Huntington Prep gets win vs. Aiken
CINCINNATI -- Heading into Friday's contest with Aiken at the Scholastic Play-by-Play Classic, Huntington Prep boys basketball coach Rob Fulford had concerns about his team's intensity.
The bus ride to Cincinnati took five hours because of snowy conditions coming out of Huntington and the Express was getting over some illnesses that had been going around for a few weeks.
To Fulford's surprise the team set the tone early with its defensive intensity, blocking several shots and getting some steals that led to transition points in a 68-41 win over the Falcons at Withrow High School.
"We did a really good job of sharing the ball, making extra passes and finding the open man," Fulford said. "Defensively, we are always going to be solid. We can take most teams out of what they are running."
Andrew Wiggins normally sets the stage and once again the nation's top-rated college prospect left the crowd cheering with an array of moves. But, it was the play of Moses Kingsley that ignited the team.
With Aiken looking to penetrate the lane, Kingsley shut it down. He blocked shots and ran the court to the other end in a performance of nine points, eight rebounds and six blocks.
"They had really quick guards and we overplayed on the wings," Fulford said. "With Moses protecting the paint like that, we can overplay. Overall, he did a really good job to let our guards get out and pressure."
When blocks occurred the Express pushed the tempo quickly, getting the ball out in transition to the guards who finished in odd-man advantages.
Wiggins and Kingsley both had several dunks as Huntington Prep turned defense into offense.
"One of the things we're concentrating on is playing faster," Fulford said. "We're more athletic than a lot of teams we play and we haven't pushed the ball. Tonight, we pushed the tempo. Travon (Landry) did a better job of that tonight -- putting pressure on by getting the ball up the floor."
Wiggins had 17 points and 11 rebounds while Xavier Rathan-Mayes found his stroke from the outside with three 3-point baskets for his 12 points. Austin Grandstaff added 11 points in Huntington Prep's 20th win of the season.
HUNTINGTON PREP 15 19 17 17 -- 68: Wiggins 17, Grandstaff 11, Arroyo 4, Gill-Caesar 9, Kingsley 9, Landry 4, Gabriel 2, Rathan-Mayes 12.
AIKEN 11 13 7 10 -- 41: Carter 3, Grimes 16, Cook 10, Moore 4, Dean 2, Cavins 6.