By Robert Carter
North Jefferson News
Hewitt-Trussville’s dominance on the defensive glass, allowing Gardendale to grab only six offensive rebounds, was the key as the Huskies escaped with a 65-64 win in Tuesday-night boys basketball action.
James Calhoun was the catalyst for Hewitt, scoring 24 points — including three key free throws on four attempts in the last 85 seconds.
Guard Juan Jackson did all he could to heep the Rockets in the game. He was 4-of-8 on 3-point shots for the night, and on two misses he was fouled, hitting five of those six free throws and 7-for-8 in the fourth quarter. His trey from the corner with half a second left cut the deficit to one and gave the Rockets very slim hope coming out of a time out.
Jackson finished with a team-high 21 points. Allen Williams added 10.
It was a tight contest in the early going, but Gardendale ran out to a nine-point margin late in the first half. Hewitt came back just after halftime to take back the lead, and stretched the advantage out to nine on a lay-up and a jump shot by James Hughley in the last three minutes. He finished with 13 points.
“We just didn’t rebound. Most times the team that wins the rebounds wins the game. We shoot and three or four guys watch while they go for the rebound. They shoot, and our guys watch again. We just stand there, letting other people rebound for us,” Rocket coach Ryan Griffin said. “Even though it was only seven rebounds difference on the stat sheet, it felt more like 10 or 12.”
The Huskies pulled down 20 defensive boards, and had 28 rebounds overall. Gardendale tallied 21 rebounds.
With area tournament time coming next week, Griffin has his work cut out for him in preparing his squad.
“Obviously we’ve got to do a better job on the boards. I think we have as good a rotation as we’re going to get, as far as being able to rest people in the game, being able to sit people when they don’t do what they’re supposed to do. We’ve got the right people in the right places,” he said. “We have to pressure the ball better.”
Gardendale travels to Tarrant on Thursday night.