The Harrisburg High School boys' basketball team added to their season collection over the weekend, capturing the 2013 Carmi-White County Invitational Tournament, beating Mt. Vernon, Indiana 86-56 Saturday night.
Thanks in large part to a 32-point effort from Capel Henshaw, the senior guard took home Most Valuable Player honors at the CWCIT and helped the Bulldogs improve to 20-1 on the season as they embark on the home stretch of the season.
Tyler Smithpeters returned to action for the first time in the tournament since Monday's win against Fairfield. Smithpeters injured his ankle Tuesday at practice and was sidelined for a good potion of the week, leading up to Saturday's championship game which featured two 3-0 teams in the tournament.
Smithpeters finished with 13 points and joined Eli Taborn-Scott for the same total. Dakota Upchurch rounded out the double-digit scoring with 10 points, all of which came in the second half.
For all the scoring however, the point of emphasis for Harrisburg head coach Randy Smithpeters was the job done of the defensive end, adding he was really pleased with the Bulldogs' ability to take away the 3-pointer from Mt. Vernon.
"It's the thing that we really emphasized and it's the thing that this group is really good at," Smithpeters said. "I know a lot of people will go home talking about the shooters, the penetrators and the ball handlers that we have and we do have those, but the strength of this team is on the defensive end. We defend hard, we have the athletes to do it, the length and we can create a lot of problems for a lot of people on the defensive end. I'm really happy with (Saturday night's) effort. We didn't give up the three-pointer, like Mt. Vernon is known to knock down."
Mt. Vernon finished the night 5-of-15 from behind the arc and shot 12-of-33 from the field.
On the plus side for Harrisburg, they out rebounded Mt. Vernon 31-22, had seven steals for forced 16 turnovers.
Smithpeters knows that his Bulldogs can score — in bunches — and while that's a good trait to have, the longtime Harrisburg head coach is no stranger to the game.
"I know we'll score 75 points a game, but we also can hold people to so few that we don't have to have 75 points to win. We're going to play team's where that is going to be the case. We're not going to be able to to score 75, but we want to put our defense in a position where we can still win. I'm very happy with that effort, that focus and very happy for these guys to win this trophy."
The last time Harrisburg won the championship at the Carmi-White County Invitational was in 2010. The tournament, which has been in existence since 1980 has seen the title go to Harrisburg five times (1989, 1994, 1995, 2001 and 2010).
Page 2 of 2 - Joining Henshaw on the All-Tournament team was Ryne Roper, who scored three points in Saturday's championship game. Also on the team were the Mt. Carmel duo of Levi Laws and Reece Metcalf and Mt. Vernon's Brian Koch and Collin Varner.
Michael Dann can be reached at hbgsports@dailyregister. com Follow Michael Dann on Twitter @spydieshooter.