By Loyd McIntosh, Sports Editor
ALABASTER — Barely 12 hours after a hard-fought, overtime loss to Auburn, the Hewitt-Trussville boys basketball team rebounded with a win over Briarwood Christian, 48-45.
Competing in the Thompson High School Thanksgiving Invitational, the Huskies came into the matchup with Briarwood with a record of 5-2, but were still reeling after letting a three-point lead over Auburn High School slip away on Tuesday night.
With a bright-and-early tipoff time of 10:30 a.m., the Huskies wiped the sleep out of their eyes and rebounded by picking their fifth win of the 2022 season over the winless Briarwood Tigers. First-year head basketball coach Jeremy Monceaux said the win was an important gut-check moment for the Huskies.
“This was a gutsy win by our team,” said Monceaux. “We did not have our best stuff today, but we kept battling and found a way to pull out what I think was an important win for our team this early in the season.”
Monceaux said the Huskies didn’t have a great game shooting, however, the defense stepped up to shut a Tiger squad down that started the contest hot, especially from behind the arc. A defense-minded coach, Monceaux said the Huskies settled down and found a way to stop the streaky Briarwood shooters, holding them to just 20 points in the second half and to under 50 points for the game, one of Monceaux’s most important metrics for success.
“Holding teams under 50 is our goal,” said Monceaux. “Briarwood came out shooting the ball really well from three-point range in the first half. Eighteen of their 25 points in the first half were from the three-point line. We made some adjustments at half and did a little better job defending the three-point line in the second half.”
The Huskies were led by Legion Gaston with 14 points and Ray Rolley with 10 points and four assists. Rolley was also named to the all-tournament team.
Hewitt-Trussville improved to 5-2, 2-1 in the Thompson High School Thanksgiving Invitational tournament, defeating Northridge High School, 52-39 on Monday, Nov. 21, followed by the loss to Auburn on Tuesday, Nov. 22.
After a 10-day break, the Huskies will be back at home to face Park Crossing High School on Friday, Dec. 2. Hewitt-Trussville defeated Park Crossing in Montgomery, 56-50, earlier in the season on Nov. 8.
Other Thanksgiving Holiday Basketball Highlights:
The Pinson Valley Indians continued their hot start to the 2022-23 season with three consecutive wins in as many days at the Heritage Classic Thanksgiving Tournament in Birmingham. On Monday, Nov. 21, Pinson Valley obliterated Blount, 94-61, followed by a 47-37 win over Fairfield, on Tuesday, Nov. 22, and capped the tournament off with a win over Fairfield, 69-56. Pinson Valley’s record now stands at 6-0 and will travel to Montgomery for a date with Lee High School on Wednesday, Nov. 30.
Center Point High School went 1-1 during a Thanksgiving tournament, defeating Jackson Olin 51-48 on Monday, Nov. 21, followed by a loss to Hillcrest High School on Tuesday, Nov. 22, 51-31. Center Point goes into the Thanksgiving Break with an overall record of 3-2 and will face Helena at Home on Tuesday, Nov. 29.
Moody High School opened the 2022-23 season with a win and two losses in the Cullman High School Turkey Shootout. The Blue Devils started strong with a 66-50 win over Hamilton on Monday, Nov. 21, before losing two-in-a-row to Cullman, 74-22, on Tuesday, Nov. 22, followed by a 55-25 loss to Albertville High School. Moody will be back in action for a road game against Pell City on Tuesday, Nov. 29.
Springville High School went 1-1 in the Cullman High School Turkey Shootout, defeating Kate Duncan Smith DAR, 84-53, on Monday, Nov. 21, followed by a 56-41 loss to Cullman on Wednesday, Nov. 23. Springville will be on the road to take on Hartselle High School on Friday, Dec. 2.