Streaks Sweep Flames
Another Big 3rd Lifts HHS, 69-36
Posted: January 18, 2013
Eastern Mennonite High School’s Nikita Stoll (left) and Harrisonburg’s Matt Shifflett battle for the ball Thursday. The Blue Streaks beat the Flames 69-36, sweeping both meetings this season. (Photo by Michael Reilly / DN-R)
HHS went on a big third-quarter run and defeated EMHS for the second time in over a month, winning 69-36 Thursday night. The Streaks outscored the Flames 26-4 in the third quarter Thursday, making it 46-4 combined in that period over the two meetings this season.
Harrisonburg (6-7) scored the first 11 points of the game and used its trapping full-court press to force eight Eastern Mennonite turnovers in the first five minutes. The Flames (3-11) didn’t score until 2:15 remained in the opening quarter, when Daniel Nyce converted a short jumper.
Sophomore Damien Sampson — the cousin of former HHS star Ralph Sampson — hit a pair of threes during a 16-0 third-quarter spurt for HHS, stretching the lead to 28.
“Lately in practice, I’ve just been mainly working on my shots from all different spots on the floor,” said Sampson, who finished with a game-high 16 points.
Brian Rodriguez added 15 for the Streaks, and Seth Kardos finished with 13.
“I thought we played well,” said HHS coach Scott Joyner, who was able to utilize his entire bench once the game got out of hand. “They shot the ball extremely well and hung with us for a half, but from guys one through 14, we played hard tonight, and that’s what you ask for.”
Eastern Mennonite did surpass its scoring total in one half from the first meeting, when it lost to the Streaks 59-23 on Dec. 14.
Martin Pou scored nine points to lead the Flames, who outscored HHS in the final quarter.
“Again, we showed at times a lot of good things,” said EMHS coach Dave Bechler.
“I thought we showed our inexperience and were tentative at times in the beginning. Harrisonburg showed us three different zones, and I thought we reacted a little better to that tonight, but the results just aren’t showing on the scoreboard yet. We made a lot more shots tonight and we are getting better but we’re young and we just haven’t found an identity yet. It’s one of those years where we have to keep working on the small things and build on it.”
Joyner knows his bench will be tested more in Valley District play, so getting his subs a lot of minutes was important.
“We’re going to need all those kids before it’s over, and so it was good to get the rust off a bit,” Joyner said.
Sampson hopes the Streaks’ recent hot streak can carry over to district play.
“We all knew that we needed to come in focused despite the score last game and get a lot of guys some confidence,” Sampson said. “We’ve been doing better in the Valley this year, and I think it’s because we’re more of a team.”
Joyner denied any inspired halftime speech to motivate his team, instead focusing on X’s and O’s.
“It wasn’t anything at halftime in particular that I told them,” Joyner said. “This game we went from the half-court trap to the full-court trap and then a little zone. We couldn’t give them open looks. They hit five three’s in the first half and we had to say, ‘No more.’ We had to make them put it on the floor as opposed to catch-and-shoot.”
HHS plays Fort Defiance Friday in Harrisonburg having won four out of its last five games.
“We’re just building confidence right now,” Joyner said. “Four out of five is pretty darn good no matter how you slice it.”