On Thursday, December 5, 2019, the Harrison Hoyas made the 8-mile, 15-minute trip to the Allatoona Buccaneers’ gymnasium to play a couple of backyard rivalry basketball games.
The girls got things started with the first game of the evening, tipping off at 6PM. And from the very beginning of the game, it was all Harrison. Full-court pressure defense and aggressive play by the Lady Hoyas left the Lady Bucs with little to work with. The Hoyas were stingy with points all game, only yielding 24, half of which came in the fourth quarter. With the game well out-of-reach for the Bucs, both teams were able to give their entire roster playing time in the second half of the game. The final buzzer gave the Lady Hoyas the win, 50-24. The Hoyas improve to 5-2 on the season, while the Bucs remain winless at 0-5.
It was a completely different story for the Boys though, as the Bucs ran away with their game, dropping 74 points on the Hoyas to improve to 4-1 on the year. It started out as a competitive contest early in the game, with the Hoyas owning the lead at the end of the first quarter, 17-14. A defensive struggle for both teams contributed to a slow start to the second quarter, but two back-to-back steals and breakaway lay-ups from Cameron Charles broke the scoring, and the lead, open for the Bucs. It seemed to be the dagger in the heart for the Hoyas, as they could never get much going after that. Aggressive defense and accurate foul shooting gave the Bucs a seven-point edge at the halftime break.
If there was any doubt about who owned the momentum of the game, the Bucs made it clear in the third quarter, holding the Hoyas to a total of three points until the final minute of the period, where the Hoyas were able to locate the basket for a trio of 2-pointers to end the third down 37-52. The fourth was more of the same, with the Bucs outscoring the Hoyas 19-10 in the final 8 minutes. Buccaneer crowd-favorite Kevin Malenius scored the final points of the game with an inside lay-up to end the game with the final score of 47-74.
Allatoona Head Coach Chad Phillips was pleased with his team’s effort. “First of all,” he said, “credit to Harrison. They came out well-prepared to start that game; it was very competitive. I’m proud of the guys; it’s a rivalry game, and it’s good to beat them at home, because in a couple of weeks we’ll have to go over there and play them again.”
Harrison Head Coach David Brock didn’t mince words about his team’s performance. “They punched us in the mouth,” he said, “we had a hard time responding. I was happy with how we started, which shows we can compete with these guys, but losing a rivalry game by 27 shows that we need to work to get better and grow.”
The Bucs and Hoyas will meet again in the Harrison gym on January 14, 2020. Make plans to be there.