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Durham’s shooting clinic leads Crestwood to rout over Field

Durham’s shooting clinic leads Crestwood to rout over Field


By Tom Nader

Publisher and Editor

It was Youth Night at Field High School on Tuesday night so it was only fitting that one of the most electric performances that Portage County has seen this year came from the youngest player in Crestwood’s starting lineup.

Crestwood’s Brody Durham elevates as he releases one of his seven made 3-pointers on Tuesday. Defending is Field’s Landon Wilmoth.
Paisley Nader/Portage Sports

Red Devils freshman point guard Brody Durham delivered a career night, scoring 34 points, including seven 3-pointers, to catapult his team to a dominating 71-43 non-league victory over the host Falcons.

Durham shot 11-of-21 from the field and was also 5-of-7 from the free-throw line and turned the night into his own personal video game from the start of the first quarter.

The 5-foot-10 phenom scored 13 first-quarter points, including three 3-pointers, then added another 3-pointer in the second quarter before blitzing the scoreboard again in the third quarter for 14 points.

Durham’s third quarter featured a series of heat-check 3s that continually pushed further out, with the last coming from the volleyball line, before exiting the game early in the fourth quarter.

“Brody scored 23 for us in our last game, and I think that things on offense are really starting to slow down for him out there,” Crestwood head coach Josh Jakacki said. “You could tell tonight that he was feeling it and it showed. If you watch the way we play, we give our players the freedom to test those shots. It comes from the silent grind during the summer. They earn the right to go for it and if they are given the opportunity, they can let it rip. We trust them.”

Even with Durham’s huge first-quarter outburst, the Falcons managed to stay in the game with their own hot start offensively.

Field (4-17) made its first six shots of the game and used that momentum to keep up with the Red Devils and trail just 20-18 near the 5-minute mark of the second quarter.

Crestwood’s Dekota Johnson goes up for a layup.
Paisley Nader/Portage Sports

Durham handed the baton over to Dekota Johnson, who quickly changed the complexion of the game with a mini 8-0 run that extended Crestwood’s lead to 28-18 at 3:49.

Johnson, who finished with 14 points, buried back-to-back 3-pointers, then used those two long-range makes to set up a pump-fake dribble drive from the left wing that he finished at the rim with a left-handed layup.

It was part of a 16-6 run to close out the first half, with Crestwood owning a 36-24 lead.

Crestwood (18-2) then blew the game open, using Durham’s third-quarter offensive barrage to outscore Field 22-11 and take a 58-35 lead into the fourth quarter.

While the Devils’ defense faltered early, it eventually left its fingerprints on the victory.

After Field started the game 6-of-6, the Devils forced the Falcons into just nine makes in their next 42 attempts (21 percent). For the game, Field was 15-48 (31 percent), including 3-of-20 from 3-point range and not much help at the free-throw line, where they were 10-of-24.

“We started well, but then simply struggled,” Falcons coach Alex Blake said. “We did not get enough action downhill, not enough extra passes and took some shots that were outside of what we were looking for.”

Field was led in scoring by Manny Smith, who totaled 14 points. He was joined in double-digits by Grady Eader, who used a 7-for-10 night at the charity stripe to highlight his 13-point game.

Field’s Grady Eader leaps into the air to flick a pass across the baseline to one of his teammates during Tuesday’s first half.
Paisley Nader/Portage Sports

Johnson and Durham were Crestwood’s pair in double figures for scoring, with James Durham pulling down a game-high 13 rebounds for the Devils, who played for long periods of the game without offensive leaders Charlie Schweickert and Johnson because of foul trouble.

“I thought Jake Eyerman came in and gave us some really good minutes tonight,” Jakacki said. “He was really good on defense and rebounded well. Others stepped up tonight, too. It is good to have Ty back (from injury), and he is rounding himself back into form, and players like Augie Schweickert, who is just a real winner with the way he plays and what he brings to this team.”

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