ROCHESTER — Kevin Henry had a forgettable first half with two points and two fouls.
His second half, particularly the final 5:04 of the game — that was a whole different story.
Henry scored 15 of his co-team-high 17 points in the second half, igniting a game-ending 10-0 run as the Exeter High School boys basketball team stayed unbeaten in Division I with a 51-38 win at Spaulding Friday night.
The Red Raiders trailed by eight midway through the fourth quarter, 41-33, after a Henry driving basket.
They cut the Exeter (5-0) lead to three, 41-38, on a three-point play by Keagan Calero and a tough drive from Logan Gadbois with 2:46 to play.
Spaulding (3-2) did not score again.
Henry scored the next seven points over a 48-second span, starting the 10-0 surge by the Blue Hawks.
He made a pretty layup in the paint to make it 43-38 at 1:31, following that up with three straight steals off the Exeter 1-3-1 halfcourt press. He scored two hoops, one a three-point play, and his third steal led to two free throws made by Cam Clark to push the lead to 50-38 with 34 seconds to play.
Josh Morissette, who also scored 17 points, hit one foul shot with 22 seconds to go to complete the scoresheet.
"We practice defense every practice," Henry said. "We do slides. We do close outs. Defense is a really big part of our game. We were kind of off in the first half, but we pulled it together in the second half. We had a lot more energy."
Ryan Grijalva was the third Blue Hawk in double figures with 11 points.
"We started the game in (the 1-3-1), but it wasn't as effective at the start of the game," said Exeter coach Jeff Holmes. "We didn't come out with as much energy as we needed to. Second half being down, the kids played hard and did a really nice job with it. It's been a good defense for us this year. We got them on their heels a little bit."
Arie Breakfield and Calero did most of the damage for the Red Raiders, scoring 34 of the team's 38 points. Breakfield had a game-high 18 points, 13 in the first half, while Calero added 16, 11 in the second quarter.
"Breakfield and Calero are four-year starters and good players," Holmes said. "They kind of took it to us in the first half."
Exeter led 10-6 after the first quarter, but Spaulding suffocated the Blue Hawks with their best defensive quarter of the season in the second.
Down 14-9, the Red Raiders went on a 14-0 run to go up 23-14 at 1:11. Calero scored 10 of those points as Spaulding went into the locker room up 24-18.
"We didn't want halftime," Breakfield said. "We didn't want that break. We wanted to keep playing. That slowed down out momentum."
Breakfield and Calero scored all 24 of the Red Raiders' first-half points.
"That was the biggest thing, turnovers killed us at the end," Breakfield said. "We were just lackadaisical. We had some great spurts and then out of nowhere we just let go. That was our downfall."
A Henry layup and two Grijalva free throws tied the score at 29 in the final 1:11 of the third quarter.
Exeter started the fourth on a 10-2 run to go up 39-31, led by a pair of 3-pointers from Morissette, who buried four treys.
Spaulding's final seven possessions resulted in four missed shots and three turnovers.
Exeter outscored the Red Raiders 33-14 in the second half, including 22-9 in the final quarter.
"It was our own undoing," said Spaulding coach Tim Cronin. "We didn't handle the ball well against that 1-3-1. That's the bottom line. We didn't have that sense of urgency you need at the end of a close game."
BLUE HAWKS 51, RED RAIDERS 38
Clark 0-4-4, Morissette 5-3-17, Henry 8-1-17, Grijalva 3-4-11, Rose 1-0-2, Leonard, Cliche, Datillo, Imbimbo, Ross. Totals: 17-12-51.
Breakfield 8-1-18, Calero 6-4-16, Bernier 1-0-2, Gadbois 1-0-2, McKenney, Connelly, Hudson, Gooley. Totals: 16-5-38.
Exeter 10 8 11 22—51
Spaulding 6 18 5 9—38
3-Point Goals—Exeter 5 (Morissette 4, Grijalva), Spaulding 1 (Breakfield).