HUNTINGTON — The District 20-4A boys basketball title was there for the taking Tuesday night, and that’s just what the Carthage Bulldogs did.
They built up a lead through the first three periods and then coasted the rest of the way for a 60-44 win over the Huntington Red Devils.
The Bulldogs 10-1, 7-0) will go for the sweep on Tuesday when they finish the regular season at Lufkin Hudson.
“We told our kids before the game that if we had to pump them up to play well with a district championship on the line, then we are in the wrong place,” Coach Charlie Tucker said. “We were not in the wrong place.
“We came out on fire and all cylinders were firing. All players contributed to extend a lead to 30 points in the middle of the third quarter. Winning in this district, especially on the road, is very difficult but these guys stepped up to the challenge and won their second consecutive district championship.”
The Bulldogs led 17-9 after one quarter and 37-20 at the half. A third-quarter run of 16-6 helped them take a 53-26 advantage into the final period.
Carthage got scoring from nine different players as Montrel Hatten led with 12, followed by Nick Stewart with 10, Quinton Owens with eight, Kelvontay Dixon with six, Kavonte Brown with five, Montrel Smith and Nate Marry with four each and Anthony Wilson and De’Aundrey Bowman with two each.
“I am so proud of these guys,” Tucker said. “However, my post-game speech was congratulations but we still have work to do. I do not want another second-round exit in the playoffs this year.
“We have to keep getting better and win every day. There can not be a let down at this point. Hopefully, we can keep up the momentum.”