SPRING VALLEY — A second quarter offensive explosion by the Hall Red Devils propelled them to a 76-59 victory against the Sherrard Tigers Friday night at Red Devil Gymnasium.
Hall went on a 21-1 scoring run spanning the last 5:08 of the second quarter and the first 20 seconds of the third quarter to open up a 19-point lead and a 41-22 score at the 7:40 mark of the third quarter.
“We didn’t cover in the second quarter; we just did not cover. We did not play very good defense, and we’re giving up way too many points and we know that,” Sherrard coach Barry Jackson said.
Sherrard struggled with the combination of senior Hall guard Miguel Villarreal’s ability to drive the lane for layups and draw the defense and his counter part junior guard A.J. Gaeta’s ability to shoot from range.
“A.J. gets a lot of his threes off of Colin (Aimone), Taggert (Venegas) and Miguel’s dribble penetration. That’s a big part of our offense, get dribble penetration and if they help then we kick it and if they don’t help we make a layup,” Hall coach Mike Filippini said. “The kids did a great job following the game plan and like I said, Miguel is great at taking it to the hoop, and you know he had another monster game for us.”
“I thought we came out in the first quarter and played very hard. We talked about who their shooters were and what they could do, and the Villarreal kid got to the rim very well and we knew that and we did not step up and slow him down,” Jackson said.
Villarreal and Gaeta led the Red Devil offense during the stretch, as Villarreal scored six points and Gaeta scored nine points. Each player finished with a game-high 20 points.
“Miguel had a huge, huge game. He carried us; I said to the kids at halftime, ‘You better thank Miguel because he’s the one that kept us in the first half.’ I mean he was unbelievable in the first half, the second half he was too,” Filippini said.
Gaeta scored on consecutive plays to end the first half as he made a transition layup off a nice bounce pass by senior guard Colin Aimone. On the next possession, he popped wide open to the corner and drained the 3-point base line jumpshot to give the Red Devils a 39-22 lead at half time.
Sherrard steadily chipped away at the Red Devils lead for the remainder of the third quarter before senior forward Jake Kissner cut the Hall lead to 54-46 on a base line drive with 7:23 left to play.
Gaeta answered the bell on the next Hall possession with a three-pointer from 2 feet behind the arc.
The remainder of the fourth quarter saw the Red Devils gradually add to their lead en route to downing the Tigers by 17-points with a score of 76-59.
“Our defense in the second quarter and our boxing out the entire game is what won us the game,”0 Filippini said. “Miguel had a great game, and A.J. had a great game shooting the ball as well.”
*Notes: Hall will host rival Princeton Tuesday night.