By Matthew Bartow / WLAA
The Huron boys’ basketball team extended their undefeated streak to 11 with an easy 63-33 victory over visiting Monroe on Thursday in a matchup of Southeastern Conference opponents. While Huron has featured balanced scoring all season, this strength took center court against the Trojans as 12 players entered the scoring column for the River Rats.
Huron head coach Waleed Samaha first turned to the bench late in the first quarter, despite the team leading by only single digits at the time. Samaha said this was by design.
“We just played our sixth game in eight days, and we haven’t had an off day since we came back from quarantine about 17 days ago,” Samaha said. “They had to get off their legs a little bit, and it was also important to get some young guys some experience, and get a day-and-a-half of rest before we start the last part of the season.”
Huron caught fire from behind the arc midway through the opening quarter after a relatively slow start. Senior Tyson Edmondson, who scored nine points for the Rats, hit two 3’s in less than a minute to put Huron up 8-3. A steal by Kingsley Perkins led to a third three-pointer for the Rats, this one from senior Julian Lewis, and forced Monroe to call timeout.
Lewis led all players with 13 points for the game.
Huron’s bench got in on the three-point act late in the first quarter, as seniors Jack Den Houter and Jake Watkins each made one in the first quarter. Five total triples for the River Rats propelled it to a 17-8 lead after the first quarter.
The three-pointers kept falling for Huron early in the second quarter. Brothers Tyson and Trey Edmondson each drained a three in the first two minutes of the second quarter, extending Huron’s lead to 23-9.
Trailing 29-13 midway through the second quarter, Monroe cut into Huron’s lead with a 10-0 run. Monroe’s zone gave Huron some trouble during this run, forcing multiple turnovers that led to points for the Trojans on the offensive end.
“Their zone is pretty stingy,” Samaha said. “They have good length, with Xander [Middleton] playing at the top of the zone, who really disrupts passing lanes. We tried to go through it and around it instead of being a little more patient at times.”
Andrew McCarthy led Monroe with six points, while Raymond Anderson, Logan Frank, and Noah Miller each scored five points for the Trojans.
Huron regained momentum with an 11-0 run that commenced in the second quarter’s final 10 seconds, as senior Devin Womack made a contested layup to give the Rats a 31-23 halftime lead.
Womack’s late basket was a sign of what was to come in the third quarter. Womack picked up where he left off, converting a layup and draining a floater in the early stages of the third quarter, extending Huron’s lead to 35-23.
Huron’s defense was particularly dominant in the third quarter, holding Monroe off the scoreboard for nearly 6 minutes, and to five total points for the quarter.
Making matters worse for Monroe, Huron scored in the final second of the third quarter as Perkins grabbed an offensive rebound and converted two free throws, extending Huron’s lead to 44-28.
Huron dominated the final quarter, outscoring Monroe 19-5 thanks in large part to strong play from its bench. Adam Samaha, Sergio Bennett, and Jay Wambere each scored four points for the Rats.
Huron returns to action on Monday when it takes on Temperance Bedford. The game tips off from Bedford at 7 p.m.