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Boys basketball: Hug hot again, wraps up league title

Hawks, Cougars going in different directions again a week later

12:00 AM, Feb. 02, 2013 EST

What a difference just one week makes in the High Desert league.

Just seven days ago, Hug woke up licking its wounds after a loss at Reed, while Spanish Springs was riding high with realistic hopes of a league title after beating then-No. 1 Galena.

But as the two teams hit the sack Friday night, it was the Hawks who had clinched the league title -- for a third straight year -- while the Cougars are looking at a possible fourth seed.

Hug wrapped up the High Desert with a 67-52 victory at home and a little help from McQueen.

"That's the parity of High Desert league basketball," Spanish Springs coach Kyle Penney said.

"Teams are good. You let your guard down for a second and all of a sudden you get slapped in the face."

In a game that was hotly contested from the start -- sometimes more so in the stands than on the court -- Hug got balanced scoring that was often nonexistent this year.

Raymond Kerr scored 18 points to match that of usual leading scorer Sam Williams, while Jawon Bennett and Masaki Nakayama each added 11.

"We had a come-to-Jesus talk two nights ago and kind of laid down the rules on what we need to do to accomplish our goals this year," Hug coach Keith Crawford said. "Everybody contributing was the difference in the ballgame."

In last week's loss to Reed, Williams tallied 32 points and no other Hawks player reached double-figures.

"We're working more as a team," said Kerr, who also grabbed 10 rebounds. "It makes it easier for everybody on the team to participate in scoring.

"Getting this win was very important because we wanted to get another banner up there."

It was the senior Kerr's third game as a starter and he looked comfortable and was aggressive from the onset.

Spanish Springs, meanwhile, never looked comfortable after halftime.

The Cougars (14-9, 8-6) made a nice run late in the second quarter and trailed by six at the intermission but were outscored 21-6 in the third period and went the final 5 minutes, 11 seconds without scoring as Hug (18-6, 11-3) built a 21-point lead.

"Defensively, we took them out of what they wanted to do, which led to some easy buckets for us," Crawford said.

The loss drops Spanish Springs, which also lost to Carson by 20 on Tuesday, into a tie for third with Reno High, a half-game behind Reed.

"This team has always responded," Penney said. "I thought we were going to respond better after Tuesday's loss, but I know we'll respond after this one."

Austin Damoth led the Cougars with 18 points. T.J. McCauley had 15 and Meyer added 10.




Boys Basketball

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