Colton Reed made a statement, as Heritage boys’ basketball was on its way to making history.
The Huskies junior guard came off the bench firing. His first 3-pointer cut into an early deficit, one of his next tied the game. His final of the first quarter, an off-balance shot from the wing, gave the Huskies a 10-point lead on a Millbrook team they never beat in program history.
That changed Friday night.
Heritage, behind a stellar three-point performance from the 6-foot-2 Reed, defeated the visiting Wildcats, 95-86. The Huskies had lost the last 10 consecutive meetings with the defending Cap-8 Conference champions.
Reed finished with a career-high 25 points. He was perfect from three-point range in the first half, going 6-of-6.
“I’ve had a couple of off games,” Reed said. “So I was just bouncing back and I came out strong. I was just getting confident again and just being myself. I was letting go and my teammates were supporting me.”
Five of his made 3-pointers were from the corner, and two he drained from the wing. They all came off assists, the Huskies recognizing his hot hand.
Heritage coach Tilden Brill said this year’s Heritage team, one that may have given itself a shot at the league title and the playoffs, has been so successful because of its unselfishness.
The Huskies (11-3, 4-1 Cap-8) recorded 19 assists on 31 made baskets against Millbrook. With the Cats threatening a late rally, two of Heritage’s key players in sophomores Jayden Gardner and Jarren McAllister were both on the bench with four fouls. The Huskies had a 76-69 lead with 6:06 left in the game at the time.
“I think we just had to have that next-man-up mentality,” Brill said. “If we can keep that up and keep the unselfishness, it didn’t matter who scored tonight. It was who had the opportunity.”
While Millbrook tried to remain within a 10-point margin, Heritage wouldn’t falter.
“It’s big,” McAllister said. “You can tell. The crowd was in it; everybody was in it. It was a fun time.”
Heritage junior forward Ian Hinkley, the game’s leading rebounder with nine, pulled down some key boards and got a late steal in the final 3 minutes to keep momentum in his team’s favor.
And Reed hit his final triple to solidify the upset.
“Man – he was a savage,” Brill said. “He was on fire. He’s the guy that’s been working really hard. He’s the guy that’s been in the gym. I’m so happy that his hard work is paying off.”
Jessika Morgan: 919-829-4538, @JessikaMorgan