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Hart boys hoops clinches at least a share

Posted: February 7, 2014 10:25 p.m.
Updated: February 7, 2014 10:25 p.m.
 

It was more a feeling of relief than one of thrill for the Hart Indians boys basketball team on Friday.

Sure, Hart just clinched at least a share of the Foothill League title with a 79-68 win over the Golden Valley Grizzlies on Friday night at Golden Valley High.

But after the Indians had to rally back against a persistent Golden Valley team in a game that saw massive scoring swings, the feeling on the Hart side wasn't one of elation.

“An ugly win is better than a pretty loss,” said Hart senior guard Lewis Stallworth.

Then again, another reason Hart wasn't celebrating was due to the fact that its mission of running the table for a perfect 10-0 run through league play isn't yet complete.

Hart (22-2 overall, 8-0 Foothill League) can claim the Foothill crown to itself with a win in either of its next two league games next week.

“I don’t want to share it,” said Hart head coach Tom Kelly. “I want to win it outright.”

On Friday, the Grizzlies (8-14, 1-7) led by as many as 10 points and trailed by as much as 17.

In the first half, Golden Valley was hitting shots and breaking Hart’s press defense.

When Hart turned it on, it was picking off Golden Valley passes and winning the battles down low.

Hart’s Myles Franklin scored a game-high 21 points even after a shot to the ribs in the first quarter left him lying on the court in pain for a few minutes.

The junior guard made 6-of-11 shot attempts and helped Hart get back into the game after Golden Valley opened up a 30-20 lead following back-to-back Derek Schlossman 3-pointers early in the second quarter.

Eventually, the Indians’ defense started working and started giving the Grizzlies trouble in the ball-security category.

Hart scored the last 14 points of the first half to go into the break up 43-38.

“We started rebounding, started defending,” Franklin said. “We got out and started hitting shots.”

The shots continued to fall in the third quarter, where Hart extended its advantage to 57-40 by the 4:00 mark of the third.

But Golden Valley kept finding ways to get back into the game with a few big shot of its own.

Tristan Peralta and Jordan Watkins co-led the Grizzlies with 16 points a piece and Noah Heinzman added 12 points on four 3-pointers.

As a team, Golden Valley made 10 threes, one of which was a near half-court shot made by Peralta at the first-quarter buzzer.

The Grizzlies closed the gap to a nine-point Hart lead in the fourth quarter, but never came closer than that.

The league champions made enough plays to escape with a victory and keep hopes alive for a perfect run through league play.

“We didn’t play well, but we played well enough to win,” Kelly said.

Andrew MacArthur was the third Hart player in double figures with 12 points.

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