A career-high night from Triston Cooper led East Hall’s boys basketball team to a 81-60 victory against West Hall on Tuesday in Oakwood.
Cooper padded his stats in the third quarter with 16 of the Vikings’ (16-7, 9-2 7-AAA) 30 points. Cooper hit four 3-pointers in the third.
The 30-point quarter doubled East Hall’s point total in the game, giving it a 60-44 lead over the Spartans (11-12, 5-6) heading into the final period.
With the game all but out of reach, the Vikings continued to push as Cooper scored the final eight of his game-high 28 points and Trevor Rider knocked down a pair of 3-pointers.
“Triston Cooper had his best night of the year shooting the ball,” coach Joe Dix said. “We go to another level when he gets like that. I told him he’s spent too much time thinking about it, that he needed to go our and smile and have a little fun. I thought he did that tonight.”
West Hall’s Esteban Ulloa (9 rebounds) tried to make a push late for the Spartans, scoring nine of his 11 points in the final quarter.
The Spartans nearly doubled their total from halftime in the third period as well, scoring 20 points in the frame.
Xzavier Reid scored 11 points in that quarter alone and totaled all 13 of his points in the second half.
Tylor Brown helped facilitate the big night for Cooper, but took a few shots for himself on the night.
Brown was four of five from the foul line when the final buzzer sounded. He complemented Cooper’s third quarter with seven points in the period and totaled 18 points in the game.
“Tylor is all over the place. He’s like somebody let a tornado loose in here,” Dix said. “He just does a little bit of everything for us. He did a great job of slashing and understood that Triston had it going and he did a good job of finding him. When those two play at that level, we kind of go to another level.”
The Vikings took the tip to start the game, but it took both teams a few possessions to get started. Once they did, East Hall never played from behind.
“We came out a little slow,” Dix said. “Every time we got it to eight or nine, it looked like we were going to build a little lead and then they’d make a play or we’d do something crazy and turn it over.
“Finally, we settled down in the third quarter,” he continued. “I got a little upset at halftime and made it known how I was feeling — they responded.”
The Vikings locked up second place in the region standings with a 79-55 win over Fannin County last Friday night. With that, they’ll host the first round of the Region 7-AAA tournament. Their game Tuesday will be at 7:30 p.m., but the opponent hasn’t been decided yet.
Before that, East Hall will travel to Franklin County Friday night for the final game of the 2015-16 regular season. That game will begin at 8:30 p.m.
West Hall will host Dawson County Friday night and will tip off at 8:30 p.m.
WEST HALL GIRLS 65, EAST HALL 62 (2OT): The Lady Spartans (15-8, 7-4 7-AAA) started off on a 9-0 run Tuesday night in front of their home crowd and never trailed in regulation, but needed a pair of overtimes to defeat the Lady Vikings (18-5, 9-2).
East Hall trailed the entirety of regulation, but tied the game up on a 3-pointer from Carly Winters with over a minute remaining in the fourth quarter to send the game to the first overtime at 54-all.
Ashlyn Ellison scored the last of her 25 points, hitting two free throws in the extra period. The last foul shot she hit gave the Lady Vikings their first lead of the game with 11 seconds remaining in the OT.
Then, with six seconds left and leading by one, Ellison fouled out of the game, sending Macy Passmore to the line for the second time in the first overtime.
With the chance to go ahead, Passmore made the first free throw to tie, but missed the second. The 56-56 game went to a second overtime period.
In that extra time, Winters hit four of five free throws, while Kylah Mize made a layup.
Anna McKendree hit six of her eight attempts from the charity stripe, Izzy Salgado made one of two and Passmore made a layup to compile the final score.
McKendree finished the game with a game-high 27 points and 11 rebounds to total a double-double. She was eight of 10 from the free throw line.
Megan English scored nine first-half points and finished with 13 for the Lady Spartans. Passmore finished with 12.
Ellison’s 25 points led the Lady Vikings, but Winters hit five of her seven attempts from the foul line and finished with 21.
East Hall will travel to Franklin County Friday to finish up the regular season. The tip will come at 7 p.m.
West Hall will host Dawson County Friday and will tip at 7 p.m. as well.