NEXT ONE UP: Hubers erupts, Knights score 105 in win

Published 11:42 pm Tuesday, January 19, 2016

MICHAEL PRUNKA | DAILY NEWS RISING TO THE OCCASION: Ben Hubers had a breakout game against Hobgood. He scored 40 points to help lead Terra Ceia’s most offensively productive evening of the season.

RISING TO THE OCCASION: Ben Hubers had a breakout game against Hobgood. He scored 40 points to help lead Terra Ceia’s most offensively productive evening of the season.

PANTEGO — Terra Ceia reached a season high in scoring in Tuesday’s 105-41 walloping of Hobgood, improving to 6-0 in the NCISAA Tarheel Conference in the process. The Knights continued to display their exceptional team chemistry in every facet of the game.

Ben Hubers stepped up on an evening when second-best scorer Messiah Barnes wasn’t on the floor much. The senior guard erupted for 40 points on 17-for-21 shooting, including an astounding 7-of-12 from long range.

The Knights shot better than they had in some time, collectively going 42-of-72. Chase Furlough missed just one of his 10 shots and was second on the team with 20 points.

“That’s what I talked to them about before. When somebody’s got to step in, you’ve got to step in and be ready,” Knights coach Roger Klaassen said. “That’s what we were able to do. We had to deal with a few issues, but we got them worked out and we’ll be alright.

“This is the first time we’ve shot like this in a long time. It helped to be back home after a long road trip.”

Tyler Hendrix and Quentin Van Essendelft each had double-doubles in the win to help their team rebound from a loss at Wayne Country Day on Jan. 15. Hendrix scored 15 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. Van Essendelft had 10 points and dished out 10 assists.

Terra Ceia had 28 assists on 42 made baskets to illustrate its exceptional chemistry. It’s what makes the Knights so fun to watch — the no-look passes, seamless kicks for treys and the like. But that chemistry was equally impressive on their defensive end of the floor.

Only twice before Tuesday had the Knights held a conference foe to less than 41 points. Each player’s awareness of where his teammates are allows them to defend aggressively. They trap the ball and force turnovers, which only fuels their high-tempo transition offense.

“That’s basically where we start our offense. We’ve got to play solid, good defense,” Klaassen said. “Get the game going fast. Make them make mistakes. Make them make bad choices with their passes. Then we just go and find the open man.

“Basically, our offense feeds off of our defense.”

POWERING THROUGH: Chase Furlough uses his strength push by a Hobgood defender en route to the basket. He scored 20 points, most of which came right in the paint.

Terra Ceia got right to work with 32 points in the first eight minutes. Furlough scored 13 alone in the opening period. It took no time for Hubers to heat up. He knocked down the team’s second 3-pointer early in the first quarter. It was apparent the visiting Raiders began to respect the arc. The next time Hubers got the ball, he got a defender to bite on a head fake and drove right to the basket for an easy layup that gave Terra Ceia a 14-4 lead.

“When one guy gets hot, they’ll feed him the basketball,” Klaassen said. “They play as a team. That’s what it’s all about. They find the hot guy and, if he stays hot, they keep feeding him the basketball.”

The Knights opened up the second with treys from Hubers and Austin Roscoe. The offense consisted mostly of layups in transition after that as they ran to a 56-20 halftime lead.

Furlough laid one in on the run in the third to give Terra Ceia the 40-point advantage it needed for a running clock.

Roscoe grabbed a rebound in the fourth — one of his dozen in the game — and hoisted it back up for the Knights’ 100th point of the contest, which brought the home crowd to its feet.

Terra Ceia has a half dozen more games — three at home and three on the road — before hosting Pungo in a highly-anticipated rematch in the regular-season finale.

“We just have to keep getting better at what we do,” Klaassen said. “We can’t stay where we are.”