KENNESAW — The second quarter told the story Wednesday in Etowah’s 59-37 win over Sprayberry in the championship game of the Hoya Holiday Classic at Harrison High School.
Etowah made big shots, while Sprayberry struggled to get ones to fall.
The Eagles (10-5) hit four 3-pointers in the second quarter to break the game open and went on to outscore the Yellow Jackets 22-4 to take a 33-12 lead at the break.
While Sprayberry (6-5) had open looks, it could not get shots to fall and had made just only 14% of their shots (3-for-21) from the field at the break.
Jonah Hamilton had two clutch 3s in the second quarter to help Etowah pull away and finished the game with 12 points. Mason Etter and Dimitri Angelakos also contributed to Etowah’s second-quarter surge with 3-pointers of their own.
“We have really good shooters,” Etowah coach Jason Dasinger said. “We’re a pretty young team, and I feel like we have shooters that can compete. And honestly, we made a lot of 3s in the second quarter, but I’m pretty sure we held them to 12 in the first half. Our defense has been holding us back, and they have grown up a lot
After Sprayberry’s LePra George hit a layup at the beginning of the second quarter, Etowah went on a 13-0 run, with the Yellow Jackets forced to call timeout at the 3:50 mark following Etter’s 3.
Etowah had already built a 24-10 lead going into the timeout and kept Sprayberry scoreless from the field for the remainder of the first half. A pair of free throws by Josh O’Donoghue were the only points the Yellow Jackets managed during that stretch.
“We have been shooting a good percentage from the field in the first eight games,” Sprayberry coach Mike Marchese said. “It seems like, in this tournament, we just went cold from the 2 and the 3. Our shooting touch left us. I’m not going to take anything away from Etowah. They are a really good team.”
Josh Hughes matched Hamilton with 12 points for Etowah, also pulling down eight rebounds. Brock Rechsteiner finished with 11 points, while Etter had eight points and seven rebounds.
O’Donoghue finished with 11 points and George added 10 for Sprayberry.
While the Yellow Jackets started making shots in the third quarter, they could not gain any ground on Etowah. The Eagles went on a 9-0 run late in the third and took a 51-20 lead on a Hughes layup.