Helena Middle honors student-athletes at basketball game

By DREW GRANTHUM/Sports Writer

HELENA — The Helena Huskies’ eighth grade boys basketball team’s starting lineup took on a different look for its Dec. 5 matchup with McAdory.

The Huskies’ head coach Kane Peckham started the quintet of Josh Daugherty, Richard Fitts, Jacob Graydon, Lawson Peoples and Carter Pierce as a reward for their performance not in the gym or in practice, but in the classroom.  The players were given the honor of starting for being inducted in the National Junior Honor Society.

While the accolades were for hard work academically, the Huskies also had their work cut out for them while taking on the Yellow Jackets. McAdory jumped out to a 8-0 lead courtesy of a strong inside game.

Keenan Williams got the first Husky points of the game, after which the Helena went on a 3-2 run to cut the lead to 10-5 at the end of the first.

Helena’s Justin Stuckey scored the first three points of the second quarter, as Helena pulled within two at 10-8, but McAdory was able to go on a 6-3 run to take a 16-11 lead headed into the half.

McAdory continued to keep the pressure up after the half, opening up a 20-14 lead early.

Undeterred, the Huskies began to work their way back into the contest. Dionte Tolbert kicked the scoring off with a bucket and a free throw. Stuckey followed with a basket of his own, and Tolbert responded with a pair of free throws to tie the game at 20-20.

Helena’s first lead of the night came courtesy of a huge layup and free throw by Stuckey. However, McADory was able to tie the game at 23 on a buzzer beater shot.

In the fourth quarter it was all Helena. Ben Rose opened scoring with a free throw to give HMS the lead, and Colton Hood joined in scoring, as did Stuckey and Tolbert. The Huskies outscored the Yellow Jackets 12-7 in the fourth, giving them a 36-30 win.

Stuckey finished with 21 points, while Hood had seven.