FULTON — After going 9-13 last season, and graduating one senior, the Class 4A Lowell Red Devils have the makings of a dangerous basketball team. Nate Richie’s squad was stunned by Caston last season, losing to the Comets 45-42. Oh, what a difference 12 months can make.
Having blazed through the first two games of the 2014 Caston Shootout, the Red Devils would again face Caston, this time in the championship finale Saturday night.
At 7-1, Lowell’s victims include wins over Hanover Central, Valparaiso, Gary West, Portage and Hobart. Their only loss was to East Chicago Central on Dec. 7.
A fast-paced, running style offense and frantic pressure defense overwhelmed the Comets, and Lowell easily captured the Caston Shootout championship 58-20.
After a quick 7-0 deficit, solely at the hands of Lowell senior standout Zach Van Hook, Caston got on track behind consecutive 3s by Quentin and Eli Douglass. A Van Hook jam and-one gave the Red Devils a 13-7 lead at the end of the first.
Sophomore Brandon Cory scored 8 points in the second to help extend the lead for Lowell in the second. The Red Devils outscored the Comets 19-5 in the period, giving them a 32-12 lead at half.
Unable to settle in their halfcourt set, the Comets came further unraveled in the third, scoring just three points behind Brayton Jellison’s opening basket and late free throw. Van Hook scored the final four points in the period, and opened the fourth with an emphatic steal and dunk to give Lowell a 47-15 lead. He led the Red Devils with 21 points and was named the tournament MVP.
Quentin Douglass led the Comets with nine points, and was named to the All-Tournament team, along with teammate Alex Howdeshell. Despite the loss, Caston moves to 4-5 on the season and will host West Central on Friday for a key Midwest Conference game.