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Hart wins physical finale

Indians boys basketball ends season in second

Posted: February 13, 2009 2:21 a.m.
Updated: February 13, 2009 4:55 a.m.
Hart boys basketball locked up second place in the Foothill League with a 74-55 win at Saugus Thursday.

Brad Wyche and Ben Kimble combined for 43 points to lead the Indians (19-8, 8-2) to the victory.

"I was surprised with how physical and competitive the game was," said Hart head coach Tom Kelly. "I mean, we knew it was going to be an intense game coming in, but I don't think we thought it would be quite like it was out there tonight."

Hart's defensive intensity was evident from the opening tip. It took Saugus (10-16, 2-8) nearly five minutes to get on the scoreboard and more than six minutes to hit its first field goal.

Still, Hart only led by one point after the first quarter before the Indians found ways to break the Saugus press and build a 12-point advantage at the half.

"Early on we had real problems with the press, but once we started handling the ball better, things opened up for us and we made our shots," Kelly said.

The game grew more physical in the second half as the refs called the game much closer.

"The tough thing about basketball is that it's called subjectively," said Saugus head coach Derek Ballard. "The refs called the game the way they called it. It just wasn't to our advantage."

Saugus was never able to make a solid charge at the Indians in the second half and Hart's lead never dipped below 13.

Wyche led the Indians with 26 points, while Noel Mansour notched 16 for Saugus in his final game for the Cents.

Hart will now gear up for the playoffs.

"We need to get healthy," Kelly said. "This is a nice win, and hopefully we can get some more in the playoffs."

As for Saugus, Thursday's game was the end of six seniors' careers.

"This was my first year as head coach here so I knew we couldn't do everything in one season, but when we do win a championship these seniors will be part of it because they set the tone for this program," Ballard said. "They set a great example for Saugus basketball and taught our younger guys an awful lot."


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