Huntington boys, girls both win
MILTON -- Huntington Middle School won both championship games Tuesday in the Cabell County Middle School Basketball Tournament at Milton Middle School.
On the girls side, the Lady Eagles continued domination of opponents with a 42-20 victory over Beverly Hills. They held the Lady Blackhawks scoreless in the first period and coasted from there to finish unbeaten and capture their third straight county crown.
"The defense did a great job, forced turnovers and we attacked with the ball," Lady Eagles coach Sue Bennett said just after putting the championship net around her neck. "I told the girls go play no matter what. It's a great feeling to achieve this."
On the boys side, it was a different story for Huntington in its third meeting of the season with Barboursville.
The Eagles rolled past Barboursville the first time they met, then had to come back in the second half to take down the Pirates in round two. In round three Tuesday, the Eagles survived a poor night at the foul line and going without a basket in the first period to edge Barboursville, 47-41, and collect their fourth straight county crown.
"That second game got our attention," Huntington boys coach Alex Hogsett said. "We'd had so many blowouts. When we got in a game like this, I didn't know how we'd handle it. Barboursville's a championship caliber team."
Jordyn Dawson led the Lady Eagles with 17 points. On defense, Huntington held Beverly Hills without a field goal the entire first half. Haylee Hunter got the first basket for the Lady Blackhawks with 5:06 left in the third period.
"They're an AAU team, very talented," Beverly Hills coach Willie Wilson said. "They play together all the time. We played OK after we settled down. That first quarter was just bad."
Dawson said it was special to leave with three straight titles.
"Play hard. That's the goal every time out," she said. "Do a good job on defense and that helps set up the offense, the easy baskets."
"She comes up big when we need her," Bennett said of Dawson. "We had a couple of close games early. From that point, we found it."
DeAndre Murphy paced the Eagles in the boys game with 13 points. Keith Clemons added 12 and KeAndre Bryant 11.
Barboursville's Kirk Jennings led all scorers with 20 points and pulled down 15 rebounds.
Huntington finally got untracked at the start of the second period when it went on a 13-0 run. Clemons had two baskets, one a 3-pointer, and Murphy connected on two from behind the arc. That burst gave the Eagles a 19-12 lead and they held off runs by the Pirates the rest of the game.
"We knew they'd play their best against us," Hogsett said. "That second game woke us up, did us some good. We hadn't much pressure to handle. Tonight we responded when it counted."
As for Jennings, Hogsett said, "our help defense was non-existent."
Clemons said he knew the Pirates would battle to the end.
"They came out hungry. We had to be ready as we could be," he said. "They tried to get in my head a little. I didn't let them. I had a feeling we'd come out on top at the end."
Barboursville coach Brian Salmons said the close call in game two between the schools proved a point to his team.
"It showed we could play with them," he said. "That's probably the best Kirk's played all year. We hung in there, battled to the end. We need a couple of stops late, but didn't get them. We started to trade baskets and that didn't work."
BEVERLY HILLS 0 4 4 12 -- 20: Hunter 6, Farrell 3, Lochow 5, Thompson 2, Scott-Ristow 1, McCoy 3.
HUNTINGTON 20 8 11 3 -- 42: Turner 5, Sheffield 8, Harmon 8, Dawson 17, Ziegler 2, Early 2.
BARBOURSVILLE 12 5 8 16 -- 41: Jennings 20, Light 3, Burgess 4, Ray 10, Morrison 4.
HUNTINGTON 6 17 3 21 -- 47: Murphy 13, Dawson 3, Clemons 12, Bryant 11, Saunders 4, Brown 4.