Huskies move to 17-1, end Calera’s 12-game win streak

By GRAHAM BROOKS | Staff Writer

CALERA – The Helena Huskies boys basketball team faced a tall task the night of Jan. 4, as it ran into a red-hot Calera Eagles team riding an 12-game win streak in the quarterfinals of the Jefferson-Shelby Hoops Classic.

But, the Huskies proved that its 16-1 record on the season coming into thw game was no fluke, as Helena took care of Calera in dominating fashion on the Eagles home floor by a score of 63-50.

A big part of Helena’s success came from its backcourt as seniors Dionte Tolbert and Justin Stuckey combined for 34 of the Huskies’ 63 points. Stuckey led all scorers with 19 while Tolbert added 15 points.

After jumping out to a 14-9 lead at the end of the first quarter, Helena kept the momentum going as Tolbert drained a 3-pointer and added another impressive layup to put the Huskies up 19-9 to force a Calera timeout early in the second quarter.

Although Tolbert may have been the smallest in size on the court, he made up for it with quickness and athleticism. Tolbert was arguably the most impressive player on the floor in the first half totaling 13 of his 15 points in the first 16 minutes.

Tolbert hit two more big shots to close out the first half as the Huskies owned a 34-25 advantage heading into halftime.

Helena opened the third quarter on a 13-4 run to take a 47-29 advantage and never looked back.

Post players Devin Tucker, Nate Andrews and several other Huskies did an impressive job on the defensive end handling the length and athleticism of Calera.

Helena limited sharp-shooting Cornelious Brown to 14 points and kept him flustered the majority of the night as Brown was called for a technical in the first half and eventually fouled out of the game in the fourth quarter.

Helena was able to control the pace of play the rest of the way and used a variety of players to grab its 17th win of the season.

Starter Ben Rose contributed with eight points, while Caden Pierce added nine big points off the bench for Helena.

In addition to Brown, Calera’s Kevin Dowdell and Tyler Millin also finished in double-figures with 13 and 10 points, respectively.

With the win, Helena will advance to play Clay-Chalkville in the semifinals of the Jefferson-Shelby Hoops Classic on Friday, Jan. 5, at 7 p.m. at Oak Mountain High School.