Henry Paces Hawks With 28 Points At Western
By AL MYATT
For much of its first ever Tri-County Six 3-A Conference varsity boys basketball game, Triton looked like a team that hadn’t played since Dec. 28.
Opposing host Western Harnett showed little rust from an extended break for the holidays and winter weather that closed schools.
Down 61-49 entering the fourth quarter, the Hawks went on a run for a 79-76 road win on Wednesday night.
Chrishaun Henry led Triton (10-5) with 28 points and 15 rebounds.
The Hawks looked like a different team for the last eight minutes.
“I just think our effort was a little better,” said Triton coach T.J. Morrison. “I don’t think we were locked in earlier. … The first two or three minutes of the game, we made a few buckets. I think we thought it was going to be easy.
“Those guys were prepared. They were ready and they shot well. They defended well. They just wanted it for most of the game. They wanted it more than we did.”
Western (6-6) had its biggest lead at 58-44 after a 3-pointer by Darnell Carver late in the third quarter.
Terry Cooney answered with a three for Triton to start a 16-6 flurry for the Hawks that extended into the fourth quarter.
Kalil Hodges drove from the backcourt for a bucket with 2:39 left that gave Triton its first lead of the second half at 72-71.
The Hawks were up 76-73 as Maurice Williams scored on a backdoor bounce pass from Hodges, who had seven assists, with 1:34 to go.
A 3-pointer by Western’s Tre Richardson tied the score at 76 with 57 seconds remaining.
Henry claimed a defensive rebound with 22 seconds left and Travion Sanders went to the line for two free throws with 16.8 seconds showing. The sophomore made the second foul shot for a 77-76 Triton lead.
The Hawks called time and matched up full court. Triton gained possession and Henry completed the comeback win with a layup.
The game got off to an unfortunate start for the Hawks as a dunk in warmups resulted in a technical foul. Instead of a center jump to begin the contest, Western was awarded two technical free throws and Carver made both.
Henry had eight points in an early Triton flurry that produced a 10-5 lead.
The Eagles responded with a 16-4 run to lead 2114 late in the first quarter. The hosts were ahead 23-18 at the end of the opening period.
The Hawks started the second quarter with a 9-3 run that produced a 27-26 lead on a 3-pointer by Williams with 4:38 left in the half. After an 18-footer by Henry put Triton ahead 29-28, Western regained the lead at 31–29 on a three by Anthony Brewington with 3:07 to go in the half.
The Eagles were on top 39-34 at intermission and began the second half with a 19-10 run for their largest lead at 58-44.
Triton scored the next five points but trailed 61-49 entering the fourth quarter.
Shiquan Cox struggled with his shooting, going four for 15 from the floor, but his 3-pointer from the left side brought the Hawks within 64-59 with 6:20 left to play.
Press Helps Rally
Triton used an extended zone trap effectively in the fourth quarter.
“I just think our effort was a little better and we were fortunate that they missed a few shots,” Morrison said. “We rebounded a couple of them instead of giving them second and third shots.
“For most of the game, I don’t think we deserved it. I don’t think we played a great three quarters, but that last quarter was as impressive as I’ve seen.”
The Hawks outscored Western 30-15 in the final eight minutes.
Williams had 11 points for Triton. Cox had 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Hodges had eight points and Derreon Burnett had six points. Scoring four points each were Colby Parker and Sanders. Latrell McDougald and Cooney had three points apiece. Emari White added two points.
“We had 12 turnovers tonight,” noted Western coach Seth Womble. “We preach to have under 15. We played well offensively. We put up 76 points, but we gave up 79. Rebounding was a big key. We tried our best.
“I tell you what, they’re tough on the glass and then they went to the press. We could break the press, but we took some shots that were a little rushed. They’d get a bucket and we’d break the press again or we’d turn it over. I think that was the difference. They kind of sped us up with their press. To me, that was the difference in the outcome.
“It was a tough call at the end. Just a tough game.”
The Eagles were called for just three fouls in the first half while Triton was whistled for nine. Western did not have a foul until 5:47 left in the first half.
The calls were basically even in the second half. Western wanted a whistle on its last possession, but didn’t get one.
Four players reached double figures in scoring for the Eagles with Jamar Butler leading the way with 19 points. Brewington scored 15 for Western. Carver netted 14 points and Richardson tallied 12.
Triton hosts Harnett Central tonight and Western visits Lee County.
At left, Chrishaun Henry of Triton goes up for a shot in a 79-76 win at Western Harnett on Wednesday night. Above, Kalil Hodges of the Hawks finishes a drive in the Tri-County Six 3-A Conference opener for both teams.
Daily Record Photos/John Lucas