SPRING VALLEY – The Hall Red Devils couldn’t recover from a poor shooting first half on Tuesday night.
The Colmone Classic hosts connected on just 6 of 27 shots, and leading scorer Brett Fanning was held scoreless in the opening half as the Plano Reapers jumped out to a 12-point halftime lead.
Hall battled back to get within four points in the fourth quarter, but the Reapers held off the comeback bid to win 62-52 in the nightcap of the second night of tournament action.
“We were 22 percent in the first half; that’s why we lost,” said Hall coach Mike Filippini. “It wasn’t because of a lack of effort or anything like that. When you shoot 22 percent in a half, you are not going to beat very many teams.”
After falling behind 12 points at the break, Filippini wanted to his team to get the deficit within single digits heading into the final period, so his team could stay within striking distance.
The Red Devils answered that challenge.
Consecutive three-pointers from the right baseline by Fanning and Ian Trevier started an 8-0 run in the final two minutes of the third. Trevier’s three was part of a rare five-point play as Fanning was fouled by Jon McDermott while fighting for rebounding position. Fanning sank both free throws to make it 39-35.
However, Hall would never get closer than four points in the final eight minutes as Plano played a near perfect fourth quarter. The Reapers made five of seven shots from the field, but more importantly sank 13 of 14 freethrows, which was huge from a team shooting 52 percent from the line coming into the game.
“They are not that high of a free-throw shooting team, and they weren’t even hitting the rim in the fourth quarter,” said Filippini. “They looked like Larry Bird shooting free throws. We went to the foul early, and they made their free throws. We put them on the line enough to prove it, and they proved it.”
Plano point guard Elijah Wallace made seven of eight free-throws and scored 11 of his game-high 23 points in the fourth quarter. When the Reapers needed a big bucket, he provided it.
“To be honest I was a little bit nervous towards the end,” said Wallace. “They went on a bit of a run, and I’m glad we were able to come away with the win. We knew that (Fanning) was good; they were a pretty athletic team; and they were going to play hard. It was a good game. They gave us a run for our money.”
After being shut out in the first half, Fanning finished with 17 points to lead Hall. Two straight transition layups in the first 25 seconds of the third quarter was all he needed to get going as he shot six of eight in the second half after an zero for eight first half.
Miguel Villarreal and Danny Nolasco were also in double figures for Hall (3-7) with 13 and 10 points, respectively.
“Even though we were down we had some other guys chipping in,” said Filippini. “Miguel had a nice offensive game. Nolasco was in double digits. Austin Schmidt had a great game on defense. He had two or three steals and got his hand on some passes. We had some other guys step up.”
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