Charles Henderson boys advance to regional finals

Published 12:28 pm Friday, February 18, 2022

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The Charles Henderson Trojans bested the Pike Road Patriots 71-55 in the Class 5A Regional Semifinals on Feb. 18 in the Garrett Coliseum in Montgomery.

The win propels the Trojans to the Elite 8 for the first time since 2004. With this being the first time Charles Henderson had competed in the regionals in over 15 years, the Trojans felt that pressure early.

“We played good enough to win,” Charles Henderson coach Tim Fayson said. “For this being our first time here, I think the guys handled it pretty well.

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“Once we found our legs and we found our rhythm and started playing Charles Henderson basketball we played well. I’m proud of them.”

The two sides battled to a 15-15 tie going into the second quarter and the Trojans held a 35-24 lead at halftime. The fast-paced, long-shooting Trojans struggled from the three-point line in first half – hitting just 2-of-8 attempts – but knocked down 4-of-6 threes in the third quarter.

“We just had to keep playing and not thinking; just do,” Charles Henderson senior Akeives Shorts said. “We were overthinking things (in the first half). I was nervous, we were nervous with this being our first time here.

“We just kept playing ball and playing hard and make sure we leave it all on the floor with no regrets. We also had to keep up that defensive intensity.”

Along with shots falling for the Trojans, they were also able to force 20 Pike Road turnovers.

“Sharing the basketball putting a little more pressure (on them) and pushing the basketball was big,” Fayson said. “We had to have that sense of urgency. Pace and pressure is everything and once we got the pressure right, that’s when our true colors show.”

Shorts led the Trojans with 18 points, six rebounds and five steals, while Tay Knox added 12 points, eight rebounds and six blocked shots. Jywon Boyd chipped in with 12 points and Jayden Spearman added nine points and seven rebounds. Pike Road was led by Kelby Westry with 16 points and eight rebounds.

Charles Henderson will return to Montgomery for the regional finals on Feb. 23.