Helena boys down Briarwood to start area play 1-0

Published 10:41 pm Tuesday, January 10, 2023

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor

NORTH SHELBY – Behind three scorers in double figures and a hounding defensive effort, the Helena Huskies made a statement to open area play on Tuesday night, Jan. 10 in a road win against Briarwood.

The Huskies opened the game on a 15-4 run and never looked back, as Briarwood got no closer than eight the rest of the way in a 59-37 win for Helena.

 Josh Williams was a big reason for the success with 27 points on the night, while Owen Davis totaled 11 and Ian Johnigan 10 for the winning team.

 Helena got off to a strong start in the opening quarter of the game with two 3-pointers in addition to an and-1 from Williams as part of an 11-2 run out of the gate.

Briarwood responded with two more free throws only to have sophomore Joseph King score four points in a row for the Huskies to take a 15-4 lead at the end of the frame.

Briarwood hit a 3-pointer to open the second quarter hoping to shift momentum, but the Huskies came right back with two baskets from Williams and a 3-pointer from Davis to stretch the lead to 22-7.

The Lions got an offensive put back shortly after, but then, Johnigan caught fire.

He hit a deep jumper and a 3-pointer to extend Helena’s lead to 27-19. Then, after Briarwood scored four in a row, he hit another 3-pointer to make it 30-14 late in the half.

The Lions did get two more points before the break, but the strong finish from Johnigan was enough for a 30-16 advantage going into the half.

Like Johnigan to end the first half, Williams opened the second half on fire.

The guard started with an and-1, followed by a steal and floater before a spin move in the paint ended with a lay in to put Helena on top 37-16.

After Briarwood hit its first basket of the third, Williams then answered right away with a 3-pointer to total 10 points quickly in the period and put his team up 22.

Briarwood then hit a three to cut the deficit to 19, but Davis responded on the ensuing trip up the floor with another three, while Williams put in another and-1 shortly after to make it 46-23 late in the third.

The Lions followed with six straight to end the quarter and make it slightly closer at 46-29 going to the final quarter.

They then opened the fourth with another three to make it a 14-point game, but a 7-2 run from Helena stretched the lead back to 19 before four straight free throws and an 11-2 run cemented the win for the Huskies.

Briarwood was led by eight from Miles Gilbert, while five different players had at least five points. The Lions are now 1-1 in area play.