Mt.Hermon topped on a late bucket in District 8-2A tie-breaking contest at NCS

Published 1:35 pm Friday, February 20, 2015

After surviving a quick start by Archbishop Hannan, Mt. Hermon battled toe to toe with the Hawks but lost, 55-53, after Nick Daniel’s bucket late in regulation in the District 8-2A tie-breaking game Wednesday at Northlake Christian School.

In a packed gym, the game was tied at 53-53 in the fourth quarter. Mt. Hermon missed a shot, and the Hawks got the rebound with 1:05 remaining.

Hannan ran the clock down before calling timeout with 25.8 seconds on the clock.

The Hawks ran a play, and the Yellow Jackets’ defense stepped up and forced the tie ball, but Hannan had the possession arrow with 6.8 seconds left.

With the game appearing like it would either be a Hannan win in regulation or overtime, Daniel got the ball and hit the go-ahead shot with three seconds left to put his team in front, 55-53.

Mt. Hermon quickly called timeout with 2.5 on the clock. The Yellow Jackets got the ball down the court quickly but the attempt was off of the backboard and the rim as the final buzzer sounded, ending the game.

Mt. Hermon coach B. Alford said his team attempted some shots at times when they didn’t need them but he also credited his team on the effort.

“The kids fought hard,” Alford said. “It was a good high school game. I’m disappointed of course, but we’re two evenly matched teams. I think we’ll be the same. I think we’ll be (seeded) 19 the way it goes. It’s not going to change our opponent, but we would’ve loved to have won district.”

Hannan is the District 8-2A champion while Mt. Hermon finishes runner-up. The teams played this game to determine the District 8-2A champion, as the two tied for first place with a 7-1 record.

The Hawks got off to a hot start, jumping out to a 25-16 lead with 6:37 left in the second quarter, but Mt. Hermon spent the next 2:52 on a 10-0 run.

Joseph McGee, who finished with 10 points, drove the lane for two at the 5:56 mark. Then Jessie Pouncey, who delivered a game-high 31 points, knocked down a 3-pointer from the left wing. He then tried a three from the right corner but was fouled. He hit just one of the free throws but the Yellow Jackets were within three at 25-22.

McGee got to a loose ball and hit the ensuing attempt, and Mt. Hermon had the deficit down to 25-24 with 4:10 remaining.

Just 25 seconds later, McGee found Pouncey for a layup, forcing Hannan, now trailing for the first time since it was 6-5, to call timeout.

Out of the timeout, Daniel Hollander, who led the Hawks with 22 points, hit for two, and Hannan was back in front at 27-26 with 3:30 on the clock.

Pouncey split from the line to tie things, 27-27.

Hannan responded with five unanswered. Hollander converted a 3-point play, and Noah Griffin drove the lane for a layup with 30 seconds left.

Pouncey closed the gap with a three to make it 32-30 at halftime.

The second half began close. Hannan led, 36-35, with 5:43 left but Mt. Hermon made a 7-0 run.

Pouncey scored on a fastbreak layup to give the Yellow Jackets the lead, 37-36. Pouncey then blocked a shot on Hannan’s possession, got to the loose ball and took it down the court before kicking it to Jordan Smith in the left corner for three. The Yellow Jackets led, 40-36, with 4:37 on the clock.

Corterio Williams capped the run with a bucket and Mt. Hermon had its biggest lead at 42-36.

Hannan tallied the period’s final four points to make it a 42-40 contest through three.

The fourth quarter continued to be an exciting battle of two evenly matched teams. Neither club had a lead bigger than four during the final period, which led to the exciting finish.

Mt. Hermon finishes the regular season with a 14-7 record. The loss snapped the Yellow Jackets’ six-game winning streak.

Williams had six points for Mt. Hermon while Smith and Gerald Bunch posted three each.

Hannan is 21-6 this year. Griffin finished with 11 points for Hannan while Daniel had seven. Matt Bennett recorded six while Patrick Bossetta had five and Ross Murray posted four.