Arendell Parrott defeats John Paul II in boys' basketball season opener

Arendell Parrott defeats John Paul II in boys' basketball season opener

Arendell Parrott’s Matthew Huntley splits the defense of John Paul II’s Ethan Bryant (14) and Jaylin Daniels for two of his game-high 22 points Tuesday. Photo by William “Bud” Hardy / Neuse News

Arendell Parrott may have lost a pair of prolific scorers from last season, but Matthew Huntley and Nick Harrison were ready for the challenge Tuesday.

Harrison paced the Patriots in the first half, Huntley took over in the second and APA garnered a 58-46 season-opening victory over John Paul II Tuesday. The Patriots (1-0) were led offensively by 1,000-point scorers A.J. Banker and Kris Wooten last year, but with the pair graduating another duo took over.

“It was a great effort from everyone,” Huntley said. “My teammates set screens to get me open and I was able to knock some shots down. As long as we all continue to stay up, I think we can do great this season.”

The Saints (1-1) opened the game with a D’Andre Ervin basket, but the Patriots went on a 9-2 run to take momentum. Harrison would be the catalyst for most of the first half with 15 points, including four three-pointers as the Patriots went up by as many as nine.

“We were all ready to get out there for the first game and just get the season started,” Harrison said.

John Paul II wouldn’t regain the lead, although Jordan Yarrell’s 3-pointer tied the score at 25 with 2:43 to play in the second. On the next possession, Harrison would hit a free throw and as time expired, Huntley scored on a layup to put APA ahead 28-25 going into the break.

Huntley kept the momentum in the third quarter, scoring 11 and assisting on Mateus Prado’s 3-pointer in the first four minutes of the frame. Prado would hit another shot from downtown  late in the third to put the Patriots ahead 47-34, but the Saints cut into the lead, eventually getting within 48-43 on a Yarnell bucket with 4:41 to play.

On the next possession, Huntley would hit a 3-pointer to essentially seal the game as John Paul II wouldn’t get closer than six the rest of the way. Huntley ended up with a game-high 22 points, including 18 in the second half.

APA coach Dory Hines said there were flashes of brilliance, but the team has to work on a few components.

“We’ve got to do a better job boxing out and defending the pick and roll,” Hines said. “We did do a good job moving the ball and our initial defensive effort was better than I expected, but we’ve got to finish possessions and clean up some of the smaller things. Overall, I’m glad we got the win and we’ll improve throughout the season.”

ARENDELL PARROTT 58, JOHN PAUL II 46

JPII         10           15           12           9 — 46

APA       16           12           19           11 — 58

JOHN PAUL II — Jordan Yarnell 16, D’Andre Ervin 13, Brandon Forrest 11, Daniels 4, Max Dooley 2

APA — Matthew Huntley 22, Nick Harrison 16, Jones 8, Prado 6, McLawhorn 4, Beaman 2

Fouled out: None.

Technical fouls: None.

Three-pointers: JPII — Yarnell 3, Forrest 2. APA — Harrison 4, Huntley 2, Prado 2.    

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