HALL OF FAME
ATHLETE OF THE MONTH
No rally for Red Devils
December 19, 2012Huntington North High School
Vikings' 3s in 4th quarter clinch NCC win
Written by Josh Chapin Sports Editor – Pal-Item
Richmond's Joel Okafor reaches for a rebound against Huntington North's Kyle Platt, left, and Kalvin Miller during a boys basketball game in the Tiernan Center.
Richmond's Joel Okafor passes the ball under the basket Friday against Huntington North during an NCC game in the Tiernan Center.
Huntington North discovered the secret to stamping out Red Devil rallies.
Just don’t miss.
The Vikings hit 5-of-5 3-pointers in the fourth quarter — 10-of-13 for the game — and kept Richmond at arm’s length down the stretch on the way to a 72-60 North Central Conference victory Friday night at Tiernan Center.
Huntington also denied the Devils a third straight fourth-quarter comeback, something Richmond was able to accomplish against both East Central and Connersville.
“Guys shoot the ball well when they’re open,” said RHS coach Joe Luce.
“ ... We get beat, in my opinion, in the first half. I thought we played (with) poor effort in the first half. For whatever reason, (we were) not ready to go. In the second half we finally get to where we need to be for a chance to play, and the two kids we talk about (Kalvin) Miller and (Trenton) Kern are able to hit shots, and it can’t happen.”
RHS trailed by eight to start the fourth quarter, and quickly pulled within 43-38 on a three-point play by Joel Okafor.
The Huntington senior hit four of his team’s next five shots, all treys.
Sandwiched in between was another 3-pointer, this one from Kern.
Huntington also went 14-of-16 from the free-throw line in the final quarter as the Vikings improved to 4-2 overall, 1-0 in the NCC.
It was Huntington’s first conference win since Feb. 18, 2011. The Vikings were 0-7 in NCC play last season.
“We made some big shots that we hadn’t. We were trying our best to give it back to them,” said first-year Huntington coach Rob Irwin. “Fortunately Kalvin hit a couple of big threes. We guarded them tonight. We did the things we needed to do defensively to put ourselves in a positionto win.”
Huntington’s Noah Reed led all scorers with 20 points, 16 of which he netted in the first half.
Miller added 18 points, Kyle Platt scored 12 and Matt Hogan finished with 10.
“They (Richmond) had a harder time scoring,” Irwin said. “Believe it or not, we haven’t shot the ball great in the first three or four games, but we shot the ball really well tonight. I wish they’d take it to the rim a little bit more, but, oh well. If it goes in, I don’t care.”
RHS started attacking the rim to start the second half.
Down 34-24 at halftime, the Red Devils scored six straight points to start the third quarter, all from Davious Webster.
But in a precursor to the fourth, Hogan ended the run by dropping a 3 to extend the lead to 37-30. The Vikings then went on to score seven of the next nine points.
Okafor led Richmond with 15 points, while Webster scored 12 and Charles Hampton added 11.
Nathan Jones and Reggie Jones each scored eight points for the Devils.
Richmond (3-2, 0-1) returns to action next week with back-to-back games at Tiernan Center. The Red Devils play host Friday to Lafayette Jeff, then turn around Saturday to face Upper Arlington (Ohio).
“We’ll get better,” Luce said.
“ ... It’s just trust and experience, but we finished at the basket in transition on some steals. You’re not going to get to the basket, and I don’t know how long you can drive it up somebody’s jersey number and realize, in a matchup zone situation, that you have to run some different zone offensive stuff, but get some slips. We didn’t do a very good job adjusting. That’s part of our fault as coaches, and we’ll get better as players.”