From 27-0 to eliminated, Honaker dreams dashed by
Honaker (48) Vs. Altavista (65)
Mar 05, 2016
for the Daily Telegraph
SALEM, Va. — After graduating five starters and their coach of 21 years (Mike Cartolaro) resigning, not many expected three-time defending state champion Altavista to be in Richmond.
They are back. The Colonels rolled by Honaker 65-48 in the 1A state quarterfinals at Salem Civic Center on Saturday afternoon.
“Our expectations are always to win games, but I think everyone assumed we would take a step back,” first-year Altavista coach Troy Harris said. “But these guys are so hungry, they’ve been sitting behind those other guys for three years. We have good basketball players, they are finally getting their chance and they are making the most of it.”
It was a rough way to end the season for the Tigers. They were perfect through their first 27 games, but lost their final three outings. They lacked consistency throughout the contest with the Colonels.
“Altavista came out more intense, more aggressive and I think that was the tale of the tape,” said Honaker coach Marcus Dunham. “We didn’t match their intensity or their physicality from the start of the game. We had to play catch up the whole game.”
The Colonels came storming out of the gate. They made 56 percent of their shots in the first quarter and led by as many as 14 points. Altavista was up 23-11 after the first eight minutes of play.
The Tigers stepped up their defense in the second quarter and slowly began to claw their way back into the game. They had a solid game plan, getting the ball inside to Tanner Robinette. The post had a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds in the first half of play. Honaker had cut the Altavista lead to 29-23 at halftime.
“We played man against Robinette and that was a bad call on me,” stated Harris. “When he gets it inside it’s a foul and a layup most of the time for three points. On the defensive end, he just blocks your shot if you come inside.”
The Tigers cut it to 29-26 after a 3-pointer by Brett Boyd early in the third quarter. They could get no closer. Mateo Maulbeck used his athleticism to beat Honaker down the floor after a turnover and a couple of misses, as the Colonels began to pull away. Altavista made 73.7 percent of their field goal attempts in the second half.
“We had the momentum for a minute,” Dunham said. “But they were able to get out in open floor, open space and turned the tables on us again. When they made that push, we didn’t respond and it was lights out after that.”
Robinette was unable to help much offensively in the second half. Altavista changed up their defense, going to a zone to frequently triple-team Robinette.
“I swallowed my pride and went zone, we went 2-3 in the second half,” commented Harris. “We really swarmed Robinette and they couldn’t get the ball to him. It worked better than our man and we just closed out the best we could against their shooters on the perimeter.”
Robinette surpassed another career milestone. He grabbed an offensive rebound for a putback with 1:43 left in the game to score 2,000 points in his high school career.
“It hasn’t really sunk in yet,” stated Robinette. “I’m sure in a couple of days it will feel good.”
Robinette scored 23 points, grabbed 14 rebounds, with five blocks. Hartley Hilton added eight points and six rebounds. Blake Stinson contributed four assists.
“I think we came out a little too relaxed,” Robinette said. “Altavista had a lot of seniors last year, but they still have a good team. Their guards were just so quick, they were everywhere.”
Maulbeck finished with 27 points. Nelson Dews added 15 points in the win.
Altavista will play the winner of Eastside-Lancaster at the Siegel Center on the campus of VCU on Thursday.

at Salem Civic Center
HONAKER (27-3)
Boyd 2-6 0-0 6, Hilton 3-8 1-1 8, Stinson 0-3 5-7 5, Coleman 1-3 0-0 2, Robinette 8-16 7-9 23, Sample 2-3 0-2 4, Harman 0-0 0-0 0, Eaton 0-0 0-0 0, Farmer 0-0 0-0 0, Wilson 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 16-40 13-19 48.
Dews 4-10 5-5 15, Maulbeck 11-17 4-8 27, Poindexter 3-7 0-0 6, Gaillard 3-3 0-0 6, McClure 2-7 0-0 4, Hughes 2-4 0-0 5, Mooman 0-0 0-1 0, Farmer 0-0 0-0 0, Pannell 0-0 0-0 0, Thornhill 1-3 0-0 2, Witcher 0-0 0-0 0, Adams 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 26-51 9-14 65.
Honaker.........................11 12 10 15 — 48
Altavista........................23 6 15 21 — 65
3-point goals – Honaker 3 (Boyd 2, Hilton 1), Altavista 4 (Dews 2, Maulbeck 1, Hughes 1). Total fouls – Honaker 15, Altavista 14. Fouled out - Hilton. Technicals – none.
Nightly Roundup
Game Scoreboard
Honaker 11 12 10 15 0 48
Altavista 23 6 15 21 0 65
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