Hendrix provides spark for Senecas

Senior hits three straight 3s in first quarter; Seifert finishes with 22 in non-league victory

Calvert's Nick Seifert is defended by Edison's Carson Ehrhardt during the second half of a basketball game on Wednesday, Jan 23, 2019. Jonathon Bird

It happened in a flash.

Blink and you might have missed it.

Calvert was trailing more than halfway through the first quarter against Edison.

Enter Hunter Hendrix.

Three consecutive 3-pointers, an assist on a bucket to Nic Somodi, and a jumper off of an Edison turnover, and the Senecas were on their way.

Calvert's Mitch Nielsen drives to the hoop during the second half of a basketball game on Wednesday, Jan 23, 2019. Jonathon Bird

The Chargers got within six points in the second quarter, and never within double digits in the second half, as Calvert topped Edison, 64-49, in non-league action on Wednesday.

“Hunter does a great job of spotting up in the dribble penetration,” Calvert coach Jon Otterbacher said. “When you get hot like that, you get more active on defense. He was getting tips and steals. He did a great job in the first quarter. He was our catalyst tonight. He is probably our best overall shooter when he is open.”

The first two triples prompted a timeout from Edison coach Kyle Hammond. The next one gave the Senecas (10-5) a 14-7 lead and the margin blossomed to 18-7 after eight minutes.

“Hendrix came out and hit some shots early,” Hammond said. “He got them going and energized. I thought for the most part we weathered that. For a young team on the road, that was tough.”

The Chargers (1-13) sliced the lead to six points on three separate occasions, thanks in part to the timely shots of Larry Kessler.

“We did not match up well coming out of our half-court trap,” Otterbacher said. “There was a couple times we lost (Kessler) and we knew their three best players were going to do the bulk of their shooting.”

But, Calvert put together another double-digit run to distance itself. Nick Seifert hit a 3, Jack Shultz scored off of an offensive rebound, and Josh Recker recorded a three-point play. After another Edison turnover, Seifert’s bucket pushed the lead to 33-17.

“We had to do a better job of identifying who can shoot it,” Hammond said. “It took us a little bit. Unfortunately, we have had our fair share of growing pains with a young team.”

The Senecas led, 33-20, at halftime. Calvert was able to take care of the ball extremely well in the third quarter. After just four first-half turnovers, the Senecas committed just one turnover in the third.

“We talk about ball control a lot,” Otterbacher said. “We have to understand when we attack the basket, we want to make the sound, solid passes instead of the highlight-reel passes.”

That helped Calvert slowly but surely extend its lead. Consecutive buckets by Seifert gave the Senecas a 44-27 lead. Later, Somodi scored back-to-back hoops for a 50-29 margin.

Both teams emptied their benches in the fourth quarter. Seifert scored down low and Hendrix made two free throws — his first points since the first quarter outburst — extending the Calvert lead to 64-41 with 4:25 left.

Kessler finished with 19 points, but only four points after halftime. The Chargers committed 19 turnovers and made just 2 of 8 free throws.

“Larry has been outstanding for us all season,” Hammond said. “I think the second half had a lot to do with Calvert identifying him much better and taking him away.”

Seifert paced the Senecas with 22 points and nine rebounds. Hendrix tallied 13 points while Somodi scored 12 points.

“We played solid defense,” Otterbacher said. “We did a pretty good job of limiting their dribble penetration. Edison was not attacking as hard as they did in the second half. I think they relied on the 3-pointer a little too much.”

Calvert made 6 of 9 3-pointers including making the first five it shot.