By Erik Harris
TRUSSVILLE – The question was asked, and Hewitt-Trussville’s Harrison Stanley had the answer.
How tough is this Huskies’ basketball team as it adjusts to its fifth head coach (Marcus Thomas) since the 2011-12 season? That’s what Jeremy Monceaux and Clay-Chalkville asked as they stormed back from a double-digit deficit on Monday night in Bryant Bank Arena.
Following a Josh Moore bucket that evened the contest at 36 early in the final frame, Stanley delivered a 3-point bomb to set the tone in a 52-50 Hewitt-Trussville win.
Stanley shot with confidence in the fourth period. His first make led to another and another. His third and final triple of the fourth quarter put the Huskies (3-0) ahead, 50-41, with less than four minutes to play.
“I felt like we needed a couple of buckets and I felt like I could do it,” Stanley said, following his team-high, 15-point outing. “It’s a big win. This could’ve really hurt us if we would’ve lost, so it feels good to come out with a win.”
Clay-Chalkville, however, still had some fight left in them, as they went on a 9-2 run, setting the table for Chris Copeland, who came up short on a 15-footer at the horn that would’ve sent the hard-fought game into overtime.
“I think we still have to work on closing games out, because we (lost) a pretty decent lead there,” Thomas said. “Definitely not taking anything from Clay-Chalkville. I think they were arguably the best team we’ve faced.”
Thomas got a solid night from Chris Lewis, who connected on four put-back opportunities to finish the game with 12 points.
While Lewis was working on the inside, Damon Harper was connecting from the outside for Hewitt-Trussville. Harper’s early triple put the hosts ahead by a count of 6-2. He struck again late from the top of the key to push the lead to six with 4:15 remaining. Harper finished with 11 points.
Sam Frazier also chipped in, slicing and dicing his way to nine points.
The Huskies had a hard time defending Jalen Jordan, who was the only Cougar to reach double-digit scoring.
Jordan had no problems getting to the rim and the free-throw line, where he went 5-for-9. His 19 points carried Clay-Chalkville, offensively.
As a team, the Cougars struggled mightily from the charity stripe, turning in a 12-for-29 performance. Hewitt-Trussville made seven of its 12 attempts.
“The guys have been telling me how big of a rivalry it is and, honestly, I really didn’t understand until I went and watched the football team play,” Thomas said. “It’s a great rivalry. For high school, I would consider it almost like the high school Alabama and Auburn (game). It’s just crazy.”
“I’m glad to be a part of it and I’m glad that we came away on the winning side,” Thomas continued.
Erik Harris is the Sports Editor for the Trussville Tribune. Follow him on Twitter @jeharris2 or email him at email@example.com.