Heritage High School opened the 2020-2021 basketball season at home against Coahulla Creek on Saturday and fans were treated to a pair of thrillers. However, it was the visiting Colts and Lady Colts spoiling the debuts for the home teams with a pair of narrow victories.
Coahulla Creek girls 46, Heritage 40
In the first game of the evening, the Lady Colts, ranked No. 9 preseason in Class AAA, got all they wanted and more from the gritty Lady Generals, who were making their debut under new head coach Greg Elkins.
Coahulla Creek led 23-21 at intermission, but were held to just four points in the third quarter as a late run gave Heritage an eight-point lead entering the fourth quarter.
Freshman Dayonna Perryman had five points during that span, which came during the final 3:36 of the third quarter. Brooke Matherly drained a 3-pointer and Lauren Mock had a put-back for two points as Heritage forged a 35-27 advantage.
However, the Lady Colts would start going to the rim in the final period, earning free throws as foul trouble began to mount against the hosts. Coahulla Creek would score the first seven points of the quarter and took a 40-37 lead on a bucket by Emma Snyder following a Heritage turnover.
Perryman would connect on 1 of 2 free throws with 4:01 to go and Mock's basket with 2:45 remaining answered a pair of free throws by Snyder as the Lady Generals still trailed by two, 42-40. Unfortunately for Heritage, it would be the final points of the night.
Kenley Woods boosted the Lady Colts' lead to four on a basket with 2:10 to play. Heritage would miss two free throws 10 seconds later, but got the ball back on a steal by Mock. However, a turnover in transition with 1:26 left would be a costly mistake.
The Lady Colts ran the clock down to 47 seconds before Heritage was forced to foul Brinkley Kate Reed. Reed sunk both shots to make it a six-point game and the Lady Generals would turn it over one final time with 37 seconds to go.
Katelyn Richards had 13 points for Coahulla Creek, nine in the fourth quarter before fouling out with 2:00 to play. Reed added 11 points and Jillian Poe scored eight and had a pair of 3-pointers.
Perryman scored 12 points and added eight rebounds in the loss for Heritage (0-1). Mock had seven points and 11 boards, while Syndee St. John scored four points, grabbed 11 rebounds and added two assists and a block.
Five points by Gracie Murray, four from Katy Thompson and three each from Matherly and Kortney McKenzie rounded out the scoring for the Lady Generals.
Coahulla Creek boys 45, Heritage 42
Sam Reed picked the perfect time to hit his only field goal of the night.
Reed's 3-pointer from the corner beat the final buzzer and found nothing but the bottom of the net as he lifted the Colts to the 3-point win.
Coahulla Creek bolted out to a 12-2 lead, only to see Heritage outscore them 8-2 to end the first period.
The Generals scored four quick points to start the second quarter, but both offenses would bog down for the remainder of the half as the Colts went into the locker room up 24-17.
Heritage came out of the gates firing in the third and used a fast 8-1 run to knot the game at 25 apiece with 5:25 left in the quarter. They took their first lead, 27-25, at the 3:04 mark as Cooper Terry drove the lane and delivered a behind-the-back pass to Mitchell Kennedy for the easy lay-in.
Some 90 seconds later, Carson Green drained a 3-ball from the wing to extend the lead and the Navy-and-Red would take a five-point lead, 33-28, into the final eight minutes.
The first 1:10 of the fourth saw Heritage reel off five more unanswered points, including a 3-pointer by Carson Palmer off a no-look pass from Green, as the Generals built a 38-28 cushion with just under seven minutes to play.
Nearly four minutes of helter-skelter basketball by both teams would follow, but the Colts finally began to right the ship with three minutes to go.
Trailing by five after a Ty Loveless basket pushed the Heritage advantage back to five, Reed hit a free throw and Coahulla Creek would get a steal and a lay-up by Riley Mutter. Then, after another Heritage turnover, a Cody Padgett bucket tied things up at 42 apiece.
Both teams would commit unforced turnovers within mere seconds off each other and the Generals took a timeout with 55.6 seconds remaining. But Heritage was whistled for traveling with 42 ticks left and the Colts would run the clock down to 15.2 seconds left before using a timeout to set up a final play.
Some outstanding ball movement gave the Colts exactly what they were looking for as Reed came wide open in the left corner. His shot rolled off his fingertips and splashed through the net with less than a second to go to give his team the dramatic win.
Padgett had a team-high 15 points. Mutter added 12, followed by Will Locke with nine and Reed with four.
Terry had 15 points for Heritage (0-1), including three 3-pointers. Kennedy and Palmer each dropped in nine. Green had five points and Loveless chipped in with four.
Heritage will host North Sand Mountain (Ala.) in doubleheader on Monday before Silverdale Baptist Academy comes to Boynton on Tuesday. The girls' games will tip off at 6 p.m. both nights, followed by the boys' games at 7:30.