Boys basketball: Hoover halts Indians
At 6-foot-6, Herbert Hoover senior Cody Morris is hard to miss.
Morris, Hoover's leading scorer, had the full attention of Sissonville as the Indians held the Huskies center scoreless throughout the first three quarters.
However, Morris certainly made his presence felt on the defensive end, blocking four shots in the first quarter that helped Hoover jump out to a 13-4 first quarter lead. The closest Sissonville got the rest of the game was just four points on two occasions.
Morris set the tone with his blocks early and Hoover clamped down on the Indians offense all night long, earning a defensive 45-28 battle in front of a packed house at Sissonville on Tuesday night.
The rivalry game was so anticipated that there were a girl's game between the two teams prior to the boy's game and the stands were full before halftime.
"I told the kids before the game they couldn't ask for a better stage," Hoover Coach Jeff Gandee said. "The environment was fantastic. I told them to go out there and perform and relish the opportunity. It was something they could remember the rest of their lives in our rival game."
Morris finished with six points - all in the fourth quarter - but tallied a game-high 10 rebounds and six blocked shots.
Gandee believed Morris' blocks that held Sissonville (3-5) to just four first quarter points while giving his Huskies what turned out to a commanding nine point lead was one of the biggest differences in the game.
"Even though he wasn't the main scorer tonight, he certainly was a very strong presence on the defensive end with the blocked shots and rebounds," Gandee said. "The defense set the tone early. We caught them on a bad shooting night but I believe our defense had an affect on that."
Despite being rendered ineffective offensively thanks to the Sissonville defense, Morris had plenty of help.
Aaron Burdette scored a game-high 17 points and seven rebounds while Sam Schoolcraft added 12 points and seven rebounds, including back-to-back buckets in the fourth quarter with Hoover (6-2) clinging to a 27-23 lead.
"Whenever our leading scorer (Morris) isn't scoring, we have to have everybody step up," Schoolcraft said.
"It's a team effort. I just looked to be in the right place at the right time. I broke to the basket and was able to finish and put the exclamation point on the defense."
Also for Hoover, Joey Forbes tallied nine markers and 10 rebounds. In all, four different Huskies had at least seven rebounds.
"This just goes to show it's a team game," Gandee said. "It's not about one man. It's about five guys coming together. For every counter, there is another counter attack. We were able to find that tonight.
"They laid it all on the floor. They gave Cody trouble on defense with their looks and we were expecting that. But we knew where our opportunities were going to exist, and we able to capitalize on that. The effort was tremendous."
Morris was pleased with the fact his teammates stepped up against the Indians, and was happy he could at least help out on the defensive end.
"If I'm not scoring or getting the ball, I want to play all around," Morris said. "At the beginning of the game, I could tell I wouldn't be able to score much because they were in a zone and packed in the middle. The blocks set the tone on defense, and my teammates hit big shots."
Zach Null and Ryan Kelly led Sissonville with eight points each. For the game, the Indians shot just 24 percent from the floor and only attempted one free throw in the game.
Herbert Hoover (6-2) FG 3Pt FT Pts
Josh Blackwell 0-0 0-0 0-0 0
Joey Forbes 2-5 0-0 3-4 9
Cody Morris 1-4 0-1 4-6 6
Aaron Burdette 4-12 2-6 7-9 17
Sam Schoolcraft 6-14 0-0 0-0 12
Hunter White 1-2 1-2 0-0 3
Totals 14-37 3-8 14-19 45
Percentages .378 .375 .737
Sissonville (3-5) FG 3FG FT Pts
Austin Crawford 1-3 0-0 0-0 2
Ryan Kelly 3-10 2-8 0-0 8
Zach Null 4-17 0-5 0-0 8
Trent Stowers 3-13 0-3 0-1 6
Nathan Miller 0-5 0-3 0-1 6
Adam Robinson 2-6 0-1 0-0 4
Duncan McClung 0-1 0-0 0-0 0
Totals 13-55 2-20 0-1 28
Percentages .236 .100 .000
Herbert Hoover 13 6 6 20 - 45
Sissonville 4 9 6 9 - 28
Rebounds: Hoover 35 (Morris 10, Forbes 10), Sissonville 24 (Stowers 6).
Assists: Hoover 8 (White 4), Sissonville 6 (Null 4).
Steals: Hoover 5 (Burdette 4), Sissonville 4.
Blocks: Hoover 6 (Morris 6), Sissonville 1 (Kelly 1).
Turnovers: Hoover 15, Sissonville 9.