First, Keshawn Pegues started hitting shots.
Then his Davenport Central teammates followed suit.
Pegues scored 13 straight points to spark a big second quarter for eighth-ranked Central, and the Blue Devils went on to pour in a season-high 88 points in their 88-67 win over visiting Burlington in Mississippi Athletic Conference action on Friday night.
Burlington hung around early, and trimmed the lead to two points early in the second quarter on an Amarion Davis 3-pointer. But Pegues answered with a 3-pointer of his own, and after a Grayhound turnover, he hit another shot from beyond the arc.
“I was just feeling good and hyped up,” said Pegues, who scored a game-high 27 points. “I was just shooting them, and they were going in. They thought I was going to drive to the rim, so I just had to show them I can shoot a little bit.”
After Davis got a layup for Burlington, Pegues got an offensive rebound and a dunk. Then he came up with a steal and took it in for a two-handed tomahawk slam. A few seconds later, he hit another 3-pointer — this time with a hand in his face — to extend Central’s lead to 34-23.
“He shoots the ball well,” Central head coach Craig Wurdinger said of Pegues. “He’s a little streaky from the outside, but he did a good job inside and outside. He’s got a good mix to his game, outside and inside. When he shoots well from the outside, he’s really tough to defend.”
From there, Pegues’ teammates took over, pushing the lead to 18 points by halftime. The Blue Devils (14-4, 11-4 MAC) scorched the George Marshall Gymnasium nets in the second quarter, hitting 11 of 15 shots from the field and going 5 for 7 from 3-point range in the period.
“That spurt in the second quarter really got us going in the right direction, and then we just went on from there and kept building,” Wurdinger said. “We forced them into some turnovers and got some easy baskets. That was a nice little run, which really was the difference in the game.”
Central pushed its lead to as many as 27 points in the second half and rolled to victory.
“We just came in here really confident,” Pegues said. “We weren’t going to take it easy on anybody just because they’re lower in the conference standings, we were just going to go hard like it was any other game. The shots were just falling tonight for everybody.”
Pegues had four steals and four assists to go with his 27 points. Josh English finished with 15 points on 6 of 8 shooting, and John Miller had 11 points on 5 of 7 shooting. Ralph Hayes came off the bench and scored a season-high 10 points.
Nate Spear scored 12 points to lead the Grayhounds (4-11, 2-10 MAC), and reserve Carlton Martinez-Hale added 11.
Central snapped a two-game losing skid and rebounded from a tough loss at top-ranked North Scott two days before.
“We had a double-overtime game against North Scott on Wednesday, so it’s nice to bounce back,” Wurdinger said. “That was a hard loss for us. It was in double overtime, and it could have gone either way. Coming back tonight, it was nice to get in the win column.”