McKENZIE – Huntingdon High head boys’ basketball coach Jonathan Kee said there are a few things a team always knows when it’s about to play the team from Dresden.
“You know they’re going to play well, and you know it’s going to be a physical game,” Kee said. “That’s how they’ve played us every time.”
Friday night’s game between the opposing squads in the semifinals of the District 13-A tournament held to form as Dresden played well and forced Huntingdon into a physical game, but the Mustangs came out on top with a 56-48 victory after they began to pull away late in the third quarter.
Kee said that run was because of a different energy level in the second half compared to the first.
“One I wanted to play a little conservative to save some guys’ fouls for the second half, and we stuck to a man-to-man without our full-court press because I was saving them,” Kee said. “But that didn’t work because they still got their fouls before halftime.”
Kee made the move to press the entire court anyway in the third quarter, and the move worked.
After Dresden began to stay ahead of Huntingdon for most of the first few minutes after the half, Huntingdon’s press forced Dresden to make mistakes and turn the ball over. The Mustangs capitalized on those opportunities and went on a 13-2 run to build an 11-point lead early in the fourth quarter.
Huntingdon’s lead stayed close to 10 for the remainder of the game as Dresden never cut the lead to fewer than seven points the rest of the way.
Macon Bullock led Huntingdon with 14 points, and Keeton Bailey was right behind him with 13. Davion Anderson had 10 points.
Kourtney Sawyer led Dresden with 15 points, and Quincy McDonald had 14.
“We had to fight hard for this win because of the foul situation, and we had to conserve as much as we could,” Kee said. “It’s just part of what we have to game plan for in these games and the way we play.
“We’ll have to plan for it in the championship when we play McKenzie, too.”
Huntingdon moves on to the 13-A championship game with the win and will play neighboring rival McKenzie for the championship. McKenzie defeated Big Sandy 83-32 earlier in the night.
Brandon Shields, 425-9751