Helena girls open area play with win behind dominant 2nd half against Calera
Published 11:14 pm Tuesday, January 11, 2022
By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor
CALERA – The Helena girls basketball team took a tie game at the half and turned it into a run-away victory to open area play at Calera on Tuesday, Jan. 11.
The Huskies put together two first-half runs, but couldn’t break the Eagles in the first 16 minutes of the game on the road. But that changed in the second half, as they opened the third quarter on a furious 16-2 run to create separation en route to a 67-42 win.
With the victory, the Huskies opened area play 1-0, while the Eagles fell to 0-1.
It was also an impressive night for all five starters in the win for Helena, as five players finished in double figures led by Alana Scott with 22 points. Sophia Merchant added 13, while Olivia Johnigan and Mallory Rhodes each posted 11 in addition to 10 from Kennedi Nobles.
Helena put together a few different runs in the opening half looking to take control of the game, but the Eagles clawed back each time early in the game.
In the opening quarter, Helena jumped out to its first of two eight-point leads in the first half with an 8-0 run out of the gate. The Huskies got three consecutive layups off turnovers, then made two free throws for the early advantage.
But Calera answered with its first of two big closing runs to cap off the first two quarters.
The Eagles followed Helena’s 8-0 run with an 8-4 run to end the opening period and draw within four points at 12-8 going to the second quarter.
That led to a back-and-forth start to the second quarter, with Calera eventually getting to within three at 15-12 following a possession that saw two offensive rebounds eventually end in a basket.
Helena, however, put together three successful possessions in a row for a 5-0 run that gave the Huskies another eight-point lead at 20-12.
But Calera responded again to finish the half, this time with a 12-4 run behind several possessions in a row that saw Kamryn Kinstler drive and dish to Tristan Stoutermire for easy layups.
With that, the Eagles evened the game at 24-24 at the half.
But the Huskies saw the success they were having with those different runs, and they used that to build their confidence early in the second half.
Helena opened the third quarter on another 8-0 run, but this time, the Huskies didn’t let off the gas.
They eventually extended it all the way to 13-0 before a layup ended the run, only to turn into a 16-2 start to the period for the Huskies.
Trailing 40-26, Calera responded with a 10-7 run to get within 11 points at 47-36, but that was as close as the Eagles got the rest of the way.
Helena went on to score 28 points in the quarter, which beat the Huskies’ entire first-half total by four points and gave them a 52-36 lead going to the final quarter.
They never looked back from there, scoring 15 more in the final quarter compared to six from Calera to cement the 25-point victory.
The Eagles were led by Stoutermire with 20 points, while Kevra Hall added 11.