Helena throttles Thompson to open season

By GRAHAM BROOKS / Staff Writer

HELENA–The Helena Huskies boys basketball team raced out to a double-digit lead over the Thompson Warriors to open the 2017-18 season and never looked back, on its way to a 75-28 blowout win in front of its home crowd on Tuesday, Nov. 14.

Scoring came plenty and often for the Huskies as nine players recorded at least two points and four Huskies finished the game in double-figures.

Defensively, Helena harassed Thompson in the backcourt all night using a combination of press, zone and man-to-man which led to dozens of easy baskets. At the end of the first quarter Helena led 23-10 and only extended the lead as the game went on.

Helena went on a 13-0 run to open the second quarter as the Warriors didn’t score a basket until 2:10 remaining until halftime.

Helena’s unselfish play offensively led to easy baskets around the rim and behind the perimeter as the Huskies led 45-14 at halftime.

“We’re really going to work hard to be a defensive team and we talk about that all the time and I think it starts there,” Helena head coach Chris Laatsch said about the turnovers leading to quick baskets. “If we can get stops, we feel like we’ve got a really good transition offensive team but it’s all predicated on getting stops. If we can’t rebound an outlet or get steals then it doesn’t happen. I thought we guarded well in our presses and I thought our man and matchup zone were all good and we were able to get stops.”

The Huskies outscored Thompson 30-14 in the second half as Ben Rose, Caden Pierce, Deven Tucker and Davante Cave all finished the game in double-figures scoring.

Pierce led all scorers with 14 points, Rose and Cave finished with 12 points and Tucker added 10 points for Helena. Seniors Dionte Tolbert and Justin Stuckey added nine points and eight points, respectively.

The Huskies used a combination of different players all night and Laatsch says that will the plan going forward to help guys stay fresh as the season wears on.

“I think we’ve got probably eight or nine kids that could start any night,” Laatsch said. “We hope to play a lot of guys and I think we played 11 in the first quarter so we want to try to play a lot of guys early and often to keep our guys fresh.”

Zach Littleton finished as the leading scorer for Thompson with nine points.

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