Defensive switch pays off for Huntington

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 31, 2005

NATCHEZ &8212; You had to think things were going bad Friday night at Trinity when Stevan Ridley had to get out on the perimeter to get the ball and try to make something happen.

Huntington didn&8217;t budge out of its 2-3 zone in the half court and had success with it. Ridley

had what will likely be a season-low six points as no one scored in double figures for the Saints in the 62-42 loss at home.

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&8220;In the locker room before the game, I said full-court man,&8221; Huntington head coach David Boydstun said. &8220;When I got out here (on the floor), I got to thinking. They don&8217;t shoot the ball well from the perimeter. I changed right before the ball game. We just stayed in it, and all of a sudden it started happening.&8221;

The Hounds played some zone the week prior when they beat Trinity by one at their place, but even in that game the Saints got key shots from the outside from Parker Brumfield and others.

This time, however, the shots didn&8217;t fall from the outside. The Hounds kept Ricky Dunbar inside to match up with Ridley to try and slow down the physical junior down low.

&8220;All this week we practiced on fronting the man in the post,&8221; Dunbar said.

The Saints hit some outside shots in the first half but couldn&8217;t get them to fall in the second. They had just one in the fourth &8212; a Brumfield 3-pointer &8212; despite suffering through a deluge of turnovers that enabled Huntington to go on a 20-0 run.

The Saints hit just five field goals the entire second half.

&8220;I don&8217;t think anybody would play anything but a 2-3 zone against us as bad as we shoot,&8221; Trinity head coach David King said. &8220;I don&8217;t know why anybody would play a man-to-man against us. Coach Boydstun is a good coach, and I think he realized that we don&8217;t have any shooters.

&8220;We&8217;re not a very good basketball team right now, but we play hard. We never gave up. Our fans are used to seeing some good basketball players play, but I hope they&8217;ll take this group in and realize they&8217;re playing as hard as they can. They&8217;re giving it all they&8217;ve got, and that&8217;s all I can ask for.&8221;

MATCH UP &8212; Natchez High&8217;s Lady Bulldogs welcomed back Alia Franks Friday night in a 55-49 loss at Forest Hill. The freshman didn&8217;t play Tuesday in a loss to Jim Hill after missing school the day before due to an illness.

Friday night was an improvement, however, after the Lady Bulldogs didn&8217;t get any points from their post players in the loss to Jim Hill. Granted, the Lady Tigers were big across the board and Natchez has an inside duo of freshmen Franks and Ashley Morrison.

The Lady Bulldogs are going through growing pains down low at the 5A level. But like head coach Sue Johnson said, no one is making excuses.

&8220;That&8217;s back to the basic fundamentals of blocking out,&8221; Johnson said. &8220;You use what God gave you. I don&8217;t care how little you are. If you put your rear end on them and block them out, they&8217;ll go over your back. I&8217;m not going to make excuses. They were big, and we&8217;re little. We&8217;ve got speed, and we didn&8217;t use our speed to our advantage.&8221;

The two are playing with Niesha Colenburg, who came off the bench last year in relief of Jasmine Woods and Delequa Drake, along with Deleshia Ford. Both those seniors last season were solid in the middle, and Woods took her game to Tougaloo College.

&8220;We&8217;ve got two ninth-graders who are inexperienced at this level,&8221; Johnson said. &8220;When we get them where they&8217;re supposed to be, they&8217;ll be hard to handle. Right now their confidence is a little shaky.&8221;

GRAY BACK AT CHS &8212; The Cathedral Green Wave welcomed back Juan Gray Saturday in his first game back since spraining an ankle against Wesson two weeks ago.

The newcomer brought a steadiness at point guard to the offense until he came down bad on an ankle after making a shot against the Cobras. The Wave inserted Keylann Hinson in his place after that, and he picked up the slack despite battling a shoulder that can&8217;t seem to stay in place.

&8220;We&8217;re glad to have him back,&8221; CHS head coach Peter Arnold said of the transfer from Jefferson County. &8220;He had a lace-up ankle boot on, but he looked good. He hadn&8217;t practiced in 10 days.

&8220;Keylann&8217;s been having problems with that right shoulder dislocating. The other night he played six minutes. He says it&8217;s happened to him a bunch of times in his life. It&8217;ll pop out, and he&8217;ll go lean against a wall and put it back in place. He&8217;s done a really good job for somebody who never played any meaningful minutes last year. He&8217;s had to be out there in the heat of the battle without any experience to draw on, and he&8217;s done real well.&8221;

MEMORIES &8212; Block head coach Eric Richard said he was planning on attending the Trinity-Huntington game Friday night since his club was off.

The former Harrisonburg head coach wanted to check in on his two former players &8212; new Hounds Brandt Bradley and Antonio Jordan &8212; while he had a night free from basketball. He left Harrisonburg for Block, and the two followed suit after school officials didn&8217;t hire a coach soon enough.

Bradley put up 16 Friday night, while Jordan had seven.

&8220;Those are two tremendous kids, and I miss them,&8221; Richard said. &8220;If I would have stayed, (Jordan) would have probably been the best player I ever coached. He&8217;s got it. He led me in every category you could lead a team in &8212; offensive and defensive rebounds, drawn charges, everything. If he can get a little stronger &8212; that&8217;s his Achilles heel right now. But he&8217;s a find kid and a fine player.&8221;