Highlanders beat Knights in day game
HUNTINGTON -- With a daytime boys basketball contest played Thursday in front of the entire student body, Huntington High coach Ron Hess didn't quite know what to expect from his Highlanders.
It turns out they were all in the Valentine's Day spirit.
The Highlanders were sharing the love against Cabell Midland, distributing the basketball well and getting a complete team effort in a 63-43 win over the Knights at Lucas-Archer Gymnasium.
"When you come into this type of atmosphere in front of all your peers, you get afraid as a coach that the guys are going to try to show off," Hess said. "I thought this was one of the better games that we've played team offense and shared the basketball.
"A lot of times today, we passed up a pretty good shot for a better shot. That was huge for our kids."
The offensive wealth was spread evenly as Arick Nicks finished as the Highlanders' lone double-figure scorer with 14 points despite foul trouble, which plagued both teams in the game.
Huntington High's guard play was crucial on both ends of the court. Nick Tubbs and Chancelor Wooding both added nine points. Tavian Dunn-Martin netted eight and Nathan Demoss chipped in seven. Each player contributed at least three steals defensively, as well.
Hess singled out Tubbs' performance as one of the game-changers.
The junior point guard was aggressive in each phase of the game, whether it was attacking the basket and dishing to teammates or getting the Highlanders in their multiple defensive sets to keep Cabell Midland's offense off base.
"When Nick plays like he did today and he's setting our offense and getting everyone involved, that sets the tone for the entire game," Hess said. "He did a great job of getting us into our offenses and also getting us into our defense. He did a great job of running our team."
With the gym packed full of Highlander students plus fans, Huntington High's multiple defensive looks kept Cabell Midland's guards out of rhythm and led to an early double-digit deficit for the Knights.
Six of the Knights' 21 turnovers came in the first quarter and Huntington High turned those miscues into points on the other end to jump out to a 15-5 lead at the end of one period.
"I was disappointed that we basically couldn't just man up and run the offense," Cabell Midland coach Matthew Stead said. "If you are game-planning for them, get ahead. That's the goal. Obviously, we're not a good full-court team against their type of speed, but the deficit forced us into it and we were uncomfortable."
The lead ballooned to 34-11 at the break and grew to as many as 30 in the fourth quarter.
Sawyer Beckett led Cabell Midland with 10 points.
Huntington High's students and all fans were granted free admission into the contest free, which continued the annual day-time series between the teams. The game was also a make-up from a previous postponement when school was closed due to snow.
CABELL MIDLAND 5 6 11 21 -- 43: Fraley 3, Bickford 4, Pettit 2, Leonard 8, Harbour 1, Perry 2, Adkins 9, Wilcox 3, Beckett 10, Matthews 1.
HUNTINGTON HIGH 15 19 14 15 -- 63: Nicks 14, Tubbs 9, Wooding 9, Demoss 7, Dunn-Martin 8, Washington 4, Howard 3, Miller 2, Meadows 7.