What he said: “It’s been a strange one.”
For Veterans boy’s basketball Head Coach Brett Hardy it was an all-encompassing statement; made before the Warhawks took on Coffee at home Thursday in their final regular season and Region 1-AAAAA game. It took into consideration opponents, injuries and perhaps in particular, trying to play and finish a season under the constant threat of Covid-19.
Veterans has excelled despite all three. The final piece of evidence was added with a 64-49 win over the Trojans. That put the Warhawks a perfect 19-0 for the regular season, 8-0 in the division.
DeAngelo Hines each hit 3-pointers in the first quarter to help Veterans get out to a 16-13 lead. Hines hit another one in the second. He also had a pair of buckets. T.J. Grant also hit a trey and hit on two short-range attempts. Ryland Pereda also hit a 3-pointer and had a bucket. With Aaron Jones’ basket added to the mix, the Warhawks put up 21. Coffee managed only 12. That made it 37-25, Veterans, at the half.
The Trojans played tighter in the second half. It did help them close the gap slightly, but it also resulted in a number of Warhawks making it to the free-throw line. Pereda went once and made both; he also had a basket. Grant went once and made one-of-two. Williams, his first opportunity to score since the first quarter, went once and made both and Jones went once and made both. That represented seven of Veterans’ 12 points during the quarter; Jacquari Bankston also had a trey, his points in the game.
The Trojans scored 13 so gained one. The Warhawks then outscored them 15-11 down the stretch. Jones had seven during that period – three buckets and a one-of-two trip to the free-throw line. He finished with 13. Hines added a basket in the final quarter to make his total 15 points. Pereda finished with nine. Grant scored six in the final period – two baskets and a two-of-two effort at the free-throw line – to tally 16 total points. Williams had eight to round out the scoring.
The game was a reschedule – presumably due to Covid concerns – from Jan. 26. The two also played Jan. 5, with Veterans winning 61-53. The loss dropped Coffee to 4-4, 11-10.