Boys Basketball: CHHS 54, East 43:
Published: Dec 15, 2012 06:00 AM
Modified: Dec 14, 2012 11:35 PM
CHAPEL HILL - Correspondent
Like any rivalry game, the match-up between Chapel Hill and East Chapel Hill Friday night was filled with emotion. And even before a hoard of celebrating Tiger students rushed the floor, the game itself was decided by emotion.
Senior forward Anthony Vanhook put the wheels in motion for the series of plays that put the Wildcats away with an emphatic block in transition. At the time, the Tigers led by just six with less than two minutes to play in the fourth quarter.
But Tiger point guard, Stephen Himmelburg Jr., was fouled on the outlet pass and the Wildcat bench was issued a technical foul for disputing the call. The result was a 12-point CHHS lead.
“I thought we were alright,” ECHHS coach Ray Hartsfield said, “until the foul after the missed shot and on top of that we got a technical foul. So all of a sudden we’re down ten instead of two possessions. Now we have to press the issue a little more with just two minutes to play. Other than that I thought we were OK.”
Vanhook set the tone for the Tigers’ 54-43 victory. He was the leading scorer with 25, he was the leading rebounder with nine and also scooped up a game-high four steals. Ryan Hegedus chipped in 8 points to help the Tigers bounce back from a narrow loss Tuesday to Hillside.
“Anthony Vanhook had a big game,” Chapel Hill coach Tod Morgan said. “We were waiting for that break-out game. We nick-named him beast last year because all throughout the year he had a really great year – double-figure rebounds, double-figure points most games. We were waiting for that break-out game and tonight was that. So we’re glad to see that.
Himmelburg also had a strong night for the Tigers as he handed out seven assists, many of them to Vanhook. Vanhook set up camp behind the Wildcat’s 2-3 zone in the short corner and the Tigers made it part of their game plan to penetrate and hit the waiting big man.
“Hartsfield also has that 2-3 zone and they extend it out a little bit,” Chapel Hill coach Tod Morgan said. “We think that the high post and the short corner areas you can attack…I think Anthony did a great job buying in to that part of the game plan and the guys did in terms of looking for him and finding him and making sure we got him the ball in the short corner where he could be effective.”
Other than a late first quarter spurt in which the Wildcats went on a 10-2 run, the game was controlled by the Tigers. That run gave ECHHS the 12-11 lead at the end of the first quarter, but that would be the last time the Tigers trailed.
Senior guard Justen Best was the Wildcats leading scorer with 14 along with a pair of rebounds and assists. His teammate in the back court, Tykeem Woodard added 11 points and four rebounds.
“We probably played, not our best game of the year,” Hartsfield said. “We didn’t execute real well tonight and that’s a credit to Chapel Hill’s defense and the things that they were doing. I hate rivalry games.”
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