Hamilton Southeastern edges Vikes in Holiday Hoops Tournament

Huntington North’s Joe Stoffel (middle) passes to teammate Hank Pulver (bottom left) as Hamilton Southeastern’s Nick Bowman attempts to deflect the ball during a boys’ varsity basketball game in the Holiday Hoops Tournament on Friday, Dec. 29, at North Arena. The Vikings fell short to the Royals, 45-44.
Huntington North’s Joe Stoffel (middle) passes to teammate Hank Pulver (bottom left) as Hamilton Southeastern’s Nick Bowman attempts to deflect the ball during a boys’ varsity basketball game in the Holiday Hoops Tournament on Friday, Dec. 29, at North Arena. The Vikings fell short to the Royals, 45-44. Photo by Steve Clark.

The Huntington North High School boys’ varsity basketball team got edged by Hamilton Southeastern, 45-44, in the Holiday Hoops Tournament on Friday, Dec. 29, at North Arena.

A tight affair from start to finish, the Royals took an early lead on the Vikings in the first quarter, 11-7, which the hosts narrowed to just a point, 20-19, by the end of the second. Coach Craig Teagle’s squad carried that momentum into the third, which saw it score the period’s first nine points to open up a 28-20 lead. Southeastern cut that margin in half by the end of the frame, 31-27, and proceeded to outscored Huntington North 17-14 in the final quarter to escape Bob Straight Court with the win.

Huntington North, 9-2, was led by junior Sawyer Stoltz, who scored 11 points. Senior Mitchell Geller added nine points to the Vikings’ cause, plus five rebounds, which helped give the hosts an 18-17 edge on the boards.

The Vikings went 14 of 30 from the field for 46.7 percent and 13 of 17 at the free-throw line for 76.5 percent.

Southeastern, 10-0, was led by Noah Smith, who tallied 11 points, and Chaz Birchfield and Aaron Etherington, who each chipped in nine points.

The Royals converted 15 of 30 field goal attempts for 50 percent and 12 of 19 freebie tries for 63.2 percent.