Three in double figures lift Calera past Helena

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor

HELENA – What started as a shot-for-shot battle between the Calera Eagles and Helena Huskies in an area opener on Tuesday, Jan. 12, ended with Calera pulling away from the Huskies.

The fireworks started in the opening quarter with a combined 41 points from the two teams, but after both scored 20 or more in the period, the Eagles upped their defensive effort by allowing nine or less in two of the next three quarters.

Helena, however, struggled to find the same defensive success as Calera went on to score 18 or more for the next two consecutive periods. That made the difference in a game the Eagles went on to handle with ease over the final three quarters to put away 72-54 victory.

In that opening quarter, the two teams matched each other on the offensive end of the floor, which led to an entertaining start.

Calera got off to an ideal start on that end of the floor behind eight made shots, including two 3-pointers, as well as a 2-2 mark at the free throw line. The Eagles also saw their success in a balanced attack with six different players scoring in the period.

But the Huskies were also balanced with six quarters, and they actually fought their way to an early lead. They knocked down four 3-pointers in the opening quarter as well as three additional field goals and three free throws to post 21 points and take a one-point advantage at the end of one.

In the second quarter, however, Calera made adjustments on the defensive end of the floor, forcing the Huskies to be more one dimensional.

They were forced to play through Josh Williams, who had a strong second quarter, but his nine points were the only points scored by Helena in the quarter.

Jordan Eggleston answered Williams’ success by posting eight points himself for Calera in the period, but he also got the help of 10 points from his teammates as the Eagles posted 18 points in the quarter.

That allowed them to jump in front 38-30 going into the half.

Helena responded with a 16-point quarter coming out of the break, giving them a fix offensively, but the Huskies still struggled to find any resistance from the defense.

Isaiah Green, Eggleston and Keshawn Haynes became too much to handle for Helena’s defense, as the three Calera stars combined for all 21 of the team’s points in the third quarter.

Eggleston posted nine to pace the Eagles, while Haynes added eight on two 3-pointers and a jumper.

That put Calera on top 59-46 going to the final quarter.

That’s when the Eagles turned back to their defense to close the game out.

Helena entered the final period still within striking distance, but in need of a run. Calera, however, made sure that didn’t happen by allowing just three field goals and two free throws for eight points.

The Eagles went on to post 13 more points to finish off the 18-point victory.

Eggleston led the way for Calera with 24 points, while Green added 13 points and Haynes 12 points. The Eagles got points from nine different players.

Helena was led by Josh Williams with 14 points, while Jacob Satterfield added 11.