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Boys basketball: Huskies clutch late once again


12:00 AM, Jan. 23, 2013 EST

Reno Huskies Zachary Puzey goes above the crowd to grab the rebound against the Damonte Ranch Mustangs during their basketball game played on Tuesday at Damonte Ranch High School. / Tom R. Smedes/Special to RGJ

Reno High did not own much close-game experience five days ago. The Huskies own plenty now -- and a pair of wins for how they handled it.

The No. 5 Huskies dialed up an out-of-bounds play with six seconds left Tuesday night and Hart McGrath and Jakob Rolling executed it to lift Reno to a 66-64 road win over Damonte Ranch.

Rolling in-bounded the ball from the far sideline to McGrath at the elbow then bolted for the hoop and took what amounted to a hand-off from McGrath and laid it in with two seconds to play.

The win is Reno's fourth in row -- the last two against teams battling for position in the Division I North's second tier -- and a big one in terms of the standings.

"We struggled early in the year with execution, the guys trying to do too much," first-year coach Matt Ochs said. "But we're starting to execute at a higher level now."

Tuesday's game-winning play came after Reno executed a complicated play Saturday that led to a buzzer-beating and overtime-forcing 3-pointer.

"I've been looking at the standings and this league is crazy this year," Ochs said. "There are a lot of good teams all right there. Hug and Douglas and Galena are probably the class of the league and everyone else is trying to establish where they fit in after that. So two league wins like this is incredible for us."

Junior Kyle Mahaffey led the Huskies (9-10, 6-5 High Desert) with 15 points. Connor Bush and Zach Puzey each added 10.

Mahaffey tallied eight points in the third quarter and his 3-point play to start the fourth put Reno up 53-45.

"The Reed game was our first close win of the season and now this is our second. It's a building process to becoming great," Mahaffey said.

"We're on a roll right now. ... Everyone doubted us at the beginning of the season and now we're picking it up."

The Mustangs (10-8, 6-5 Sierra) stormed back behind Kyle Daugherty and Justin Bridgman after leading scorer David Crowley fouled out with more than six minutes left.

Daugherty, who finished with 14 points, had a chance to give Damonte the lead with 13 second to play but missed the front end of a 1-and-1 situation. That set up Reno for its game-winning play.

Bridgman finished with 13 points, as did freshman Brett Cooper. Crowley had 10.

 

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