The North Hall boys basketball team put together a smothering defensive performance Monday evening against West Hall in the first round of Lanierland, holding the Spartans to just 13 points in the first half and eventually cruising to a 60-40 win.
The Trojans managed to pull off the victory to advance to the semifinals, despite missing all but four varsity players due to COVID-19 protocols.
After the game, North Hall coach Miles Kendall said it took a full team effort to pull through the adversity and stay solid on the defensive end.
“We know there will be nights that the shots aren’t going to fall, so we’d better be able to defend every night,” he said. “We don’t have that one just great defensive stopper. It always has to be a team effort. We don’t play one-on-one defense. We play team defense. These kids just grind in practice. They believe in playing hard on defense. It showed today.”
The shots were falling for the Trojans too though on Monday, as North Hall hit on 10 3-pointers in the game, four coming from lone available senior Eli Campbell, who led the team with 18 points.
Chase Reed paced West Hall with 17 points.
The Trojans blanketed the Spartans defensively throughout the first quarter, holding the Spartans to just 6 points and keeping them off the scoreboard entirely for a five-minute period through the middle of the quarter. The Trojans got 3s from Robert Terry, Brady Hall and Edward Doig during that span to push into the lead early.
North Hall led by 12 after the first quarter, but struggled offensively to start the second.
West Hall scored the first 5 points of the frame to start to even things up, but the Trojans refocused down the stretch, holding the Spartans off the scoreboard entirely for the final two minutes of the second frame and scored 13 points themselves to push their lead 35-13 at the half.
West Hall found some offensive rhythm in the second half, but North Hall kept up its hot shooting, getting four more 3s in the third to stay ahead by 20 through three quarters.
Reed scored 8 straight for West Hall in the fourth to briefly get the Spartans on a run, but it was not enough to overcome the double-digit deficit.
Up next, North Hall faces Cherokee Bluff at 5 p.m. Tuesday in the semifinals. West Hall faces East Hall at 12:30 p.m. in the consolation round.