Sexton boys roll to third straight victory

Sexton boys roll to third straight victory

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Sexton boys roll to third straight victory

Sexton's Karl Brooks goes up for a layup between Bath's Max Tiraboschi, left, and Jacob Deveau, right, Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017, in Lansing, Mich. Sexton won 82-39.

Sexton’s Karl Brooks goes up for a layup between Bath’s Max Tiraboschi, left, and Jacob Deveau, right, Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017, in Lansing, Mich. Sexton won 82-39.

LANSING – It hasn’t been smooth sailing in the early stages of Otis Davis’ debut season leading the boys basketball program at his alma mater.

But he knows it’s not about the way things start.

And the first-year coach is hoping the finish will be much better for the Sexton Big Reds.

Sexton has made strides toward its quest to finish the season strong in recent weeks. And that continued Tuesday night with an 82-39 nonconference victory over Bath at the Dr. Clyde D. Carnegie Sports Arena.

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The win was the third straight for the Big Reds (5-9) since halting a six-game losing streak.

“To me, it’s what you do at the end of the season,” Davis said. “It’s not how you start, but you finish. We’re trying to finish strong these last six or seven games and go into the tournament with good momentum. That’s what we’re about. It’s about getting our momentum going and hopefully doing a good job with the rest of the season and into the playoffs.”

Jabril Rahim said things were disappointing during a first half of the season where the Big Reds won just two games and dropped several close contests. D’Carlo Manuel credits some minor adjustments and playing more as a team to improve recent results for Sexton, which avenged an early-season loss to Jackson during its winning streak.

“We were basically just tired of losing,” said Rahim, who had 15 points Tuesday. “Our coach was tired of us losing and he pushes us every day in practice. We owe it to him to win.”

The Big Reds dominated from the start against Bath (5-8), opening the game on a 15-0 run. Zhervontae Smith had a game-high 21 points to lead five players in double figures scoring for Sexton.

Marcus Alston had 18 points, Karl Brooks scored 15 and Manuel added 10 points as Sexton had its second-highest scoring game of the season.

“It’s a big confidence booster,” Smith said. “We’ve got our homecoming against East Lansing next game.

“I’d say that (confidence is) the most important part because (we’re) going into that game feeling good about (ourselves).”

Harrison Gilstrap had eight points to lead Bath.

Contact Brian Calloway at bcalloway@lsj.com. Follow him on Twitter @brian_calloway.

Sexton's Khari Foy-Walton, center, grabs a rebound against Bath Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017, in Lansing, Mich. Sexton won 82-39.

Sexton’s Khari Foy-Walton, center, grabs a rebound against Bath Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017, in Lansing, Mich. Sexton won 82-39.

Bath's Cade Bucht pushes the ball against Sexton Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017, in Lansing, Mich. Sexton won 82-39.

Bath’s Cade Bucht pushes the ball against Sexton Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017, in Lansing, Mich. Sexton won 82-39.

Sexton's Brandon Powers, right, and Bath's Jakob Cain reach for a rebound Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017, in Lansing, Mich. Sexton won 82-39.

Sexton’s Brandon Powers, right, and Bath’s Jakob Cain reach for a rebound Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017, in Lansing, Mich. Sexton won 82-39.

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