Byng again was hurt by turnovers, finishing with 20 compared to just 13 for Latta.
Latta 53, Byng 41
Latta (ranked No. 2 in Class 2A) improved to 11-2 while Byng dropped to 10-4.
“It was probably the best game as a group we’ve played in a while,” said Latta head coach Donnie Husband. “We were fortunate the floor opened up and we made a few plays there at the end that got us a couple of easy baskets.”
Byng freshman Darian Luper drained a 3-pointer with 6:40 left in the game that cut a Latta lead to 38-37. Kade Hayes immediately answered by completing a conventional three-point play after a fast-break bucket at the other end that started a pivotal 9-0 Latta run that gave the Panthers some breathing room.
Treston Tully hit the final of his multiple pull-up bank shots to give Latta a 43-37 edge with just over five minutes left. Tully would finish with a game-high 19 points“Treston really did a good job tonight. When you have two senior shooters standing out there that they have to respect, that opens up penetration for him,” Husband said. “I thought it was his best game so far — overall, defense, offense, and everything.”
Tully seemed to hit one of his patented bank shots every time the Panthers needed a basket.
“A lot of those were contested, but he just made some plays. There’s no doubt he’s a talented player. He can really do some things to help you win games,” Husband said.
Brady Johnson got loose for a layup and post man Derek Epperly scored on a fast break to give Latta its first double-digit lead at 47-37 with just under three minutes remaining.
“They are so good defensively that everything is tough around the basket. Once we kind of got a little lead and made them spread out a little bit, I thought we handled that real well at the end,” Husband said.