Wildcats hold the line, beat Harmon 58-56

Harmon sophomore Lonell Lane (10) opened the game with a breakaway dunk. (Photo copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)

by Brian Turrel

The Washington Wildcats defeated the Harmon Hawks on Friday night 58-56. The Wildcats overcame a 5-point fourth quarter deficit to pull ahead in the closing minutes. Washington sealed the win with 8-of-9 free throw shooting down the stretch.

The game was televised on Spectrum Sports as their game of the week. Loud, passionate fans from both teams filled the fieldhouse, even with the snow piling up outside.

Harmon opened the game on a high note, getting a backboard-shaking dunk from Lonell Lane off of a turnover. Lane was then called for a technical foul for hanging on the rim, and Washington picked up the next 10 points for an early advantage.

The fast action and quick change in momentum had fans from both teams roaring. The Hawks recovered their poise and the first quarter lead at 19-16.

Harmon steadily built their advantage through the second quarter, leading by 7 with less than a minute in the half. Harmon looked to run down the clock, but two quick defensive stops lowered the advantage to 30-27 at halftime.

Washington kept within striking distance throughout the second half, and finally made their move with 2 1/2 minutes remaining. The Wildcats’ Alton Easley drove for a layup and converted the and-one foul shot for a three-point play and a 51-50 lead.

Even with the slim margin, Washington looked to run down the clock, and they slowed their offensive tempo. They ran the time down to less than a minute, and the Hawks were forced to foul to extend the game to no avail.

Easley finished the game with 34 points for the Wildcats, including 10-of-10 from the free throw line, and Nathan Johnson added 10. Lane led the Hawks with 26 points, and Santos Ruiz scored 13.

The win keeps Washington undefeated in the Kansas City – Atchison League (4-0, 7-1 overall). The play next at Ottawa on Jan. 22. Harmon drops to 2-2 in the league (5-3 overall). They head to the Baldwin varsity tournament next weekend.

Washington junior Alton Easley (0) hit a free throw to give the Wildcats the lead for good. Easley was 5-for-5 on free throws in the fourth quarter. (Photo copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)

 

Harmon senior Marlon Bowens (2) took an acrobatic hook shot in the second half. (Photo copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)

 

Harmon sophomore Mike Carson (23) took a charge on this Alton Easley drive. (Photo copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)

 

Alton Easley faked a move before driving the ball past Harmon senior Santos Ruiz (1). (Photo copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)

 

Lonell Lane  looked to penetrate the Wildcat defense. (Photo copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)

 

The Harmon cheerleaders performed stunts between quarters. (Photo copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)

 

The Washington cheerleaders reacted to the late comeback by their team. (Photo copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)

 

Washington junior Thomas Anderson (31) pulled down a defensive rebound. (Photo copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)

 

Washington junior Terrance Johnson (5) tried a post move against the Harmon defense. (Photo copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)

 

Alton Easley looked to kick the ball back out to the perimeter. (Photo copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)

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