdale, won the title at the Paducah Tilghman Christmas Tournament and finished fifth in the Meijer Holiday Classic at Bowling Green.
Maddox said the team bonded during the trips to Paducah and Bowling Green and enjoyed the time away from home.
“Basketball is life for us,” Maddox said. “We don’t get many breaks, and that’s how we like it. We just keep going every day.”
Eric George scored 12 points and Xavier Johnson and Curt Lewis both added 10 for Valley (9-3), which hadn’t played since a 75-57 victory over Henderson County on Dec. 22.
In his first season at Valley, Wheat said his team was rusty after a “terrible week of practice.”
“I’m really disappointed in this loss, but we will get it fixed this week,” Wheat said. “We can’t beat anybody with the zero energy we had tonight. It’s not acceptable. …
“You have to give Doss credit. They’re a well-coached team, but when I look back at this game it starts with us having zero energy.”
Doss took control early, putting together a 15-3 run to take an 18-8 lead early in the second quarter. Maddox hit two 3-pointers during the run on his way to 15 first-half points.
“I can’t say they were the smartest shots, but I felt like I was open and had the shot,” Maddox said. “I’ve been working on it all season, trying to perfect my craft.”
Cam Wilson’s 3-pointer pulled the Vikings within 35-27 midway through the third quarter, but that’s as close as they would get.
Shawn’Kel Knight-Goff’s put-back basket sparked a 7-2 run that made it 42-29 and highlighted the Dragons’ game-long advantage on the offensive boards.
“We saw it on film and knew one part of the game we could take advantage of was the offensive boards,” Williams said. “We started early.”
Valley has played all season without two key pieces who suffered injuries during football season – junior Damont Walter (11.4 ppg last season) and senior Devious Brooks (6.2 ppg). Wheat is hopeful Walter (meniscus tear) will return later this season but Brooks (broken leg) is questionable to be back.
Williams said he was impressed with the work Wheat has done in his first season at Valley.
“He kind of in the same position I was when I first took the (Doss) job,” Williams said. “He has some clean-up work to do, and I think he’s done a wonderful job to this point. On film, we really had to do our homework to make sure we had the game plan ready for Valley.”
Jason Frakes can be reached at (502) 582-4046 and email@example.com.
DOSS 60, VALLEY 44
Zha Cobi Stokes 2p; Jeremiah Boyd 2p; DaRon Washington 4p; Terez Traynor 2p; Stephon Franklin 9p; Jaylon Hall 16p; Shawn’Kel Knight-Goff 4p; Cameron Maddox 18p; Meith Reclow 3p.
Raekwon Evans 2p; Cam Wilson 7p; Eric George 12p; Curt Lewis 10p; B.J. Anderson 3p; Xavier Johnson 10p.