Shared from the 1/11/2017 San Antonio Express eEdition

BOYS BASKETBALL

Hylton helps Sam Houston to 28-5A lead

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Ron Cortes / For the Express-News

Sam Houston’s Jawon Anderson looks for room against Jefferson’s Noah Soto during the Hurricanes’ District 28-5A win at Lanier.

Antoine Hylton had to put family before basketball, which forced him to miss four of Sam Houston’s District 28-5A games and to come off the bench upon returning.

The 6-foot-1 senior guard was just a force Tuesday night, putting the Hurricanes on his back and lifting them to the top of the league standings.

Hylton said he took a reprieve from the team beginning last month to help care for his ill mother, Veronica Durst. He returned to the court for Friday’s district game against Kennedy and also came off the bench in Tuesday’s first-place showdown against Jefferson, but Sam Houston coach Erik Coleman might have to consider making Hylton a starter again.

He scored nine of his game-high 23 points in the fourth quarter, putting his team in control with six consecutive points early in the period, as it came from behind and then held off Jefferson 57-51 at Lanier.

“I’m not starting, but off the bench, I’m still going to come out and help the team regardless of what the situation is,” Hylton said. “They’re happy I’m back, and I’m going to do it. I’m going to stick with my team and keep running with them.”

The win was the ninth in a row for the Hurricanes (15-6, 8-0), eighth in the Express-News rankings and 24th in the latest Class 5A rankings compiled by the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches. It broke a virtual tie with the Mustangs (15-6, 6-1), 10th in the area rankings and 23rd in the state rankings.

Senior forward Noah Soto matched Hylton with 23 points and converted a trio of three-point plays. But he was the only player who made a second-half field goal for Jefferson, which had its seven-game winning streak snapped.

“Great shout-out to Sam Houston. They gave 110 percent the whole game,” Soto said. “That’s pretty much where we just fell short was our effort.”

At least down the stretch. The Mustangs opened the game with a 6-0 run and led for all but 34 seconds in the first half, taking a 34-29 lead into the break.

But they scored only 17 second-half points, with Soto making all six of their field goals. Jefferson also was 5 of 10 from the free-throw line in the half.

“We couldn’t hit shots,” said Jeremiah DeLuna, who scored nine points.

Sam Houston led by three after the third and never trailed in the fourth, when Garland Coleman and Jawon Anderson combined for three blocks. adam.zuvanich@express-news.net

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