DURHAM — Durham’s Jordan High School boys’ basketball team prevented Hillside from sweeping the PAC-6 Championship games at Northern High School Friday night by outpacing the Hornets 67-49.
The girls’ team from Hillside beat regular season PAC-6 champs Southern High School 60-56.
In the boy’s title game, Hillside came out early with defensive pressure that hindered the Falcon attack. After the first quarter, the Hornets led 13-10. But the Falcons received a spark off the bench in the second quarter from Josh Thompson. The stocky guard broke Hillside’s press on several occasions and came away with three big assists to help give the Falcons the halftime lead.
In the second half, the Falcons ran away from Hillside with a quick 13-2 run to start the third quarter. Jordan’s interior defense and work on the glass helped keep that lead. Co-conference player of the year Jared Hendryx was key in that domination in the paint as he swatted seven shots and pulled in seven rebounds.
“We had a pretty good strong defense,” Jordan coach and PAC-6 Coach of the Year Kim Annas said. “We rebounded the ball and we didn’t turn it over. We had too many turnovers in the first half we had to correct that. I thought we did a much better job in the second half against their pressure and we were able to get some transition baskets. But I thought defense was where it all started today.”
Jordan’s K.J. Alston led the all scorers with 18 points to go along with eight rebounds.
In the girls’ game, PAC-6 player of the year Jordyn Smith, from Hillside, led the way with 16 points and also had a strong game rebounding the ball. The Hornets led wire-to-wire in the title match and held off a furious comeback attempt in the final seconds to claim the title.
“I think the biggest thing was communication,” Hillside coach Ovester Grays said after the win. “They came and they played well on the defensive end but the biggest thing was the communication.”