Big quarter lifts HHS to victory over Black Eagles
HUNTINGTON — A second-quarter scuffle in the middle of the floor following a loose ball led to South Charleston taking a halftime lead to the locker room.
However, it might have been the key in Huntington High earning a 64-57 win over the Black Eagles at Lucas-Archer Gymnasium on Tuesday night.
The Highlanders used the skirmish and end result of the first half as motivation to fuel a 16-0 run in the third quarter before they held off a late South Charleston rally.
“It did a lot,” said Huntington High’s Kris Brown, who finished with a team-high 19 points in the win. “We knew we needed to win this game and I told the team in the locker room that we just needed to pull through and win this one. We really can’t lose anymore. We’ve lost nine games and we needed to start a streak. We got a timeout and got our head straight and came out with the win.”
Brown was assessed a technical, along with Huntington’s Garrick Hopkins and South Charleston’s Shazaun Cunningham, who got tangled up after a loose ball late in the second quarter. While the play led to a pair of free throws from the Black Eagles that led to a 21-20 halftime lead, Brown was able to turn the negative to a positive and fuel his team to the game-changing run.
South Charleston got a 3-pointer from Bradley Jones to open the third quarter, but from there the Highlanders went on a 16-0 run, led by Brown who had eight points during the run.
While Brown got hot during the run, the third quarter was punctuated by a four-point play from guard Torin Lochow, who finished with 18 points,
eight rebounds and three steals for the Highlanders.
As time wound down in the third quarter, Lochow went to work in an isolation situation, faked a drive to his right and hit a stepback 3-pointer while being fouled. The subsequent free throw gave the Highlanders a 45-30 lead after three quarters.
“In the third quarter, we played really well,” Huntington coach Ty Holmes said. “I thought we showed how well we could play. In the fourth, we went back to our inexperience.”
Much of the third-quarter damage came as South Charleston ran into foul trouble, which head coach Vic Herbert warned them of at halftime once the technical fouls were assessed late in the second period.
As foul trouble mounted, South Charleston’s aggressiveness subsided and the Highlanders took advantage.
“We told them that and went over the rules for anything that’s not supposed to happen on the court,” Herbert said. “I told them that the officials were going to take control of this. They were going to call it tight in the second half, which they did — and they should have because you have to get that under control.”
Despite the large run by the Highlanders, the Black Eagles did not go away quietly, using the hot hand of Harold Pannell to get back within four points.
Pannell hit four 3-pointers in a two-minute stretch, including one that pulled South Charleston to within 57-53 with 1:45 left in the game. Pannell, who finished with 17 points to lead South Charleston (6-7), had a chance to hit another shot after Huntington High missed a pair of late free throws, but his attempt was short and the Highlanders were able to thwart any further runs by the Black Eagles.
In addition to Pannell’s effort, South Charleston got 15 points from Jaydyn Johnson.
While Brown and Lochow did much of the damage for the Highlanders, Holmes praised the play of Corbin Page down low as a difference in the game. Page finished with 10 points and 11 rebounds for a doubledouble.
“That’s probably the best he’s played all season,” Holmes said. “He worked hard, rebounded well and had an all-around good game.”
Huntington High got the win despite having just one field goal in the second quarter, which came on a 3-pointer by Zion Page with 51 seconds left. The strong defensive performance allowed the Black Eagles to turn a first-quarter deficit into the slim halftime advantage.
SOUTH CHARLESTON 10 11 9 27 — 57: Forte 3, Cunningham 6, Pannell 17, Lee 7, Jones 3, D.J. Johnson 6, J. Johnson 15 HUNTINGTON HIGH 15 5 25 19 — 64: C. Page 10, Brown 19, Blackwell 3, Z. Page 3, Lochow 18, Hopkins 5, Stevens 6
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