Trojans season comes to a close with a loss to Sylacauga

Published 4:16 pm Saturday, February 16, 2019

MONTGOMERY – The Trojans of Charles Henderson High got in an early hole and fought back, but big man Shannon Grant proved to be the difference in the second half as the Aggies pulled away for a 56-51 win over CHHS Saturday in the first round of the boys Class 5A Southeast Regional in Montgomery’s Garrett Coliseum.

CHHS Head Coach Doug Branson, in his first year, was proud of the way his team recovered from an early 14-4 deficit, but said Grant was the difference in the game.

“The difference was 6-foot-10,” said Coach Branson. “In the third quarter they got it in to him a bunch, and I think he was the difference maker in the second half. They hit six three’s in the first half but did not hit any in the second half. We shut that down, but he took over in the paint for them. It was tough for us, then half of our guys got in foul trouble, so we had to guard by committee. A few times it left us in the wrong positions.”

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Grant led Sylacauga and all scorers with 17 points and 13 rebounds while blocking three shots.

Sylacauga, the defending Class 5A state champion, held an early 14-4 lead over the Trojans and expanded that to 18-8 before CHHS went on a run to cut that to 18-14 at the end of the first quarter.

CHHS Trojan Keith Wheeler hit a layup with 6:43 to play in the first half, giving the Trojans a 19-18 lead, but Sylacauga came back to take a 32-26 halftime advantage, and pulled out to a 43-32 lead after three quarters.

The Trojans again rallied to make it a game in the fourth period, trialing by three at 52-49 with 0:51 to play, but Sylacauga hit four free throws for the 56-51 win.

“I’m very proud with our guys and our effort,” said Coach Branson, “I’m extremely proud and humbled with the pride and intensity and character they brought to the basketball game, and the effort they continued to have. This group grinds. They don’t back down.

“I told them in the locker room after the game that I will battle anybody, anytime, anywhere with these guys, and they have done that all year. I also talked to the seniors about the foundation they have laid and the footprint they have created for our team and our program. They brought the effort and the leadership, and they created something that the underclassmen are going to have to live up to now and that is what we expect of them.”

Seniors this season for CHHS were Keelan White, Joshua Foster, Keonte Brantley and Terrell Sistrunk.

Keith Wheeler, a junior, led all CHHS scorers with 15 points, Sistrunk added 11, Brantley nine, Marcus Grant six, Devin Parker five, Jay Taylor three and Joshua Foster had two points.

“We’re going to take a few weeks off but we are going to get after it hard in the offseason, and get after the fundamentals to make ourselves better basketball players, and in return that will make us a better basketball team next year,” said Branson,

Sylacauga will advance to play in the Class 5A Southeast Region championship this Wednesday.