In the first half of Friday night's Sixth District tilt between Henderson County and Webster County, the Trojans caused great problems for the Colonels by implementing an inverted triangle-and-two defense and chasing shooters Corey Stewart and Holden Raley to take a 25-20 lead into halftime.
But Henderson County was finally able to get the offense going in the second half, and the Colonels outscored the Trojans 39-20 in the second half to escape Dixon with a 59-45 victory.
"(Webster) did such a good job in the first half of controlling the pace with that upside-down triangle-and-two," Henderson County coach Tyler Smithhart said. "It was messing us all up. The key for us in that second half was getting stops and getting out in transition."
Henderson County has not seen a good deal of triangle-and-two so far this season, and that was one of the reasons the Colonels found themselves trailing at the intermission.
"We've seen it in spots where it was a morph in the middle and you really couldn't tell what it was," Smithhart said. "It's something that we knew might be coming, and we weren't as prepared as I would have liked. But I thought out guys adjusted well and just played through it."
Webster County went on a 12-0 run in the first half to build a 21-12 lead in the second quarter, but the Trojans were unable to cash in on the Colonels' offensive woes as Webster missed an opportunity to widen its advantage.
"We just didn't build a big enough lead in the first half," Webster County coach Jon Newton said. "We had a lot of
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turnovers, missed bonus free-throw opportunities."
Henderson County remained within striking distance at halftime thanks to back-to-back 3-pointers by Brayden Lyons.
"Our guys just stayed the course," Smithhart said. "We hit some shots in the second quarter that kept us close. (Brayden) came in and hit some big shots to give us a fighting chance."
Henderson County took the lead for good on a layup by Stewart with 2:10 left in the third quarter, and long 3-pointers by Stewart and Raley helped the Colonels take a 40-33 lead into the fourth.
"Second half you have to give Henderson credit," Newton said. "They started making threes and it was like déjà vu of Union County--they were hitting threes deep."
Henderson County then pulled away in the fourth as Webster struggled mightily on the offensive end. The Trojans did not score a field goal the last seven minutes of the game and were outscored by the Colonels 19-6 in the final frame as Webster was lackadaisical with the ball and was never able to establish any offensive rhythm.
"If you can't catch a simple chest pass, you're not going to win too many ballgames," Newton said.
Stewart led Henderson County with 21 points, including 16 in the second half after the Trojans' triangle-and-two stymied him in the first half.
"Corey played through some adversity in the first half," Smithhart said. "When you're not even allowed to catch the ball and you have good athletes working on you for the full length of the court, it can get frustrating."
Myekal Sanners added 12 for the Colonels, scoring several layups on the back end of the triangle-and-two that forced Webster out of the defense.
Malachi Douglas and Tyler Camplin paced the Trojans in the loss with 14 points each. Destin Allen added nine, Aden Winn scored four, Drew Skinner poured in three free throws, and Corey Felker came off the bench to make a free throw.
Webster County had a homecoming game against Hardin County (Elizabethtown, Ill.) on Monday night, but that game was cancelled due to inclement weather. The Trojans also had a game scheduled at Dawson Springs on Tuesday night, but the conclusion of that game was after press time.
The Trojans will travel to Union County on Friday night--looking to end a seven-game skid in Sixth District play dating back to last season.