By Kyle Parmley
TRUSSVILLE — Vestavia Hills built a 17-point lead through three quarters, which was enough to hold off a Hewitt-Trussville comeback in the final frame.
The Rebels missed 20 free throws in the final quarter, yet managed to hang on and beat the Huskies 65-55 on Tuesday night at Bryant Bank Arena in an Area 6 matchup.
“I think we are getting better every time out there, but it’s not quite good enough yet,” Hewitt-Trussville head coach Mike Dutton said. “I’m extremely proud of our team.”
Sean Elmore led the comeback attempt for the Huskies. The freshman took over the show midway through the fourth quarter, as Hewitt-Trussville made a concerted effort to get the ball in his hands every trip up the floor.
“He’s a great competitor and a wonderful young man,” Dutton said. “It feels great because we are going to have him for three more years.”
A Sam Frazier 3-pointer to pull Hewitt-Trussville (7-17, 0-5) within 12 set the stage for Elmore. The next four possessions involved the young guard taking the ball directly to basket, converting three acrobatic layups in traffic and a free throw line jumper. Elmore scored 14 points in the final period — more than any of his teammates in the game’s entirety – and a game-leading 20 points.
Hewitt-Trussville began fouling with three minutes to play in order to extend the game, allowing Vestavia Hills to shoot an unthinkable 41 free throws in the fourth quarter. The Rebels made just over half of them, as 21 of them found their way through the net. Sam Wiggins took part in 15 of those foul shots, making nine. He finished with a team-high 15 points.
Vestavia Hills took a nine-point lead into halftime due in large part to a barrage of 3-pointers in the early going. The Rebels knocked down six shots from deep in the first half, including a pair each from Anthony Lacey (11 points) and Spencer Haynes (10 points).
Hewitt-Trussville wraps up area play when it travels to Mountain Brook on Friday night, where the Huskies will attempt to avenge their loss against the Spartans last week. Tip time is 7:30 p.m.
“We are going to have to defeat their press. We will have to remain calm and poised,” Dutton said.