It took a little while for the Hornets to find their groove again, but once they did they defeated another Class 5A team on Monday.

Junior Kriston Minor caught fire in the second half and led Huntsville to a 59-54 victory over Cy Woods in the first round of the 46th annual Conroe Christmas Classic played at Conroe High School.

Minor helped the Hornets (10-7) win for the eighth time in their last nine games.

“We had kind of a slow start,” Huntsville coach Larry Carlson said. “We allowed too many second-chance shots, but we played well in the second half. We were bigger than Cy Woods, but the difference in the game was Kriston. He was scoring in the paint and getting to the basket. He only had four at halftime, but he finished with 20.”

Senior Jordan Sandles scored 14 points for the Hornets and senior Trevion Byrd had 10.

“Sandles played pretty well. He hit two 3-pointers that were big for us,” Carlson said. “Byrd also had two 3s.”

Jason Nwisienyi tossed in five points, Brady Nichols had four and Forrest Reedy scored two.

“There were some other significant things,” Carlson said. “(Mark) Wheeler played great defense, plus he only had one or two turnovers. He showed that he may be the other ball handler we need. (Daniel) Hazlewood also played a little bit. He was a little rusty coming off an ankle injury. His scoring will come back. We’re looking for leadership from him and another ball handler.

“Byrd rebounded the ball well today, and so did Brady. Brady had three or four blocks, he used his size and showed off some post moves.”

The Hornets play Klein today at 4:30 p.m. Carlson said the Bearkats will present an even bigger challenge than Cy Woods did.

“They’re huge. They’ve got five kids who are 6-foot-7 or bigger,” the coach said of the Bearkats.

“If we can get to their weak points and put pressure on their guards we can beat them. But we’ve got to play a lot better defense if we want to win another game in this tournament because the competition is very strong.”