North Hall’s Benjie Wood is the kind of coach that demands execution, regardless of the score. There will be no taking it easy with a big lead on his watch.
That’s why Robert Humphrey’s hustle for the Trojans (14-2, 4-1 Region 7A-AAA) on the third quarter’s final play of a blowout win against Gilmer on Monday had to bring a smile his face. Leading by 41 with only five seconds on the third quarter clock, Humphrey got into position for a rebound after his own shot was blocked and put it back up quickly for a basket in what turned out to be a 78-27 win at North Hall.
“What matters is that we do things the right way and have respect for the game,” Wood said. “The entire season is a process, and if you do things the right way, then the results will come.”
With the win, North Hall extends its winning streak to eight games, one game short of the program’s nine-game winning steak they put together leading into the Region 7-AAA tournament last season. With only one month remaining until this season’s region tournament, the Trojans coach says winning is still all about the repetition of good habits.
“We have got to be more consistent defensively and play every possession the right way,” Wood said.
Little did it surprise Wood that 5-foot-9 senior Robby Hill scored 10 in the first quarter and finished with a game-high 20. This season, Hill moved from point guard to the post despite his lack of size, and has been a big producer for North Hall.
“Robby is a kid that works his tail off and does what we ask him to do,” Wood said. “He’s never once missed a practice and has turned into the best finisher on the team.”
Against Gilmer, Hill scored six early points and was the catalyst on a 10-1 run in the first three minutes of the game.
“It’s awesome; people don’t expect me to do much as a post player because of my size,” Hill said. “And I just kept grabbing rebounds.”
North Hall’s leading scorer says the lack of complacency comes from not wanting to repeat a past mistake — like blowing a 20-point lead and losing to Pickens in overtime earlier this season, the Trojans’ only subregion loss.
The Trojans finished with 12 players scoring against the Bobcats. Kanler Coker scored 15 for North Hall. Trevor Ross and Chase Syfan each added eight points for the Trojans.
Aaron Evans was Gilmer’s leading scorer with 10.
North Hall plays host to Chestatee at 7:30 tonight. Gilmer visits Chestatee at 8:30 p.m. Friday.
NORTH HALL GIRLS 43, GILMER 40: North Hall’s Taylor Swoszowski hit a 3-pointer with only 25 seconds remaining to take the lead and secure the win Monday at North Hall.
Leading 40-39, Gilmer (6-10, 2-4 Region 7A-AAA) missed a chance to increase its lead with two missed free throws and only 55seconds left to play.
Gilmer tied the game at 38-38 with 3:20 left to play when Brittany Lowman hit a basket. Lowman, a freshman, led the Lady Bobcats with 16 points. After her game-tying basket, she scored again the next trip down the court to give the Lady Bobcats their first lead since the first half.
North Hall (12-4, 4-1) led 38-31 after three quarters, but lost the lead primarily due to five turnovers which led to six Gilmer points over a two-minute span.
Mary Kate Rushton led North Hall with 14 points and Sarah Paschall added 11 points and seven rebounds.
The Lady Trojans play host to Chestatee at 6 tonight. Gilmer visits Union County at 6 p.m. Wednesday in Blairsville.