Despite 30 from Rogers, HVA wins
Hardin Valley Academy’s boys basketball team did exactly what head coach Shane Chambers wanted to see Friday night.
The Hawks opened an early lead at home against Farragut and withstood a surge from the Admirals and nabbed a 59-54 District 4-AAA victory Feb. 3.
“This was a big week for us and we were able to make enough plays tonight to win this game,” Chambers said after his squad outlasted the Admirals and earned a regular season sweep in the rivalry.
The Hawks improved to 14-12 overall, 8-5 in the district starting the week.
“We were able to make that run that we needed to tonight and then we were able to go up by six points and hold the ball a little,” Chambers said. “What’s really helped us this year is that we’ve played the fourth toughest schedule in [Class] AAA.”
The Hawks had a 30-27 lead at halftime before the Admirals (9-12, 4-9) battled back and sliced their lead to 50-49 by third quarter’s end. But HVA never surrendered the lead.
Hardin Valley senior guard Hunter Huff, who finished with 14 points (all coming after halftime), said it was all about staying calm and executing what the team has learned in practice.
“We just came in and did the stuff that we work on every day in practice,” said Huff, who was honored on HVA Senior Night. “It’s just about staying calm and staying focused. I’m just blessed to play with this team.”
The Admirals pulled to within 40-39 on a bucket by Nick Rogers (who finished with a game-high 30 points) just before the end of the third stanza. It was Huff who answered for the Hawks early in the final frame.
He scored 10 points over the last eight minutes and helped the Hawks open a 50-41 advantage with 5 minutes, 20 seconds remaining in the contest.
“They’re hard to defend because they play four guards,” Rogers said. “We got in foul trouble and the foul trouble didn’t help us. They came out and made 3-pointers and we turned the ball over.”
HVA knocked down seven long-range jumpers. Huff and Tristen Waite each made three 3-pointers while Aaron Dykes had one.
Waite led the Hawks with 15 points. “Basketball is a game of runs,” he said. “The coaches told everybody to just stay calm and we were able to do that. That’s a credit to this coaching staff.”
For Farragut head coach Chris Cool, it was another tough loss and he thought his team surrendered too many points early.
“I thought we played pretty good defense early in the first quarter,” Cool said. “We gave up too many points, 30, at halftime.
“We want to keep the game in the 50s. We gave up two or three quick 3s to start the third quarter.”
Cool made some substitutions and the changes paid dividends.
“I went with our defensive unit, and from the 5:48 mark of the third quarter until the 4-minute mark of the fourth quarter they were at 42 and they scored just four points,” Cool said.
The Hawks pulled away late despite going 7-for-14 from the foul line in the fourth quarter.
“We didn’t shoot well from the free throw line late, but we made enough,” Chambers said.