Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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February 9, 2013

Honaker boys take Black Diamond crown

HONAKER, Va. — When it comes to the Black Diamond District Honaker may soon be changing its name to Title Town.

The Tigers won the BDD regular season title with a 66-61 win over their arch-rival, the Haysi Tigers Friday night at A.P. Baldwin Gymnasium.

It was Honaker’s first boys hoops crown since 2003, but the Tigers have been dominating football and baseball in recent years and won the BDD volleyball title this past fall.

Most of the same athletes who led Honaker to the state football finals last fall could not dominate Haysi, which overcame a 48-40 deficit to take the lead twice in the final 2:27.

Haysi (15-6, 8-2) took a 61-60 lead on a bucket by Peyton O’Quinn with 1:38 remaining. It was the last points the visiting Tigers would score.

A bucket by Casey Dye with 1:17 left gave Honaker the lead for good, 62-61.

Ty Hall hit two free throws and Hunter Lester got a breakaway lay-up in the final minute as Haysi missed its last three shots from the field.

Dye and Payton Ball each finished with 13 points and Lester finished with 10 for Honaker, which avoided a playoff for the title with its rival after beating Haysi for the second in four days.

“We had the want-to tonight,” said Ball, who had nine rebounds.  “We were scrappy, we were determined we weren’t going to get out-hustled tonight.

“We’ve been big rivals with Haysi for so long we knew they were going to make it tough on us.”

Tyler Tipton (17 points), Hunter Sutherland (16) and O’Quinn (16) combined for 50 points for Haysi, which scored the first seven points of the game but trailed 31-28 by halftime.

Honaker kept building a lead and Haysi kept cutting into it throughout an emotional and sometimes physical second half.

“It seemed like every time we’d get close they’d make a key foul shot or get a key rebound,” Haysi coach David Robinette said.

“And a few breaks here or there just went their way. But give Honaker credit, I think they’re deserving champions.”

Honaker limited Haysi’s touches on the perimeter, a big factor against a team with three of the better long range shooters in the area.

“I thought the most important thing for us tonight was our defensive intensity,” Honaker coach Marcus Dunham said. “We got a few more 50-50 balls tonight. We also did a good job covering their shooters on the perimeter. We lost them a few times, but fortunately they didn’t hit many (3s).”

Hall dished out nine assists and came up with five steals for Honaker, which took a timeout after Haysi took the lead in the closing minutes, its first lead since the first half.

“Coach Dunham just told us to keep our focus,” Hall said. “He told us to stay calm and keep playing.”

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