District title belongs solely to Hornets

D.J. Shafer/Game Day Photos Huntsville sophomore guard Tie Matthews shoots a 3-pointer in the first quarter of the Hornets' 74-51 victory over Montgomery Lake Creek on Friday at the Paul Bohan Hornet Gym. 

Just like it has been twice in the previous three years, the district championship belongs to the Hornets and only them.

On Friday night at the Paul Bohan Hornet Gym, the Huntsville boys basketball team claimed the District 20-5A title outright after dispatching Montgomery Lake Creek 74-51.

“It feels real good,” said Hornets senior post T’Vondre Sweat, who poured in a game-high 23 points with 21 coming in the second half. “The game was going to key off me with me getting the ball more and putting the ball in the basket and I scored.”

The game kicked off with shots falling from all over by the Hornets (13-0 in District 20-5A, 19-10 overall).

Huntsville junior guard Raymond Russell, who finished with 12 points, kicked things off with a 3-pointer in the second minute of the game. After Tie Matthews split a pair of free throws, sophomore guard Jadarian White hit the first of his four 3s to give the Hornets a 7-0 lead.

Lake Creek (8-6, 13-19) got on the board whin Pierce Spencer split two free throws.

Matthews then drained a shot from behind the arc to give Huntsville a 10-1 advantage near the midpoint of the first quarter.

The Lions rallied to get to within two points near the end of the quarter, thanks in large part to point guard Pierce Spencer, who scored nine of his 13 points in the first quarter.

In the second quarter, both offenses were stymied as each team managed just six points in the quarter.

“I thought there at the beginning, we did a good job on Spencer,” Huntsville head coach Jay Oliphant said. “He cut loose a little bit in the first quarter.

In the second quarter, (T’Vondre Sweat) got in some foul trouble and we only gave up six points but we also scored just six points in the quarter.”

In the second half, the Hornets shut down Spencer, who is Lake Creek’s leading scorer at 21.8 points per game. The only points Spencer got in the third and fourth quarters combined were on two third-quarter free throws.

“We’ve got some guys who have really bought in to playing defense,” Oliphant said. “As a coaching staff, we stress it all of the time. We have guys who don’t mind getting in their stance and getting hands on balls and that allows us to get some transition buckets.”

If that weren’t enough, Sweat got rolling big-time. The towering senior post scored 21 second-half points on eight field goals and a 6-of-9 effort from the free-throw line.

“I was feeling it tonight,” Sweat said. “I told myself I was going to have a big game because I had to step up and do my part.”

Having everything locked up, the Hornets have three games remaining in the regular season with two on the road this week.

On Tuesday, Huntsville takes on Kingwood Park in Humble and then Tomball on Friday.

“We’ve got to have the same mindset every game. We’ve got to go out and do our best and hit shots,” Sweat added.


Lady Hornets drub Lake Creek 

On Friday night in Montgomery, the Huntsville girls cruised past the Lady Lions of Lake Creek 71-29. That victory clinched the District 20-5A championship outright for the Lady Hornets.

Markayla Johnson poured in 20 points.

On Tuesday, the Lady Hornets return home as they try to complete an unblemished district campaign. They'll be hosting second-place Kingwood Park. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.

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Gene Schallenberg is the Sports Editor for The Huntsville Item.