Durham basketball advances to semifinals of Herb Jergentz Invitational

DURHAM — After a turnover on offense to start the game, Durham’s Brady Webb jumped in front of a pass from a Turlock Christian High School player and drove to the hoop to score with his left hand. On the next possession Webb, a senior, received a pass from fellow senior Thomas Husa and Webb laid it in for his second basket in as many tries. Durham took an 8-4 lead and the Eagles were forced to call a timeout.

Husa and Webb helped lead the Durham boys basketball team to a win in their first game of the Herb Jergentz Invitational on Thursday night, as the Trojans defeated Turlock Christian 55-37 in their second game under new head coach Matt Stanley.

Stanley is a Chico High graduate and is returning to Butte County after spending the past 14 years as a coach of Foothill College in the Bay Area.

“It’s big for us. It gives us big momentum into our next game,” Husa said. “I give so much credit to our coaches. They’re doing a great job. We’re all really talented players and can do a lot on our own, but for us to work together is a big deal.”

Webb led Durham in scoring Thursday night with 23 points, including 17 in the first half and 11 in the second quarter. Tyler Messina and Brett Butler had nine points each and Husa had seven points. Durham led 30-14 at halftime, but Turlock Christian started the second half on a 9-0 run in just 2 minutes, before Messina drilled a 3-pointer to give Durham a 10-point lead once more.

The win came after just five practices for the Trojans, who first practiced Nov. 22. Durham’s football season ended on Nov. 19, which increased the basketball team’s roster from three to 11.

“The biggest point of emphasis is just me getting to know them and creating some relationship where we can build some trust so they can actually do what you want them to do,” Stanley said. “They’re doing the best they can and they’re playing their guts out. I think we’re not very polished, we still have a lot of room to get better but the reason we were able to have success tonight and on Tuesday was because they’re playing so hard.”

Thursday’s win was the first win at Durham’s annual tournament since 2020 after a majority of the Trojans’ 2020 season was cancelled due to the pandemic. In May 2021 Durham played just two games — against Paradise and Las Plumas — when high school sports returned in the spring all at once and schools were only allowed to play those in adjacent counties. Webb, who did not play basketball in 2020 (opting to play football instead) after playing on varsity as a sophomore in 2019, said he missed the sport of basketball a lot. Husa said he was “so excited” to be back on his home court in front of his friends and family.

“I felt like we had something taken away from us last year,” Husa said. “We had such a good team and a lot of hopes. To get this team back out here and show that we’re as good as we could’ve been last year is so exciting.”

Durham now advances to the semifinals where it will face Mt. Shasta at 7:30 p.m. Friday ahead of Saturday’s championship. Turlock Christian will enter the consolation bracket of the double elimination tournament. Turlock Christian will face Sutter at 4:30 p.m. Friday.

Other games

In other games going on in the Herb Jergetz tournament on Tuesday, Gridley defeated Los Molinos 56-38, Argonaut defeated Corning 63-37 and Mt. Shasta defeated Sutter 60-50. In the first game sophomore Aaron Kullar led Gridley with 14 points and Shay Carr added nine points. Los Molinos’ Karson Seamen had 15 points and Zack Novo had 10 points. In game two Luka Molin led Argonaut in scoring with 27 and Anthony Castillo led Corning in scoring with 10 points.

Gridley will play Argonaut at 6 p.m. Friday and Corning will play Los Molinos at 3 p.m. Friday.

© 2022 KFMF-FM. Internet Development by Frankly Media.