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Balanced East boys defeat Northwest

Published Dec. 19 at 10:44 p.m. | Last updated Dec. 19 at 10:45 p.m.

Xavier Kelly led East to victory with 16 points in Thursday night’s game against Northwest. Kelly said the only thing going through his mind throughout the 53-40 win was to beat the Grizzlies.

“I wasn’t really worried about the points, I was just focused on the game and had my head in the game,” he said.

Kelly said he’s been working on holding the guard and improving on post to get an advantage in games.

East coach Joe Jackson said the team executed better Thursday, putting an emphasis on attacking at the start to get ahead early.

Northwest scored the first basket of the game on a shot by Cortez Carr, who led Northwest with 15 points.

The Blue Aces retaliated with a three-point shot by Traevon McGairty and a 17-2 run capped off with a three-pointer by Tyas Martin.

Jackson said Kelley, Zack Jackson, and Martin have stepped up to lead the team, but McGairty showed a little of what he was about in the game as well.

“Traevon really did a nice job on the offensive boards,” Jackson said. “He stepped up and knocked down several times tonight and we really got a big boost from him.”

McGairty scored 13 points. Martin and Jackson each scored eight.

McGairty said his team helped him get where he needed to be.

“We have good team chemistry and I was just making shots that I needed to,” he said.

McGairty and Kelly were responsible for an 11-5 run leading into the second half started on a basket by McGairty and capped off with a shot by Kelly.

Northwest coach Chris Collins said his team was careless and struggled with turnovers.

“I honestly feel if we take care of the basketball we’ll have the opportunity to be in a lot of basketball games the second half of the season,” Collins said.

Northwest511121240
East151715653

Northwest — Standifer 2, Nicholson 6, Meyer 2, Carr 15, Cobb 4, Williams 4, Caldwell 7.

East – Martin 8, Jackson 8, Kelly 16, McGairty 13, Champion 2, Mutazammil 4.