Boys basketball: Miscues costly as Hoover falls to Tolsia
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Herbert Hoover made six of its nine first-quarter field goal attempts at home Thursday night, but also committed seven turnovers in the first 8 minutes against visiting Tolsia.
One trend would continue, and it wasn't what Huskies Coach Jeff Gandee had hoped to see.
The Rebels (4-5) ratcheted up their defense against Hoover (4-2) center Cody Morris, made up for their own poor perimeter shooting with impressive play in the paint and benefited from 20 Huskies turnovers to get escape with a 43-39 win in Falling Rock.
"We like to pride ourselves on our defense. In the first half, we recognized that he was their main focus and he was hurting us," Tolsia senior center Austin Brewer said of Morris, who entered the game as the Huskies' leading scorer, averaging 16.2 points per game.
"We came in at halftime and made some adjustments, then went back out there and did the best we could."
Hoover led 19-17 at halftime, but then went the final 5:09 of the third quarter without a point, as the Rebels surged ahead to a 30-21 lead entering the fourth quarter. Key to that effort was the physical defense against Morris offered by Brewer, senior forward Brandon Clark and reserve senior forward Morgan Williamson.
Morris scored a game-high 18 points, but it came at a cost. The 6-foot-6 senior sank just 7-of-25 shots from the floor, and no other Hoover player put up more than the six shots offered by senior Sam Schoolcraft.
"We wanted to be physical with him. I don't know the kid personally, but it seems like he doesn't like contact very much," Tolsia Coach Jason Hatfield said. "Then we came out in the first quarter and let him go wherever he wanted to go.
"If he cuts, I want a guy going wherever he's going. Then in the third quarter we stepped up."
Though Hoover had 38 rebounds to Tolsia's 21, the Rebels' grit and hustle proved to be the difference. Brewer had game-highs with five blocked shots and 11 boards, while senior guard Morgan Stacy led all players with four steals. He and Brewer each scored 11 points, while Clark led the Rebels with 12.
"I think they're going to be right there contending to win the (Cardinal) Conference title, and we played right there with them tonight," Gandee said. "We won three of four quarters and lost the game. One quarter is all it takes. Really, 2 minutes is all it takes."
Hoover began its fourth-quarter comeback when Aaron Burdette hit a jumper with 7:31 left to bring the Huskies to within 31-23. Whittling away at the lead through the majority of the fourth, Hoover got to within 40-39 with 26 seconds left after Morris drove the lane for an easy bucket.
After a Hoover timeout, Huskies senior Samuel Teel fouled Tolsia's Terry Davis, sending the Rebel guard to the line with a two-shot opportunity. Davis had missed both ends of such a chance with 42 seconds left, but on his second trip to the line Davis sank both shots to give Tolsia a three-point cushion.
On Hoover's return trip, Burdette drove for a layup attempt that Brewer got a paw on, sending numerous players scrambling for the loose ball. Hoover senior Joey Forbes was whistled for a loose-ball foul with 17 seconds left, and Brewer was able to knock down one-of-two free throws to secure the win.
Gandee said the high number of turnovers was common for the Huskies this season. He said the team averages about 18 per game.
"That's about 10 too many, especially when you're playing a good team like that," he said. "I'm pleased with our approach, but we've got to execute better."
Clark and Brewer combined to make 9-of-18 shots from the floor, which combined with the turnover differential - the Rebels committed just seven - helped overcome an 0-for-10 shooting performance from 3-point range.
Contact Preps Editor Derek Taylor at email@example.com or 304-348-5170. Follow him on twitter @ItsreallyDT.