Highlanders improve their play but fall to Africentric in Ironton Classic

December 23, 2018 GMT

IRONTON - Huntington High showed great improvement in the 21 hours since its last game, even if the result, a loss, was the same.

Columbus Aficentric (7-2) defeated Huntington High 58-54 in a Saturday afternoon boys basketball game in the Ironton Classic at the Conley Center. Fairland beat the Highlanders (2-3) 60-31 on Friday.

“We just have to get the ball in the basket,” HHS coach Ty Holmes said after his team made one-third of its shots against the Nubians. “We played a lot better and we rebounded better in the second half, but you can’t win many games shooting 33 percent.”

Huntington High led by three in the first half and trailed just 33-32 at halftime. As it was Friday when they were outscored 17-2, the third quarter was the Highlanders’ undoing. Africentric’s Calli Davis scored the first six of the third period and the Nubians outscored HHS 15-5 to lead 48-37 heading into the fourth quarter.

Africentric stretched its lead to 15 after Davis’ basket with 7:24 left to play, but Huntington High charged back. HHS used a 14-2 run to pull within 54-51 after a 3-pointer by Torin Lochow with 1:32 left. The Nubians, though, used a basket by Heryon Jacobs and a free throw each by Anthony Bowman and Dan Wagner to lead 58-51. Garrick Hopkins made a 3-pointer at the buzzer for HHS to set the score.

“We’re learning and getting better,” Holmes said. “We’re working toward February (tournament time). Our guys played hard and didn’t give up. We just have to put the ball in the basket more.”

Holmes said he was pleased with Hopkins, a transfer from Huntington St. Joe. Hopkins was named Huntington High’s player of the game after scoring seven and grabbing three rebounds. He also performed well on defense.

“Garrick played really well,” Holmes said. “He played hard.”

Lochow led the Highlanders with 17 points, eight in the fourth quarter. Kris Brown scored 11.

Davis paced Africentric with 22 points and five steals. Lyheem Hilliard scored 13 and snared nine rebounds.

COLUMBUS AFRICENTRIC 18 15 15 10 - 58: Bowman 8, Hilliard 13, Moore 2, Davis 22, Wagner 7, Jacobs 6.

HUNTINGTON HIGH 14 18 5 17 - 54: Patterson 3, C. Page 1, Brown 11, Blackwell 8, Lochow 17, Sims 4, Hopkins 7, Littlejohn 1.