Feb. 20 at Legacy High School, the crowds for both Horizon and the Lightning showed up strong in an electric atmosphere. Heading to the second quarter tied at 12, Horizon clamped down defensively and …
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Feb. 20 at Legacy High School, the crowds for both Horizon and the Lightning showed up strong in an electric atmosphere. Heading to the second quarter tied at 12, Horizon clamped down defensively and started the new frame on a 15-0 run to gain complete control and eventually take down their rival, 62-39.
“That seems to be a familiar theme, right?” Horizon coach Chad Wilson said of his defense leading to offense. “We went to a 1-3-1 zone, something we haven’t used more than five possessions all year. We threw it in and figured without big Brock (Wisne) in there lets be active and scramble around and try to cause chaos.”
And did they ever.
Forcing five Legacy tunrovers in the first two minutes and 20 seconds of the new quarter, Horizon sophomore guards Esmond Griffin, Tabor Robison and Xavier Harris flew around the court creating steals and easy baskets in transition. Taking a 13-point lead to the half, contributions from eight players from the Hawks showcased their depth despite inside anchor Wisne not playing Thursday.
“Brock is a potential player of the league and hes that good, means that much to us so we told everyone not to do more than they are capable of. I’ve told you this before, we have a bunch of players that are going to explode and we arew going to be really good.”
Cutting the lead back to single-digits with 3:25 remaining in the third, a lift from senior Eli Barrow put the Lightning right back in the contest before a 8-0 run sparked by Robison spaced the lead back to 49-32 going to the fourth.
Horizon didn’t take their foot off the gas pedal to start the final frame either. In part to constant cutting and offensive spacing once the game became more of the half-court variety in the second half, the Hawks spread their wings and put the home team away in the fourth with a 13-7 advantage.
“We get on them over that,” Wilson said of the cutting on the offensive end. “There are sometimes where we think we are standing too much, but that is a staple to our offense, movment. Players have to be sprinting and the ball needs to be moving. When we have that player movement, that ball movment, we get to the rim a lot and it opens up our offense.”
Claiming their 10th win in their last 11 tries, Horizon flies into postseason play with confidence on their side after handing Legacy their 7th conference defeat in 12 contests.
“We are a little bit early, but now when you look back at it, none of our wins have been a miracle-upset,” Wilson said of his sophomore-heavy roster (seven) finding major success this early. “When we’ve won, we really have won by double-digits and the losses have pretty much been close fourth-quarter loses. We feel there were or two or three others (games) we should have had and that’s a fire that keeps burning and keeps us hungry.”
Eight players for the Hawks found the scoresheet as Robison led the way with 14 points. Harris and senior Daric Conkright followed with 13 and 11 apiece as senior Dylan Knabb tallied nine. For Legacy, Barrow recorded 14 points followed by 12 from junior Gavin Poxson. Senior Chase Esplin scored six.
Both Horizon and Legacy make the 5A state tournament as the No. 14 and 45 seeds. Horizon will have a first-round bye before playing the winner of George Washington and Pomona on Feb. 29 while the Lightning travel to No. 20 Legend Feb. 26.
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