Hammond Breaks Through; Rockets Stymied
BY DAVE SHEA
HEUVELTON - Hammond hasn't had many opportunities to play with the lead in the current NAC West Boys Basketball season.
The Red Devils entered Tuesday's game at Heuvelton with one win in division play where they have been susceptible to knockout runs by opponents.
On Tuesday the Red Devils (2-6, 2-11) prospered with 36 points by Nate Jewett, aggressive rebounding and defense and used all three factors in turning back a second half rally by the Bulldogs (5-4, 9-7) to gain a break-through 62-54 victory.
Devils used a 31-15 rebounding advantage to take a 27-15 halftime lead and weathered the storm when the Bulldogs, who went 0-15 from 3-point range in the third quarter, came alive for 24 points in the third quarter. Early in the fourth quarter a 3-pointer by Josh Wrobel cut the deficit to 43-42 and the Devils answered with a jumper and two driving conversions by Jewett who would eventually score 15 points in the fourth quarter.
An inside conversion by Gavin Barney and two free throws Bryce Lake made it a one-possession game at 49-46 with 4:31 to play. The Devils responded again with layups by Jewett off steals by Logan Tate and Brandon LaRock for a 55-46 lead. A 3-pointer by Jed Crayford sustained Heuvelton's hopes at 55-49 but the Devils closed the deal with drive, a free throw and a layup off a steal by Jewett and an offensive rebound on a missed free throw by Tate with 26 seconds to play.
"The guys played good defense tonight and we rebounded very well. Nate Jewett plays on the key of our defense he outrebounds the post players because he goes and gets everything," said Hammond Coach Kevin Toland.
"Tonight everyone played that way and we got the win. Heuvelton couldn't get it going with their 3s or it could have been a different game. We have lost a lot of games but I have to credit my guys they always come and play hard."
Their consistency of the Devils effort was reflected on the glass where Jewett grabbed 15 rebounds to go along with his 36 points and five assists, Tate grabbed 13 rebounds while delivering eight points and five assists and Lukas McQueer controlled 11 rebounds to go along with six first quarter points which sparked the Devils to a 12-7 lead they never relinquished.
Brandon LaRock rounded out the winning offense with one point.
Nate Mashaw led Heuvelton with 16 points, 10 rebounds, two assists and two steals and buried two 3s in third quarter to spark the Bulldogs along with Braeden Free who scored eight points in the quarter and finished with 14. Bryce Lake and Jed Crayford followed with nine and seven points and Josh Wrobel (4 steals, 4 rebounds) and Gavin Barney (7 rebounds) added five and three points.
"We were playing them for a third time and for the second time in a week. I knew it was going to be a very tough game and Nate Jewett is a very tough player," said Heuvelton Coach Josh McAllister.
"We got beat on the boards bad and that shows that we just didn't bring it physically in the first half".
While Hammond gained its first West Division win Morristown suffered a 62-24 nonleague loss to LaFargeville.
LaFargeville 62 - Morristown 24: The duo of Jarrett Beach and Wyatt Parliment combined for 22 and 21 points and Andy Eichorn delivered nine for LaFargeville (6-7) which broke away with 19-6 run in the second quarter. Aaron Woodcock led Morristown (1-12) with eight points and Ashton Colby netted six. Other scoring came from Tristan Simmons (3), Kade Marshall (3), Parker Stout (2) and Cael Woodcock (4).