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'Canes storm past Tigers

MAPLE -- Basketball fans got their money's worth Thursday night at Northwestern High School. After the junior varsity game went into double overtime, the varsity game between the Northwestern Tigers and Hayward Hurricanes was just as dramatic as ...

MAPLE -- Basketball fans got their money's worth Thursday night at Northwestern High School.

After the junior varsity game went into double overtime, the varsity game between the Northwestern Tigers and Hayward Hurricanes was just as dramatic as the visiting 'Canes rallied past the Tigers for a 27-25 victory.

With the win, Hayward (12-2 overall) takes over sole possession of first place in the Heart O' North Conference with a 9-1 record. The loss drops the Tigers (13-2) to second in the HON at 8-2.

"It's nice to have the edge, but there's some games to play yet," Hayward coach David Lee said. "You always have to take it one game at a time."

The Tigers, who saw a six-game winning streak snapped, led the game for all but 66 seconds.

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Hayward led 2-1 just 35 seconds into the game and didn't regain the lead again until a Natalie Williamson three-point play gave the Hurricanes a 26-25 lead with 31 seconds remaining.

"Things weren't going very smooth for us in the beginning," Lee said. "But the girls stuck with it, didn't get too excited and kept their head and were able to make some plays at the end."

For Williamson, those were her only three points of the game.

"They were leaving her open out there, but she was having trouble knocking down some open looks," Lee said. "So it was nice that she was able to get those points."

Foul trouble hurt Hayward early as three of its players had two fouls apiece in the first quarter.

Northwestern led 9-4 after one quarter and could have led by more, but the Tigers missed the front end of bonus situations on two trips to the free-throw line.

The Tigers increased their lead to 14-4 earlier in the second quarter on a basket by Anna Morgan and a 3-pointer by Alex Baillie.

Hayward then outscored Northwestern 7-3 the rest of the quarter, giving the Tigers a 17-11 lead at the half.

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The third quarter was all defense as each team was limited to a single basket, giving the Tigers a 19-13 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

The Tigers took a 23-16 lead on a pair of Morgan baskets and a Baillie lay-up after a nice pass from Lindsay Garay.

But poor free-throw shooting came back to haunt the Tigers again as they missed four more free throws down the stretch, including the front end of two bonus situations.

Hayward meanwhile, began to chip away at Northwestern's lead and eventually tied it up at 23 with 1:15 remaining on baskets by Samantha Quandt and Jordan Aderman and a 3-pointer by Morgan Lee.

Morgan gave the Tigers the lead back, 25-23, with a turnaround jumper in the lane with 39 seconds left, but Hayward's Williams gave the 'Canes the lead for good with her basket and free throw just eight seconds later.

Sydney Hadley added a free throw to give Hayward a 27-25 advantage leaving Northwestern with a desperation attempt at the buzzer.

"The girls worked hard the entire game, and we basically did everything we needed for three and a half quarters," NHS coach Shawn Leith said. "But not hitting our free throws in the fourth quarter really hurt us. If we make our free throws, it's not even a close game."

For the game, the Tigers were 2-of-10 from the line.

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"We had our opportunities, we had our best free throw shooters going to the line, but we just didn't hit them," Leith said. "But that's something we can take from this game and learn from it. Against a good team you need to make those free throws."

Morgan led the Tigers with seven points. Garay added six points, Hughes and Baillie each had five and Gretchen Grube had two points to go along with six blocked shots and 11 rebounds.

Quandt led Hayward with eight points and Lee had six.

TIGER TALES: Northwestern entered Thursday's game undefeated at home this season. ... The Tigers had 19 turnovers, 23 rebounds and shot 9-of-45 from the floor, including 1-of-15 from 3-point range. ... Hayward had 23 rebounds, made 6-of-12 free throws and was 9-of-22 shooting. ... The Hurricanes won the junior varsity game 40-37 in two overtimes and NHS won the "C" game 48-37.

Hayward 4 7 2 14 -- 27

Northwestern 9 8 2 6 -- 25

Hayward -- Sydney Hadley 1, Sam Quandt 8, Amy McDonald 2, Natalie Williamson 3, Alyson Kelsey 3, Morgan Lee 6, Jordan Aderman 2. Totals 10 6-11 27.

3-point goals -- Lee.

Northwestern -- Gretchen Grube 2, Alex Baillie 5, Nicole Hughes 5, Anna Morgan 7, Lindsey Garay 6. Totals 11 2-10 25.

3-point goals -- Baillie.

Related Topics: BASKETBALL
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