RISON ­­­— It was almost as if someone forget to tell the players football season had ended and it was time for basketball.

RISON ­­­— It was almost as if someone forget to tell the players football season had ended and it was time for basketball.

As Fordyce was rolling to a 66-39 win over rival Rison Thursday night, bodies were doing the same on the floor.

“Any time these two teams play, in any sport, it’s going to be heated,” said Rison head coach Cody Lambert. “From the time the kids start school here all they hear is that they need to be better than Fordyce. So it’s always exciting, regardless of what sport is being played.”

And a near-packed gymnasium was treated to a little bit of several sports. There was plenty of basketball and the physical nature resembled the gridiron while Fordyce turned the affair into a track meet as they ran away from Rison in the 8-3A conference tilt.

Rashaad Allen led four Redbugs in double figures with 20 points while Michael Hemphill finished with 17, Markel Bullinger added 12 and Thaxton Tolbert tallied 10.

“It got a little chippy at times tonight,” Allen said afterwards. “That’s how it normally goes when you play in this rivalry. That’s the way it is in football, too. You just have to kind of block it and play ball.”

Allen and the Redbugs took control early, jumping out to a 14-6 first-quarter advantage and led 37-17 at the half. The Wildcats, now 3-10 and 0-5 in the conference, settled down and played more in control in the second half matching 11-point efforts in the final stanza after being outscored 18-13 in the third.

“The guys just came out and went as fast as they could as hard as they could because they are football players at heart,” Lambert admitted. “That’s what you do in football. You go rah-rah. You go hard. You hit hard. And that’s what you do in football. But you can’t do that in basketball. You have to slow it down. It’s a mental game. I thought we did a good job of that in the second half. We just didn’t play well in the first half.”

And while Jerry Marshall and Desmond Leaks led the Wildcats in scoring with nine and six points respectively, Lambert was more pleased with the effort of A.J. Smith, who finished with three points.

“A.J. worked hard tonight,” Lambert said. “He was in there battling hard on the boards and picking up what we call the trash points. He scored all his points from the free throw line but he got there by working hard and putting himself in the right place on the floor. That’s the effort we need out of our players.”

The Redbugs improved to 16-6 overall and 4-1 in conference play which places them atop the division, pending the outcome of Drew Central’s Thursday night game.

“We came off a big win against Drew Central and sometimes it’s hard coming off a win like that into a game like this,” said Fordyce coach Stan Jones. “Anytime you play this game, it’s going to be a battle. But we are pleased to get out of here with a win. This division is going to come down to the wire.”