From start to finish, the Red Bank Lions play flawlessly to take down the East Hamilton Hurricanes, 75-62, in the District 6-3A rivalry game.
The Lions’ Anthony Bonner had a masterclass performance in the win with 29 points. Bonner took advantage of the smaller starting-five for the Hurricanes, as he cashed in from inside of the arc with 10 makes.
“Anthony Bonner is a stud, and he keeps growing and growing,” said Red Bank’s Head Coach Nick Fike.
Bonner may have taken the next step up with his game. His scoring outburst must have inspired his teammates as the Lions knocked down shot after shot, whether if they were contested or not. Red Bank’s Javonte Johnson would end with 11 points, matching Bonner’s impressive performance by knocking down pivotal 3-pointers throughout the night.
“Javonta Johnson can shoot the ball he just needs more confidence, and we are trying to instill that more and more,” said Fike.
Johnson had confidence tonight. Whenever the Lions needed a break in the second half, Johnson would be posted up behind the arc, ready to drill a 3-pointer home. With shots falling like that, there was not much the Hurricanes and Head Coach Andy Webb could do.
“All the credit to Red Bank, they played together tonight and hit some really tough shots down the stretch,” said Webb following the game. “Two or three times, we would apply pressure and try to close the gap, and they would hit another tough shot.”
The Lions captured the lead late in the second quarter, 31-30, and would not look back.
“When you walked into that locker room, there was not one kid sitting down. They were bouncing around. They did not want to get stiff. About 13 to 14 of them were standing up,” added Fike about the energy in the locker room.
Coming out of the half, Red Bank would outscore East Hamilton 23-13 in the third quarter with their lead escalating into the double digits. Playing without their starting power forward, Juan Bullard, the Hurricanes would not be able to recoup the lead as the Lions roared in the fourth quarter.
“We had to bring the energy defensively, limit our turnovers, and execute on offense. That was our plan, and I think we hit every phase of that tonight,” said Fike. “Our guys stepped up. It was a total team effort.”
The loss may sting for East Hamilton’s Kaden Herman, but the senior guard was awarded his 1,000-point game ball prior to tipoff. Herman would add 18 points to his point totals after the night’s performance, including four 3-pointers.
“A lot of hard work has been put into. It would have been better if we won, but we will bounce back from it,” said Herman after the game. “It is a blessing.”
With the win, Red Bank improves to 13-12 on the season and is breathing down the neck of Central for the second-place spot in 3A district six. The Lions travel for their pivotal matchup against the Soddy Daisy Trojans, 13-7, with divisional standings on the line. As for East Hamilton, the Hurricanes were handed their first regional loss of the season and dropped to 15-5, 8-1 within division, and withheld the first-place position. The Hurricanes dropped only their fourth game within their home gymnasium over a three-year span. They will look to protect home court against East Ridge on Tuesday night.
East Hamilton girls 64 Red Bank 24— Led by Noa Woodruff, the Lady Hurricanes bounce back from Tuesday’s loss against Soddy Daisy with a 64-24 divisional win over the Lady Lions.
Woodruff did it all for the Lady Hurricanes. With 18 points and 10 rebounds, Woodruff would also tally on multiple blocks, assists and steals to her performance.
“She is finally coming into her own,” said Lady Hurricane Head Coach Kayla Burse. “I am glad to see the hard work she puts in is starting to pay off. She has a bright future ahead of her as long as she keeps the same energy she gave us tonight. If she puts her mind to it and stays focused, she can do it.”
The bright young star for East Hamilton paced offense and defense that saw their lead climb exponentially in the first half. By the half, the Lady Hurricanes surmounted a 43-12 lead. The energy was different on the bench tonight compared to Tuesday night, with a constant stream of communication coming from rotations and coaches.
“I love it when they are good teammates for each other,” said Burse about their teamwork. “This year has been full of adversity. I have been on maternity leave for over half the season, so I am still trying to get the same team I left back. We are extremely young with only one experienced senior. Tonight, was a good step forward, but we still have a long way to go.”
With such a young squad, Burse has assembled an impressive roster for the future. As it stands now, the Lady Hurricanes are 11-7 and 5-3 in divisional action.
RED BANK 7 5 8 4 – 24
EAST HAMILTON 20 23 10 11 – 64
RED BANK (24) – Journey Holloway 12, Odum 8, Guye 2, Houston 2.
EAST HAMILTON (64) – Noa Woodruff 19, Niya McGhee 12, Makayla Maddox 11, Etaliah Laboo 10, Price 6, Calhoun 5, Casteel
3-point goals: Red Bank 0; East Hamilton 4 (Price 2, Casteel, Maddox).
RED BANK 13 18 23 21 – 75
EAST HAMILTON 15 15 13 19 – 62
RED BANK (75) – Anthony Bonner 29, Javonta Johnson 11, Malik Rizer 10, Kendrick Lloyd 10, Rice 8, Sewell 5, Johnson 2.
EAST HAMILTON (62) – Kaden Herman 18, Zachariah Laboo 14, Ashton Munson 10, Adarius Brewster 10, Scruggs 6, Dawson 2, Duffy 2.
3-point goals: Red Bank 4 (Johnson 2, Bonner, Sewell); East Hamilton 5 (Herman 4, Munson)
Records: Red Bank (13-12, 6-4); East Hamilton (15-5, 8-1).