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Confidence no slam dunk for West's Henry

By MIKE FORMAN
Dec. 30, 2012 at 6:30 a.m.

Victoria West's Darien Henry dunks a ball during Saturday's 2012 Victoria Classic dunk contest at Victoria West High School. The 6'6'' senior came in second place in the contest with 16 points. during Saturday's 2012 Victoria Classic dunk contest at Victoria West High School. The 6'6'' senior came in second place in the contest with 16 points.

2012 Victoria Classic at-a-glance

• CHAMPION: Navasota

• SECOND PLACE: Victoria West

• SLAM DUNK: Trendavian Dickson, Navasota

• FREE THROW: Davonte Jackson, Sweeny

• MVP: Solomon McGinty, Navasota

• ALL-TOURNAMENT: Navasota, Kaderius Baker; Victoria West: James Murphy, Mason Marshall; Austin Hyde Park: J.T. Lopez-Roeper; Victoria East: Christian Herring; Sweeny: Davonte Jackson; Houston CHSM, Wes Wagner.

Darien Henry had no intention of entering the slam dunk contest at the 2012 Victoria Classic.

But he changed his mind after talking with Victoria West head coach Pat Erskine and assistant Cody McDonald.

"I wasn't going to do it," Henry said. "But they told me to just go out there and compete and have fun with it."

Henry did well enough to advance to the final and finish second behind Navasota's Trendavian Dickson.

"Coach (Cody) McDonald's done a great job with him because he's more of a mentor to him than anything," Erskine said. "Just talking him into it and saying just go out there and take some initiative. It's great that he did that."

Henry, a junior, is in his second year on the varsity for the Warriors, but he didn't get much playing time last season.

"He was learning last year and this year we put him in that starting position and use him in different scenarios and he's getting better at it," Erskine said. "We've had him start and not start. He's trying to learn what his role is."

Henry showed the strides he's made by scoring a team-leading 14 points in the Warriors' 59-29 win over Houston CHSM.

"My job is rebounding and getting easy baskets," Henry said. "I feel like I'm faster than any post in our district. If I can get to the rim, that will help my team get to the line and that's how to win games."

The 6-foot-6 Henry primarily plays power forward for West and Erskine would like him to work more on his inside game.

"He's getting a little better at that so we tell him you've got to be able to score inside to bring your guy outside," Erskine said. "That's where he's struggled because he really doesn't want to do that. He could be more versatile and have more of an arsenal if he could get down low and hit them.

"He's had a couple of times like when we played East when he actually hit some nice hook shots," Erskine added. "That's going to be something that's going to be hard for somebody to guard."

Henry is also a member of the West track and field team, and he believes the Warriors would be more effective on the offensive end if they took advantage of their skills.

"We're athletic and fast," Henry said. "I think if we can push the ball up the court when can score a lot more points."

Erskine expects Henry to get more involved in the offense as the season continues.

"His role has not really been well defined until these last few games," Erskine said. "I think he's going to be a guy who can score 10 to 14 points a game for us. We're trying to get that in his head. But that's got to be understanding of shot selection and when to take a shot."

The biggest challenge for Erskine and McDonald is instilling the confidence Henry needs to become a consistent scorer.

"I know he's a young man who's always been looking down," Erskine said. "You've got to take life where you're looking at it instead of looking down at it."



NAVASOTA 78, HOUSTON CYSM 37

The Rattlers completed their perfect run through the tournament.

Navasota trailed 11-7 after the first quarter, but went on to turn the game into a rout.

Kadarius Baker scored 15 points, Shuan Frazier had 13 and Austin Collins had 12 for the Rattlers.

Wes Wagner led the Crimson Knights, who went 0-4, with 13 points.



AUSTIN HYDE PARK 61, SWEENY 41

Bradley Vaught scored 17 points and Bakari Henderson had 13 to lead the Panthers.

Jordan Limas paced Sweeny with 11 points.



NAVASOTA 68, VICTORIA EAST 45

The Titans led by one point at halftime, but the Rattlers outscored them 41-17 in the final two quarters to take their third straight win.

Navasota outscored East 20-5 to close out the third quarter and extended the lead in the fourth quarter.

Nine Navasota players scored, led by Kadarius Baker with four 3-pointers with 12 points and Jerbrell Lipscomb scored 10.

Justin Shaw scored 12 points to pace the Titans.



VICTORIA WEST 59, HOUSTON CHSM 29

The Warriors had four players in double figures as they pulled away from the Crimson Knights in the second half.

Darien Henry paced West with 14 points, James Murphy scored 12, Ruben Trevino had 11 and Mason Marshall had 10.

Wes Wagner led CHSM with 14 points.



AUSTIN HYDE PARK 48, VICTORIA EAST 41

Zach Wood's 3-pointer broke a 39-39 tie and Hyde Park (10-12) maintained the lead to finish the tournament at 2-2.

The game was close throughout. There were 10 ties and no team led by more than four points until the fourth quarter.

Bradley Vaught scored 17 points and J.T. Lopez-Roeper had 15 for the Panthers.

Trevon Ramey scored 12 points for the Titans (8-11), who went 2-2 in the tournament.



VICTORIA WEST 48, SWEENY 27

The Warriors (11-9) outscored Sweeny 18-4 in the fourth quarter to finish 3-1 in the tournament and claim second place.

West led the entire game, but never scored more than 11 points in a quarter until ending with a flurry.

West's Mason Marshall scored the game's first nine points and had a team-high 13 and Chris Erskine added 10.

Sweeny went 0-4 in the tournament.

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