Capitalizing on a clear height advantage to dominate the boards on both ends of the floor and employing active defensive pressure for four quarters, the Houston High School boys basketball team cruised to a 63-39 victory over county rival Summersville Friday, Jan. 10 in Hiett Gymnasium.
The Tigers held the visiting Wildcats to only 3 points in the second quarter and held a commanding 32-14 lead at halftime.
Houston got out to a 7-3 advantage early in the first period after a 3-pointer and a short-range bucket by senior guard Clayton Moore. The Tigers established their first 10-point lead near the outset of the second quarter when junior forward Ty Franklin converted consecutive baskets from the low blocks to put the score at 21-11.
Summersville had trouble generating offense for the remainder of the half, and when senior forward Sterling “Stelo” Jackson knocked down a 16-foot jumper from the baseline, Houston was ahead 29-12 with about 2 minutes showing. After a reverse layup by sophomore forward Korbyn Tune with 45 seconds to go in the second period, the Tigers went into the locker room at the break with the big 32-14 lead.
Houston (6-6) kept the pressure on in the third quarter, and built a 44-25 lead going into the final 8 minutes.
The Tigers went up by 25 when the 6-foot-1 Jackson sank a 7-foot jumper from the baseline with about 5:10 to go, and enjoyed their biggest lead of the contest at 56-28 when Jackson buried a trey on the next possession.
Moore drilled three 3-pointers in the game and led Houston in scoring with 19 points, while Franklin had 17 and Tune had 11. Senior guard Dalton Dzurick was in the starting lineup and finished with 5 points (including a 3-pointer late in the first quarter), while senior forward Dakota Burchett came off the bench to add 4 points on a pair of buckets from the low post.
Tune led the Tigers’ domination of the boards with 14 rebounds, while Franklin had 8 rebounds and 4 blocked shots.
Freshman Tristan Duncan was the only Wildcats' player to score in double figures with 22 points.
HHS head coach Rod Gorman was pleased with his team’s performance on the defensive end.
“We were more disciplined and got out of position less," Gorman said, "which puts you in position to rebound better. "We had a size advantage on them, but we did a great job on the boards. We didn’t shoot great, but when we made them the lead extended and when we didn’t we still hung right in there.”
The Tigers got away from the Wildcats in the first half in large part due to moving the ball well to get good looks down low.
“We did well getting the ball to the low post,” Gorman said. “In the second half they kind of sucked their defense in and that gave us more threes. We have guys out there who are capable of making them, they just have to get the ball in the basket.”
After notching fewer wins than they had hoped for in the first part of the season, the Tigers are focused on making amends the rest of the way.
“We need to be tough and stay disciplined,” Gorman said. “We want to stay strong defensively and on the boards, and we want to find offensive flow.”
Houston’s next home game is set for Feb. 11 against SCA foe Ava. Next up, the Tigers play Tuesday (Jan. 14) at Norwood and Friday (Jan. 17) at Thayer.