It was Northeastern boys basketball again.
For the second straight night, the Knights topped a Wayne County foe by 20 points, and this one, a 62-42 victory over host Hagerstown, gave Northeastern its first boys tournament title in a decade.
Overall, the two schools are now tied at four wins each in the tournament history of more than 40 years.
And this game was tied at 22 late in the second quarter before NHS took control.
By the half, the Knights led 30-25, and when freshman Tyler Smith drained a trey to start the second half scoring, Northeastern began to pull away. And the Knights weren’t going to be stopped.
The freshman Smith had a game-high 19 points, with four treys, and spoke on the floor after the trophy presentation.
“It was a thrilling ride all the way, but I couldn’t have done it without our seniors,” Tyler Smith said.
Junior Robert Smith had 10 points off the bench.
“When I come in, I’m just looking to help the team any way I can,” he said.
Unofficially, Robert Smith had five key rebounds, including a rebound bucket late in the third quarter as the Knights moved the lead into double digits.
Friday night, the Knights had beaten Centerville 70-50 to move into the championship game. Joey Claypoole had 15 points and Corey Dingwerth 10 for the 10-2 Knights, who travel to Knightstown next Saturday.
This was Northeastern’s first Wayne County Tournament title since 2004. The Knights halted Centerville 55-47 that season to win the crown.
Bobby Jones, head coach of 6-3 Hagerstown, was not down after his team’s loss.
“Their length and athleticism caused us problems, but we didn’t fold and my kids played their hearts out,” Jones said.
For the Tigers, Thorin Stage had 19 points, Bryan Mathews had nine and Jonah McKissick had six points and seven rebounds.
Hagerstown returns to TEC play Friday at Winchester.