Happy Valley starts season with loss to Daniel Boone

By Jeff Birchfield

   Pulling away in the second quarter, Daniel Boone maintained a double-digit lead the rest of the way beating Happy Valley 68-51 in boys' prep action Friday night at Bayless Gym.
   "It's not many times you come over here and jump on a Happy Valley team like that," said Boone head coach Bobby Snyder. "Last year, we trailed at halftime and came back to win in two overtimes. I thought overall the first half, we played real good and kept them off the boards.
   "The second half, we stayed on the boards. It was just a good team effort. We got to play everybody on the ballclub and that's what it is all about."
   Added coach Bayless, "They played good defense and beat us to death. They put three times the pressure on us that we put on them. They controlled everything under the basket. They made 14 points in the keyhole. When you do that, you're going to beat somebody. You can't beat somebody when you're letting them shoot right under the basket."
   Happy Valley came out cold as the Blazers reeled off the game's first six points before a bucket inside by Cody Cannon. They stayed in contention with a pair of baskets by Lamar Rollins to trail only 10-8 at the end of the first quarter.
   The tandem of Jeremy Hall and Jeremy Helscel took over in the second period stretching the advantage out to 18 points before a jumper by HV's Adam Smith and a trey by Rollins. Rollins missed another trey at the buzzer, leaving the score 31-19 at the half.
   The Tribe tried to make a charge in the third period, but every attempt was thwarted by Boone. Chris Campbell downed a couple of shots behind the arc, only to be answered by the Blazer duo of James Howerton and Helscel.
   The final period was a repeat of the previous one with HV unable to break the barrier of a single-digit deficit.
   Helscel led the Trailblazers pumping in 22 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. Hall was just as deadly, with his 17 points, all coming in the first two and a half quarters. The Warriors countered with Campbell, scoring 18 points on the strength of a trio of treys. Rollins added 13 points and pulled down 11 rebounds.
   "They showed us how to rebound," said Bayless. "They got the loose balls and beat us on the boards. If it hadn't have been for Lamar Rollins, we wouldn't have had any rebounds. He's a good rebounder for his size.
   "Coach Snyder has some good players. They're well coached and fundamentally sound. They block out right good. When the ball is on the floor, it's like in football with pursuit. They do that real good."
   While it was the season opener for the Warriors, the boys from Gray were playing their sixth game of the year improving to a record of 4-2. They looked every bit the part of an experienced team, with excellent passing throughout the contest.
   "We have to be pleased with where we are right now," remarked Snyder. "We threw over top of the press and when we got rebounds, we ran the secondary break. We got the ball down the floor for a lot of easy lay-ups. That's one of our strengths right now, to spring the trigger man and get him open on the other end."
   Happy Valley will put another plan in action next Tuesday in the Watauga Conference opener against the invading Cyclones of Elizabethton.