Henry County wins Chuck Miller Classic

By Phil Albert

Special to The Daily

Laricus Thomas will win most 1-on-1 basketball games against his brother, Larrentis.

Together, the dynamic duo may have propelled Henry County's boys basketball team into a prime contender position in both Region 4-AA and the state AA basketball playoffs in 2010.

Larrentis poured in 20 points and had 12 rebounds and Laricus added 16 points and 12 boards as Henry won the Chuck Miller Holiday Classic boys tournament with a 67-61 come-from-behind victory over an explosive Heritage squad Tuesday evening.

In winning three games during the tournament, Henry improves its record to 5-3 on the season heading into the holiday break.

Larrentis won tournament Most Valuable Player honors, while Laricus and guard Jeff Weeks were added to the tournament's All-Tournament team. Weeks had another strong performance with 12 points.

Heritage led for most of the game, led by its scoring dynamo in Jelani Archer, also a All-Tournament selection. Archer hit six 3-point field goals, including five in the first half, and finished the night with a game-high 29 points. He had 24 points in the first half, including 5-of-7 from three-point range. He cooled off and hit just 1-of-5 from the range in the second half. That helped Henry's comeback effort.

Henry led 18-12 late in the first quarter before Heritage scored 13 unanswered points to take a 25-18 lead early in the second quarter. Heritage would lead by as many as eight points, including a 59-51 lead.

Henry then capped the scoring with a game-ending 16-2 scoring run.

The Thomas brothers combined for seven straight points and Markeith Ambles added a free throw to tie the game at 59. After a Patriot bucket, Larrentis then gave Henry the lead for good with a three-point field goal and another bucket, and Zavier Rosser and Weeks added free throws to seal the win.

Archer and the Thomas brothers were the prime candidates to win the tournament's MVP honors. Archer hit five 3-point field goals each in leading Heritage to victories over Ola and McIntosh. He combined for 61 points in those two games.

"It (feels) real good, real awesome," Larrentis said on winning the honor.

And Laricus continues to improve his game.

"I just played hard," he said. "I'm working on my defense and rebounding."

Laricus had eight points and six boards in the fourth-quarter comeback effort. Larrentis added seven points in the fourth quarter.

Rosser also added a strong night off the bench with nine points and six boards.