Helena boys finish as Springville Tournament champions

Published 5:22 pm Thursday, January 3, 2019

By GRAHAM BROOKS / Staff Writer

SPRINGVILLE – As the Helena High School boys basketball team prepares to gear up for area play starting Jan. 8, the Huskies will carry some extra momentum with them after going 3-0 with wins over Pell City, Oneonta and John Carroll to finish as champions of the Springville Tournament the week of Dec. 27.

Helena defeated Pell City 59-35 in the first round, followed by a hard fought 71-66 overtime win over Oneonta in the semifinals and capped off the tournament by defeating John Carroll 46-39 in the championship game.

Below are recaps off how Helena did in each game:

Game 1: Helena 59 Pell City 35

In round one of the Springville Tournament, Helena got off to a blazing start against Pell City and never looked back.

The Huskies jumped out to a 22-6 first quarter lead as Helena’s Caden Pierce accounted for 13 of the 22 points in the opening period.

Pierce finished as the game’s leading scorer with 23 points while Daunte Cave also finished in double figures for Helena with 10 points.

Helena’s defense kept Pell City’s offense in check the entire game as the Panthers were held to single digits scoring in all but one quarter when they scored 14 fourth quarter points.

An area of improvement for Helena was from the free throw line. The Huskies finished the game 15-of-20 for a 75 percent average in the 59-35 win.

Semifinals: Helena 71 Oneonta 66 (OT)

After trailing for three full quarters, Helena reeled off 20 fourth quarter points against Oneonta to send the game to overtime where clutch free throw shooting helped seal a tough 71-66 overtime win for the Huskies.

Helena trailed 21-14 at the end of the first quarter and 32-30 at halftime. After pulling within two, Oneonta continued to pour it on in the third quarter outscoring the Huskies 16-12 to take a 48-42 lead heading into the final period.

The difference in the game for Helena was Cave, who essentially carried Helena offensively finishing with 31 points while making 13 free throws.

In addition to Cave, Nate Andrews and Jonah Hyde also finished in double figures with Andrews adding 16 points and Hyde chipping in with 13.

In the overtime period, Andrews went 4-of-4 from the foul line while Pierce went 1-of-2 as Helena outlasted Oneonta 71-66 to advance to the championship game.

As a team, Helena finished the game 23-of-34 from the foul line.

Championship game: Helena 46 John Carroll 39

One day following a fourth quarter comeback against Oneonta, Helena found itself in the same position against John Carroll in the championship game of the Springville Tournament.

Trailing 35-33 heading into the fourth quarter, Helena got crucial minutes from Cave who scored eight of his 17 points in the game in the final period to finish as the leading scorer.

On the flip side, Helena’s defense stifled the Cavaliers as they allowed just four points in the fourth quarter to finish the game on a 13-4 run for a 46-39 come from behind win.

Pierce was the only other Husky to finish in double figures with 13 points in the championship game.

After finishing with 58 points in the tournament, Cave was awarded the most valuable player award.

Helena’s first game of 2019 will be against Mortimer Jordan on Jan. 3, followed by the Jefferson-Shelby Tournament on Jan. 5. The Huskies first area game will be on Tuesday, Jan. 8 at home against Calera.