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Hug hangs on after big lead slips away

McQueen's late rally falls short

12:00 AM, Dec. 05, 2012 EST

Hug Hawks Felix Cox lays the ball up against the McQueen Lancers during their basketball game played on Tuesday afternoon at McQueen High School in Reno. / Tom Smedes/Special to RGJ

Behind its stifling defense Hug built a big league on McQueen. But the defense disappeared in the fourth quarter and lead vanished.

The Hawks watched their 19-point lead turn to a one-point deficit in less than 8 minutes. But Jeremiah Williams converted an offensive rebound into two free throws with seven seconds left and Hug got the final stop it needed to eke out a 69-68 road victory Tuesday night.

McQueen, which scored just seven points in the second quarter to dig itself a 21-points halftime hole, tallied 30 in the final period and took its first lead since early in the opening quarter on Kody Eckert's put back with 14 seconds left.

Williams then grabbed the errant shot by his brother Sam Williams and was fouled. The junior and first-year varsity player calmly sank both free throws, and Sam Williams blocked Eckert's 3-point attempt in the right corner with 1 second left.

"We just had to keep our heads and not lose it," said Sam Williams, who had 17 points to lead Hug. "That team was playing well off emotion and we had to keep our heads and our minds right."

Masaki Nayayama had 16 points for Hug (3-0, 2-0 High Desert) and Jeremiah Williams added 10.

"Jeremiah made the free throws but he had so many big rebounds for us. Rebounds that probably won us the game," Hawks coach Keith Crawford said. "I'm glad we had this kind of game early in league. I don't foresee us having another game like this. We'll be ready next time."

Hug built its lead at the defensive end and turned stops into transition points. Those stops didn't come after Crawford went to the end of his bench midway through the third quarter.

"I kept stomping over there for stops. We had to get stops and we didn't," Crawford said.

Hug still led by 19 to start the fourth.

McQueen started the final quarter on a 7-0 run, led by Eckert and Bryce Harnack. The Lancers cut the Hawks' lead to nine points at the 6-minute mark and to three with 2:30 to play.

"We had defensive breakdowns and guys were fatigued that fourth quarter," Crawford said. "McQueen was on an emotional high and rode the crowd. They had to fight to get back and they did that."

Eckert finished with 24 points for the Lancers (1-2, 1-2) and Harnack had 17.

"We found a group that wasn't afraid to fly around out there," McQueen coach John Franklin said. "We started this game way too timid. We were not ready to play at their level and their pace. ... I don't do moral victories. I'm happy they found something. "




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