With opposing coaches generating as many defensive schemes as they can think of in an effort slow down Foss High star Dezymn Trent, it often leaves ample opportunities for other Falcons to have a big night.
Such was the case Wednesday night in the Falcons’ Class 3A West Central District opening boys’ basketball game against Decatur.
Guard Jericho Ballard scored a game-high 23 points and Olashawn Miller added 12 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks as Foss led wire-to-wire in a 65-53 win at Franklin Pierce High School.
The Falcons advance to play Columbia River at 7:45 p.m. Friday at Columbia River High School.
“We stepped up and hit big shots as a team because they were trying to box and one Dez,” Ballard said.
Despite the constant attention the Gators put on Trent, he still had a solid night, finishing with 20 points, seven rebounds and four steals.
“We know that everybody tries to beat us by stopping Dez, so we talk a lot about other guys stepping up and making plays,” Foss coach Mike Cocke’ said. “In the fourth quarter there were so many slashes (from) guys cutting to the basket. We don’t care how many points we score; it’s just a matter of getting the job done.”
Foss took control early Wednesday night, running out to leads of 15-6 after one quarter and 26-20 at halftime. Decatur made a run in the third quarter, cutting the deficit to 40-34 with less than 10 seconds left. But the sharp-shooting Ballard made sure the Falcons held strong, drilling a 3-pointer — his third of the night — from the right wing to beat the quarter buzzer and push the lead back to seven points.
Foss (16-5) put the accelerator down in the fourth quarter, pushing the lead to 49-34 when Trent scored a lay-up off a feed from Ballard.