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Hart still has hope; Indians defeat West Ranch

Indians can claim a share of title with win and G.V. loss Thursday

Posted: February 11, 2009 2:24 a.m.
Updated: February 11, 2009 4:57 a.m.
 
Hart’s hopes of sharing the Foothill League boys basketball title are still alive after a grueling 60-53 overtime win against West Ranch Tuesday.

The Indians (18-8, 7-2) pulled out the senior night victory despite the fact that star forward Parker Dominguez was out with a hand injury.

“Our league is brutal,” said Hart head coach Tom Kelly. “Every team is good, and West Ranch is definitely not an exception.”

The game was competitive from the opening tip as West Ranch (15-10, 4-5) battled its way to a 23-22 halftime lead.

“We worked really hard to try and pull out a win, and I think we could have done it,” said West Ranch senior Geoff Petersen. “It’s tough to lose such a close game, but we couldn’t find a way to pull it out.”

Hart took control in the third quarter, outscoring West Ranch by 10 to open up a 39-30 lead with eight minutes to go in regulation, but the Wildcats would not go away.

By holding the Indians to only five points in the first six minutes of the fourth, West Ranch managed to pull even at 44-44.

Hart took the lead back on a Joe Inemer layup with 1:45 left in the period before a West Ranch procession to the free throw line.

The Wildcats had five shots at the stripe in the final minute and a half but only hit two to force a tie at 46 and overtime.

“We really hurt ourselves at the line tonight,” Petersen said. “That’s what really beat us. We had our chances in the fourth and in overtime to hit some big free throws, and they just didn’t drop.”

Hart jumped out to a quick five-point lead in the extra session, and West Ranch continued to struggle at the charity stripe, hitting only 4-of-8 in overtime.

“I’m really happy with our effort tonight,” Kelly said. “Our guys really worked hard to keep them out of the paint, and that was a big part of this win.”

West Ranch goes from foes to friends for Hart as the Indians need a Wildcat win against Golden Valley in its regular season finale to have a chance at sharing the league championship. Hart plays Saugus Thursday.

“Our sophomores really stepped up tonight,” Kelly said. “Really everybody did, which is what you have to do when you don’t have your full roster. This is a really good win for us.”

West Ranch was led in scoring by David Franklin with 18 points.

Ben Kimble led Hart with 16.

kdamore@the-signal.com

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