CHARLOTTESVILLE — The Eastern Hancock boys and girls teams both enjoyed wins on Tuesday night, just in different manners.
The girls team battled back from a nine-point fourth quarter deficit to win 42-39 and improve its record to 12-7, and the boys lead from the start in a fast paced game to win 85-43 to improve their record to 9-3.
For the girls, it looked as if a comfortable victory was on the way at halftime, as the Royals had used solid defensive effort and a poor free-throw shooting night for Waldron to take a 22-14 halftime lead.
However, the Mohawks came out on fire in the third quarter, opening the half with three consecutive 3-pointers and using a 19-2 run to take a nine-point lead of their own into the final quarter.
“We haven’t been able to practice for three days,” Royals coach Sheri Doud said afterwards. “But luckily in the fourth quarter we were finally able to get into a rhythm for what I thought was the first time all game.”
The Royals again picked up their defense in the fourth, as Waldron did not score a point in the quarter until 37.5 seconds remained. But by that point, the Royals had came all the way back to take the lead behind Chloe O’Neal and Jenna Smith. Smith would finish with a team leading 12 points, while O’Neal had 11.
“Chloe is just an all-out effort player,” Doud said. “Whenever she leads something on the stat sheet its directly related to her effort.”
For the boys, they came out racing and never looked back. The Royals started on a 12-0 run, with senior Addison True having eight points before two minutes had even come off the clock.
True wasn’t the only Royal to lead the early offensive push. Duncan Cherry, Tyler Castle, and junior center Peyton Gray each had 10, nine, and nine points at the half respectively. And by halftime, the Royals had built a comfortable 44-24 lead that would only grow from there on out.
Addison True would lead the Royals with 27 points and five rebounds, but Gray was the real standout of the night. Gray finished the night with 20 points and a team-leading eight rebounds. For Royals coach Aaron Spaulding, that’s a very nice sight.
“Our guys were really believing in [Gray] and kept feeding him the ball,” Spaulding said. “He had really great positioning all night. If he can play that way consistently that would make us a very good basketball team.”
The girls next play on Thursday night at home against Daleville at 7:30 p.m. The boys will next take the court Friday night as they travel to Monroe Central for a 7:30 p.m. tip.