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Hurricane boys break losing streak

February 1, 2019 GMT

HUNTINGTON — Practice doesn’t always make perfect, but sometimes it makes good enough.

Hurricane High School boys basketball coach Lance Sutherland brought his team in for a morning workout in preparation for Thursday night’s game at Huntington High and the extra work paid off as the Class AAA No. 2 Redskins (14-3 overall, 5-3 Mountain State Athletic Conference) defeated the Highlanders 66-57 in the Lucas-Archer Gym.

“That’s the first time in nine years I’ve been coaching at Hurricane that we’ve won here,” Sutherland said. “I don’t know if Hurricane has ever won here. It might be the first time.”

The Redskins used a balanced attack. Joe Muto scored 19 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and blocked two shots. Austin Womack scored 19, Jordan Nicely 16 and Austin Dearing 10 in a physical game during which neither team shot particularly well. Neither squad made a 3-point shot until Nicely sank one with 3:54 left in the third quarter. Before that the teams had combined to go 0-for-8 beyond the arc.

Hurricane never trailed. The Redskins led by seven at the end of each of the first two quarters, then pulled away in the second half. Huntington High (6-10, 4-5) moved within 52-47 after Torin Lochow’s steal, layup and free throw with 4:48 remaining, but Womack answered with his own three-point play to start a 9-0 run to put the contest out of reach.

“We have to get smarter taking time off the clock,” Sutherland said, showing displeasure with his team’s penchant for taking shots when it would have been wiser to hold the ball and force the Highlanders to foul in the final two minutes. “Other than that, I thought we played pretty well.”

Huntington High struggled shooting. The Highlanders didn’t make a 3-point shot until 6:58 was left in the game and Joseph Patterson hit one. Huntington

High made four more in the quarter, but couldn’t catch up.

Kris Brown paced the Highlanders with 16 points. Corbin Page chipped in 10.

Sutherland said he was pleased to come away from Lucas-Archer with a victory.

“They’re very athletic,” Sutherland said of the Highlanders. “They’re physical. (Coach Ty Holmes) is doing a heck of a job with them. A first-year coach that lost a lot of players to graduation, and some who didn’t come out or were injured, and he’s still kept them competitive and won games. That says something about Ty. They’re a young team. When you add (injured starter) Amare Smith to them next season, they’re going to be hard to handle.”

Hurricane was coming off a 65-60 home loss to Spring Valley on Saturday, but has won five of its last six.

“We needed that,” Sutherland said of the triumph over Huntington High. “I kept telling our guys tonight to build, build, build. Get the lead and build on it.”

The Redskins return to action at 7:15 p.m. Wednesday vs. Parkersburg South in the Little General Shootout at the Big House at West Virginia State University.

Huntington High entertains Cabell Midland at 7:30 p.m. Monday.

HURRICANE 18 8 17 23 — 66: Nicely 16, Young 2, Womack 19, Dearing 10, Muto 19.

HUNTINGTON HIGH 11 8 13 25 — 57: Patterson 5, Page 10, Brown 16, Blackwell 3, Lochow 7, Hopkins 8, Stevens 5, Littlejohn 3