While Jacksonville again gave up a big lead, they still had more than enough to post an 80-67 win over the Hot Springs Trojans Friday night.
The Red Devils led 21-8 after the first quarter and built that lead to 43-26 by halftime.
The second half didn’t go as well as the Trojans picked up the offensive pace and started getting to the free throw line.
“We got sloppy on defense,” said Jacksonville coach Victor Joyner. “That and they realized they could start driving inside and get a foul called just about every time.”
Jacksonville got the majority of their scoring from Devin Campbell and Sergio Berkley. Campbell led all scorers with 29 points, including 18 in the first half. Berkley scored 13 points in the first half on his way to 23 points.
Hot Springs briefly cut their deficit to single digits at 53-44 at the start of the fourth quarter. A three-point play by Demarion Freeman put the Devils back up by double figures for good.
“They’re trying to pull together as a team, trying to find that leadership and playing for each other and not themselves,” Joyner said. “But this team is a work in progress and probably will be a work in progress all season. They’re starting to get it though.”
Besides Campbell and Berkley’s big night, freshman Tyree Appleby added nine points, while Freeman scored six points.