WHS boys slug it out with Sierra Lutheran
ZEPHYR COVE, Nev. – It was a low scoring, intense match between Whittell and Sierra Lutheran High Schools, but Whittell came out on top in the final seconds to win 48-46.
They were led by Austin Buyak, who had 21 points and 15 rebounds.
Both teams were sloppy shooting, with the score at the half 18-16 in favor of the Warriors.
“Sloppy man, what a mess,” head coach Matt Bryant said after the game. “Rough first half, sloppy on both ends.”
The Warriors jumped to a 6-2 lead, but that gave way to turnovers and missed shots, that left Whittell down 12-11 to end the first quarter. It would have been more, but senior Hunter Morgan nailed a three at the buzzard.
Morgan then came out to start the second and tied the game up at the free-throw line, and Whittell jumped out to a lead that it would hold for the rest of the half. The Warriors had 12 turnovers in the first half.
The second half was another tough-shooting affair on the part of the Warriors, not able to convert many of their baskets and allowing Sierra Lutheran to get back into the game. Whittell jumped to a 22-16 lead, that was cut to 26-23, when Lutheran went on an 8-1 run to go up 31-26. They cut the lead to 31-29 to end the third. Then Whittell came firing back in the fourth.
They kept it close till three minutes left in the fourth, when they got two straight baskets from Austin Buyak to make it 37-39. Another basket on a breakaway by Garrett Bronken put the game at 41-37.
With one minute left it was 46-45, and after Buyak missed two free throws after being followed on the inbound post a Lutheran three-pointer, the visitors called a timeout. On the inbound play, Morgan was called for a foul that sent Lutheran to the line, where they tied the game at 46-46 with less that 30 seconds left in the game. On the next Lutheran inbound, Shawn Mand was called with the foul, but Lutheran could not convert and with 11 seconds left in the game, Whittell got the ball at Lutheran’s baseline.
A long pass from Buyak found Bronken at the other end, who dished it to Buyak by the hoop. The junior was fouled on his way up, that sent him to the line, in which he made the first free throw, putting Whittell up 47-46 with five seconds left, and sealing the win.
Sierra Lutheran traveled on their next possession, giving Whittell the ball back. Morgan added another free throw to end the game at 48-46.
“Great finish,” Bryant said. “Definitely gut-wrenching.”
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