The Humboldt boys kept it interesting Monday night in their 52-51 win over West Franklin in the opening round of 3A Sub-State Tournament.
The Cubs trailed for the majority of the game and didn’t take control until around three minutes to play. It came down to the final seconds, but Humboldt managed to survive and advance on to the Sub-State semifinals on Thursday.
“We fought,” head coach Dave Taylor said.
“We may not play well at times but we always fight. We play hard defensively and tonight we tried to hang our hat on that and rebounding. Well, I thought we defended well enough but we didn’t rebound enough at all. And that’s what held us back at times. But I’m not going to fault them because we won. And we won because they fought to the end.”
The Cubs fell behind 8-0 to start the game and spent the better part of the rest of the game trying to make up that gap. They got within two with four minutes left in the half but an 11-4 run from the Falcons pushed their halftime deficit to 29-21.
Things got worse in the third quarter. The Cubs were unable to get anything going offensively while keeping West Franklin within an arm’s length defensively.
“We could’ve put it away late, but we missed a couple of layups,” Taylor said.
With 4:47 left in the game, the Cubs started to heat up. They got within six and just a minute later they had cut it within a point.
With three minutes to play junior Caleb Coronado wrapped up a 14-4 run with two free throws to give the Cubs their first lead of the game.
“I thought we attacked the zone better than we had in the past,” Taylor said. “I didn’t care what they did because in the past we’d just be sitting out on the perimeter just passing it around instead of driving so the zone would get bigger and bigger.”
The Cubs had several opportunities after that to put the game away but with 45 seconds to play, West Franklin got a steal and a score and tied it up at 51. After a couple of empty possessions, the Cubs found themselves with the ball and 18.1 seconds to play.
Sophomore Conor Haviland — who ended the night with 13 points — drove in the lane and got a shot off. The shot missed, but Haviland grabbed his own rebound and got fouled on the putback. He went to the line with 9.5 seconds to play. He made one of two to secure the slimmest of leads.
After a timeout, the Falcons had 5.1 seconds to make something happen but Haviland struck again and got one of his four steals to close out the game and get the win.
“The first game is just always the toughest,” Taylor said. “People don’t play well. We were down by as much as 11. But they won and I’m happy for them. They get at least one more game. We’ll just need to keep doing what we’ve been doing and hope we don’t turn the ball over too much.
Senior Hesston Murrow finished the night with a team-high 14 points and Coronado, senior Tucker Hurst and senior Lance Daniels each had six points. Daniels had six steals and Coronado had four rebounds and three steals.
With the win, the third-seeded Cubs will face No. 7 seed Council Grove in the semifinals on Thursday at Wellsville.
Humboldt (6-15-11-20—52) (2pt/3pt-FT-F-TP) Murow 6/0-2-1-14, Haviland 5/0-3-1-13, Hurst 3/0-0-4-6, Coronado 1/0-4-2-6, Daniels 3/0-0-4-6, Seufert 2/0-0-0-4, Barker 0/1-0-1-3, Gillespie 0/0-0-3-0. TOTALS: 20/1-9-16-52.
West Franklin (13-16-12-10—51) (2pt/3pt-FT-F-TP) Seyler 4/0-3-3-11, Lewis 4/1-0-1-11, Sink 5/0-0-5-10, Milliken 2/1-2-3-9, Fischer 2/0-3-4-7, Noyons 0/1-0-1-3, . TOTALS: 17/3-8-16-51.
PHOTO: Humboldt senior Hesston Murrow fights through West Franklin defenders in their 52-51 home Sub-State win on Monday. REGISTER/TIMOTHY EVERSON
Stay connected to the stories and events that make your community a special place to call home.
Subscriptions start at $14.90/month.View subscription options
- Unmatched coverage of Allen County’s local news and sports, a tradition dating back to 1867
- Compelling portraits of our residents, experienced reporting and thoughtful analysis
- Unlimited online access to iolaregister.com and our archives