Richard Hillis

Richard Hillis

Spartans take tourney behind defence and balanced scoring

HSS take their home tournament with all-around approach.

The game looked out of reach at halftime, but the Hazelton Secondary Spartans senior boys’ squeaked out a victory over Smithers Secondary Gryphons 73-71 Feb. 7.

HSS also won both games on Saturday to take their home tournament.

Spartans’ head coach, Tamara Stoney liked the result, but knows there is room to improve.

“We moved the ball really well in the first half,” Stoney said. “But that stopped in the second half. We definitely could’ve limited the dribbling.”

Colton Murrell was forced to protect the rim and fouled-out midway through the fourth quarter, which left his teammates to pick up the slack.

“We played well without [Colton] in there,” Stoney said. “Now our guys know we can win regardless of who’s on the floor, as long as we work together.”

SSS had closed to within five points, after being down by 13 at halftime, when Murrell was forced to leave the game due to a reach-in foul.

Trent Monkman was the lone offensive threat for SSS with 36 points. He and Spartan Ryan Wright traded baskets for the rest of the final frame.

SSS exploded for 21 points in the fourth, behind Monkman’s 16, but the Spartans managed to break SSS’ full court press for easy baskets and free throws to close out the game.