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Henry’s Jake Schlosser (No. 11) goes up for a layup between Peoria Christian’s Andrew Gavin (No. 24) and Joel Hutchison during the Mallards’ 56-41 victory in a Tri-County Conference game in Henry. NewsTribune photo/Genna Ord
HENRY — In the first few minutes of Friday’s Tri-County Conference game against Peoria Christian, Henry coach Steve Self came to a quick realization.
“We got off to a quick start, and (our posts) got some touches and they were scoring right away,” Self said. “I’m not the smartest guy in the world, but I knew that was rolling for us.”
The Mallards took advantage in the post all night long.
Henry used its inside presence early as it took an 18-4 lead and relied upon it in the second half en route to a 56-41 Homecoming victory over Peoria Christian.
“The second half there was more of an emphasis to get it into the post because we thought we were doing well down there,” Henry junior Ryan Condit said.
Condit finished with game highs of 20 points and 13 rebounds, while junior teammate Nathan Helle added 17 points and eight rebounds while playing both inside and outside. Sophomore post Kyle Henderson chipped in eight points and five rebounds as the trio combined for 45 of Henry’s 56 points as well as 26 of the Mallards’ 35 rebounds.
“When we went into the second half, we told the kids, ‘Hey, get the ball in the post,’” Self said. “The pace of the game was maybe a little too fast for us (in the first half), but the kids responded really well (in the second half). We were patient, got some post touches and some scores.”
The win improves Henry to 16-3 overall and keeps it in first place in the TCC with a 5-1 record heading into the Tri-County Conference Tournament, which starts tonight and continues next week at Putnam County.
The Mallards are the No. 1 seed and will face the No. 4-seeded Chargers (10-8, 3-3 TCC) in the TCC Tournament semifinals if both teams win their quarterfinal game next week.
Both squads have first-round byes.
“This win feels great, and I can’t wait to seem them again, if we see them again,” Condit said. “It’s been awhile since (Henry)’s been the No. 1 seed in the Tri-County Tournament.”
Henry played like the top team in the conference on Friday.
The Mallards scored four seconds into the game as Helle laid in a basket off the opening tip.
Less than two minutes later, Condit and Helle combined to go on a 14-0 run to give Henry the 18-4 cushion.
Condit scored the first four points with Helle scoring the final 10.
The Mallards never trailed the rest of the way as they led 38-28 at half. The lead never dipped below eight points in the second half.
“We haven’t done that before, we haven’t got off to that quick start,” Self said. “We scored seconds into the game and we just rolled from there. We had a lot of momentum, got it out to 18-4 and we were able to maintain that.”
Peoria Christian played the second half without senior guard Ricky Carter and sophomore guard Brandon Stapleton. Carter was removed with an injured left ankle, while Stapleton was removed with an injured toe.
The Charger combo scored 15 of Peoria Christian’s 28 first-half points, but without their presence the Chargers managed just four points in the third quarter and nine points in the fourth quarter.
Still, Peoria Christian had chances in the second half and cut the deficit to 40-32 with 3:18 left in the third quarter.
However, the Chargers failed to hit the big 3-point shot down the stretch and finished the game 3-for-24 (12.5 percent) beyond the 3-point line and 16-for-62 (25.8 percent) from the floor.
“They must have scored on their first eight possessions or something close to that,” Peoria Christian coach Fred Fox said. “I was happy with the way we battled back and righted the ship, but we just couldn’t make any shots.”
Notes: The Henry coaching staff all wore red jackets during the game for Homecoming. Self said it was the second time the staff wore them with the first against Midland on Nov. 30. … Peoria Christian cruised to a 64-24 win in the sophomore game. Andrew Hart scored a team-high eight points for Henry.
Jared Bell can be reached at 220-6938, or at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @NT_SportsJared.
Posted: Saturday, January 19, 2013
Article comment by:
Just curious how many newstrib subscribers live in Henry and Manlius that the sports editor would make the decision to cover those two games instead of the st. bede game at sterling newman?? That is the fourth st. bede game in a row that the newstrib hasn't covered (ivc, bloomington central catholic, roanoke benson, sterling newman)
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