Skip to main content

Forester men take on Terry Polston Hoops for Hope

The Huntington University (HU) Forester men’s basketball team came up short for the first time this season in an 80-70 contest that favored West Virginia Tech (WVU) on day one of the Terry Polston Hoops for Hope Classic hosted by Grace College.

It was a battle for any sort of advantage through the opening 20 minutes with defense proving king. With the exception of a brief five-point difference, no more than two possessions separated the two squads with the Bears getting the final say by scoring twice in the minute leading up to halftime to take a 33-30 advantage into the locker room.

It looked like defense would continue to dominate as two minutes came and went to start the second frame without a score. By the 14:43 mark, it was still slow going for both teams with WVU holding a 40-36 advantage. The Bears’ offense finally came to life by scoring 12 of the game’s next 14 points to balloon their lead to 52-38 with just over 11 minutes remaining.

Four minutes later, Mitchell Wilson’s three cut it to nine, 60-51, after which Zach Goodline scored six of his team’s next eight points to dwindle HU’s deficit down to five at 64-58 with just over four minutes remaining. Unfortunately, that’s as close as it would get the rest of the way as Tech slowly pulled away to eventually win by 10.

Goodline poured in 17 points to pace Coach Kory Alford’s crew. Ben Humrichous finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds for his first collegiate double double. The sophomore also swiped three steals and dished out two assists. Peyton West tossed in 14 points while Lane Sparks added 11 off the bench.

Tamon Scruggs dropped in 21 points for the Bears while teammates Andrew Work (12), Gunner Short (12), Ashton Parker (10) and Andreas Jonsson (10) also posted double figures.

The team bounced back from that loss by dominating Grace Christian University (GCU) 122-86 on day two of the tournament. The last time a Forester squad put up over 120 points dates back to 2008 when Huntington topped Ohio State Mansfield 121-61.

Alford’s crew made it look easy by putting up eight points right out of the gate which included a pair of triples by Caleb Middlesworth for an 8-0 lead that would never be challenged. It was the first two of 13 long balls that HU would drain in the opening half on the way to piling up 71 points to GCU’s 34 by the halfway point.

Sparks accounted for nearly half of his team’s scoring from deep in the first period by going 6-for-7 from beyond the arc. He missed just two shots in his first 14 minutes of play to head into intermission with 22 points already to his name. The freshman sensation finished with 25 points to go along with four steals, three rebounds and two assists by game’s end and for his efforts was named to the All-Tournament Team.

Another rookie in Landen Jordan added 16 points, four rebounds, three assists, three blocks and two steals while Mitchell Wilson tossed in 15 points and handed out five dimes. The trio all came off the bench to account for nearly 50 percent of Huntington’s scoring on the day.

Middlesworth and Humrichous each pitched in 13 points in HU’s monster win.
On the day, Huntington knocked down a season-best 19 threes at a clip of 43.2 percent. While 57 points came from downtown, another 58 points were had in the paint with a measly five coming from midrange. Alford’s crew turned the ball over just nine times while forcing the Tigers into 23 miscues with a price tag of 38 points.

Eli Carlson posted 16 points to lead the Tigers while Parker Neu and Zak Yorke added 14 and 11 points respectively.

The Foresters (5-1) have the week off before jumping into league play. First up is a home game with Taylor on Saturday, Nov. 20, at 3 p.m.