Hsiao’s layup lifts Whittell over Pyramid Lake
ZEPHYR COVE – For a team that hasn’t had much to cheer about this season, the Whittell High Warriors sure found a way to entertain their home crowd on Wednesday night.
Chris Craig’s layup with 17 seconds left made it 66-65, then Joseph Hsiao stole a pass and made a layup with 7 seconds remaining as Whittell pulled off a miraculous 67-66 nonleague victory over Pyramid Lake at Whittell High School.
“I would like to say it was maturity, but a lot of that had to do with luck,” said WHS coach Dennis Young, whose team improved to 3-11. “But like they say, I’d rather be lucky than good. This was big for the kids to do this at home.”
Craig finished with 19 points and Jeff Young scored a team-high 22 points for the Warriors, who led most of the second half before falling behind 55-54 with 4:16 remaining.
The Lakers increased their lead to 64-58 after converting 3-for-4 free throws following two Whittell technical fouls. The Warriors, though, outscored Pyramid Lake 9-3 the rest of the way, with their final two baskets coming off two Lakers turnovers in the final 30 seconds.
Pyramid Lake committed seven turnovers in the final quarter.
“I think this is a huge confidence booster for us,” said Jeff Young, who made six 3-pointers, including one with 22 seconds left that made it 65-63. “We were able to cool our heads after the technicals and settle down. We had a lot of heart tonight and you need heart to win a game like this, especially in front our home crowd.”
In the first half, it looked like Whittell would pull away following a 9-0 run that put it up 26-18 with just over 3 minutes left before halftime. But the inside game of the Lakers’ Carlos Sarabia wreaked havoc on the Warriors.
Sarabia scored five of his game-high 26 points in the final 2 minutes of the second quarter, but Whittell took a 32-27 lead into the break. After making it a one-possession game most of the third quarter, Pyramid Lake saw guard Kirkland Mix convert a layup with 4:16 left in the game to give his team a 55-54 lead – just its second lead since holding a 16-14 advantage in the second quarter.
That’s when the Warriors increased their intensity. They caused several turnovers on defense and made five of their final six shots to pull off the improbable comeback in the game’s final seconds.
“We’ve played well the last two games, starting with the second half last night,” said coach Young, who was alluding to the Warriors 56-44 nonleague loss to Coleville on Tuesday. “This was a ‘Wow’ game. The kids needed this.”
Whittell plays a Northern 2A game at Lovelock on Friday, then hosts Hawthorne in another league game on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. in Zephyr Cove.
In the JV game, the Warriors beat the Lakers 42-40 in overtime.
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