|Huntington falls to Eastern Brown in Fridayâ€™s final
The Huntington Huntsmen faced a really tough match-up in Friday nightâ€™s Division-III Sectional
Championship as Eastern Brown knocked off the SVCâ€™s third-place finishers 58-52.
Eastern Brown presented some different problems that the SVC did not have in terms of personnel this
season. The Warriors had some outstanding perimeter players who could all dribble, pass, catch, and
shoot, and this caused Huntington some problems on the defensive end. Eastern Brown had success in
the first half getting into the teeth of the Huntington match-up zone. The Huntsmen were allowing the ball
to the high post way too often which gave Eastern some great looks. Huntington, who entered the SVCâ
€™s top defense only surrendering 46 points per game, gave up 28 points in the first half; however,
Huntingtonâ€™s two-time first-team all-league performer in Dylan Gragg led a solid first half
performance on the offensive end to have Huntington even at the half 28-28.
In the third quarter, things started to get away from Huntington. The Huntsmen started to get into some
foul trouble as Eastern Brown outscored Huntington 14-7 in the third period to open up a 42-35
advantage. The Warriors hit a three-pointer for the first points of the final quarter to open up their biggest
lead of the game at 45-35. This is when Huntington started its way back. With EB perhaps taking the air
out of the ball way too soon, Huntington turned up the heat causing multiple turnovers and getting some
transition baskets from Blake Campbell and Brice Vickers to cut the lead to 49-47 with 3:15 remaining.
After an Eastern Brown bucket made it 51-47, a Campbell steal and score cut the lead right back to two
at 51-49 as the clock clicked under two minutes.
About a minutes later, the gameâ€™s key play unfolded. Eastern Brownâ€™s pressure knocked the ball
loose and Gragg was whistled for his fifth foul while diving for a loose ball. The Warriors made the first
free throw to make it 52-49, and then, Huntington failed to rebound the missed second shot as EB
recorded a put-back basket to go up 54-49. The Warriors would control the game from that point by
converting at the charity stripe down the stretch.
Gragg led Huntington with 21 points. Vickers added 12 points. The loss makes Fridayâ€™s sectional
final the last career game for seniors Mike Smith, Carey James, and Tyler Ray.