Three finish in double figures as Helena cruises past Pelham

Published 11:07 am Saturday, January 12, 2019

By GRAHAM BROOKS / Staff Writer

HELENA – A big second quarter run along with three players finishing in double figures led to an impressive 66-48 win for Helena over area rival Pelham in a packed Helena High School gymnasium the night of Friday, Jan. 11.

Daunte Cave’s 30-point night led the way for the Huskies as he finished as the game’s leading scorer to cap off an impressive week where Helena went 2-0 to open area play. The win for Helena on Jan. 11 marked the fourth in a row against rival Pelham.

In a game where emotions were sure to be high, Helena never let the moment get too big and played within its game as the majority of the Huskies’ roster contributed in some form or fashion.

After a tight first quarter that saw Helena hold a slight 11-9 lead, the Huskies blew the game open with a huge second quarter going on a 25-6 run.

Helena opened the second quarter on a 9-0 run that included back-to-back 3-pointers from Cave and Caden Pierce that quickly extended the Huskies’ lead to 20-9.

From there, Helena didn’t let up as Nate Andrews hit two 3-pointers in the quarter as the Huskies as a team made five 3-pointers in the second quarter alone to take a 36-15 halftime lead. Andrews finished with 10 points in the game with all his points coming in the first half.

“We knew we had to guard and we knew they were going to try and use their big guys and feed them and try and kick it back out to their shooters but we got on a roll there and got some stops,” Helena head coach Billy Grant said of the second quarter run. “We started passing it around and guys started making shots and it’s big.”

For Pelham, the majority of its offense ran through Chris Brown and Blake Floyd who finished with 16 and 15 points, but it wasn’t enough to climb the Panthers out of the deficit.

In the second half, Pelham cut Helena’s lead to 13 with 3:42 to go in the game but it was too little, too late as the Huskies made free throws down the stretch to put the game away.

In the end, another key for Helena was to be aggressive on the glass and limit Pelham’s second chance opportunities, which Grant thought his team did well.

“That may of been our best rebounding game,” Grant said. “We’ve been giving up a lot of second chance shots but Jonah and Nate and Parker and those guys were hitting the boards man and that was big for us.”

In addition to Cave’s 30 points and Andrews’ 10 points, Pierce also finished in double figures with 13 points for Helena.

The win moves Helena to 14-5 on the season and 2-0 in area play as the Huskies currently sit just outside the top 10 of the ASWA Class 6A rankings. The loss dropped Pelham to 0-2 in area play.

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