Terra Ceia teams cruise in first visit to new arena

Published 1:14 pm Tuesday, January 13, 2015

DAVID CUCCHIARA | DAILY NEWS STRONG START: The Terra Ceia boys basketball team improved to 14-2 on Monday with a win over TEACH.

STRONG START: The Terra Ceia boys basketball team improved to 14-2 on Monday with a win over TEACH.

CHOCOWINITY — The Terra Ceia boys’ and girls’ basketball teams continued their respective win streaks Monday evening against TEACH.

Both games took place at the Haw Branch Church of Christ Gymnasium and Family Life Center, a brand new facility constructed last year to house the Trailblazers’ basketball teams. For the Knights, it was their first time stepping foot on the new hardwood.

Riding their high-powered transition offense, the Terra Ceia boys’ defeated TEACH, 73-46, as three Knights players finished with 20-plus points.

Junior Ben Hubers had his best shooting night of his season, going 6-for-10 from behind the arch and notching a career-high 22 points. Sophomore point guard Quentin Van Essendelft fell one assist short from a double-double, recording a season-high 20 points and nine assists, while sophomore forward Tyler Hendrix, the Knights’ leading scorer at 19 points per game, dropped a game-high 26 points to go along with 20 rebounds and four blocks.

TEACH hung around in the first quarter with strong guard play, but was unable to match the rebounding of Hendrix early on. After outscoring the Trailblazers, 23-14, in the first quarter, Terra Ceia’s defense stepped up in the second, as the team held a 36-20 lead at the half.

The Trailblazers powered back in the third quarter and outscored the Knights, 16-13, but Hubers caught fire in the final eight minutes and locked up the win for his team.

While it was a strong showing from the boys’, the Terra Ceia girls had to battle for all 32 minutes against the Trailblazers in a 32-30 victory.

Matched up against a talented TEACH squad with a proven resume, the play of center Ragan LeFever set the tone early and kept her team in the game. Six first quarter points from LeFever were the difference early on, as Terra Ceia led TEACH by one point after eight minutes. In the second, LeFever continued her productive paint play and came through with vital rebounds down the stretch. The Knights led, 19-16, at the break.

The Trailblazers switched to a zone defense in the third quarter, converging on LeFever down low and challenging the Knights shooters to hit from range. Defense, along with a late three-pointer from Hannah McDonald, was the difference for head coach Daren Hubers through the final minutes.

LeFever and sophomore Catherine Meijer finished with 11 points apiece, while junior Rebecca Harrison notched six points.

Both teams now riding four-game win streaks, Terra Ceia will travel to Windsor on Friday to take on Bethel Assembly, while TEACH will look to rebound against Wanchese on the road on Friday.