St. Helena rallies in 3rd to beat Pine

Published 9:19 am Wednesday, February 6, 2013

St. Helena Central made adjustments in the second half after trailing 29-23 at the intermission and held Pine to just three third-quarter points en route to a 68-56 win Friday night in Pine in boys District 8-2A prep basketball action.

The game started off neck-in-neck with junior guard Cody Cooper hitting two consecutive treys to put Pine up 6-0 early in the game. By the end of the first quarter, however, the Hawks had grabbed a 16-13 lead.

The Raiders outpaced the Hawks in the second quarter, holding St. Helena to just seven points while they scored 16 to go on top 29-23. Cooper led the way with 10 points, while his cousin and backcourt teammate Hunter Cooper added nine, all on treys, while grabbing six rebounds from his guard spot.

But in the second half Pine connected on just one of 13 field goal attempts to fall behind as the Hawks scored 25 points, two more than in the first two periods of play. Senior center Trent Ard hit the lone basket and foul shot for Pine in the period.

The Raiders closed the deficit to within eight, 56-48, in the waning minutes of the final quarter, but playing just a six-man rotation for the most part took its toll and the Hawks were able to close out the win as sophomore guard Laton Williams drained a couple of consecutive 3-pointers to stretch the tally to 62-48.

The win propels the Hawks to 4-14 overall and 1-8 in district, while Pine’s record dropped to 7-16 overall and 1-8 in the league.

“We just aren’t very deep, and this has been a trend in the past few games where we just are hitting a wall in the third quarter and our shots aren’t falling. It has resulted in losses,” said Pine coach Landon Thomas.

“The kids played hard. They never quit. But St. Helena is bigger and more athletic, and we just don’t have the depth to give our guys a rest,” added Thomas.

“Coaching is all about making adjustments, and I feel we did that at the break and came out and came from behind to get the win,” said Hawks’ coach Roy Hill.

Sophomore forward Derrick Dillon led the Raiders with 13 points, nine of those in the final period, while both Coopers finished with a dozen apiece and sophomore forward Devante Pigott hit for 10 points while sweeping the glass for eight boards.

Laton Williams led St. Helena Central with 25 points, while teammates Brandon Williams pumped in 16 points and senior Laterance Self dumped in 13. Senior Jerrard Johnson snatched down seven boards while tallying six points for St. Helena.