PASCO — When it came down to crunch time in Hanford's 81-75 overtime win over Chiawana on Friday in Pasco, the Falcons had one more precious commodity to draw on than their Cascade Division counterparts.
While the Riverhawks defense went all out to create havoc, Hanford seniors Brady Haynes, Marcus Manderbach and Pete Zachara step-ped up big time, combining for 58 points to give the Falcons a huge division win and just their second road victory this season.
"I'm happy about it because we had to score, and we scored," said Hanford coach Paul Mayer. "Zachara had a real big game, and he deserved it."
Zachara, a 6-foot-4 guard, scored a season-high 27 points, but few were bigger than a 3-pointer he hit from the right wing two minutes into overtime to give the Falcons a 68-66 lead. In a game that featured eight lead changes and three ties, Hanford (7-8, 4-7) would not trail again from that point.
"Chiawana has a lot of talent and energy, but they're young," said Zachara, who hit two 3-pointers in the first 4:55 of the first quarter to fuel a 13-4 Falcons' run to start the game. He had 18 points in the first half.
"On Tuesday we lost a heartbreaker (a 70-67 overtime loss at Sunnyside)," Zachara continued. "I was hungry, and we wanted to prove we weren't a team that was going to fold at the end."
Hanford started hot, hitting their first eight shots in the first quarter, but Chiawana (5-11, 2-8) went into a full-court press that flustered the Falcons' ballhandlers, creating four turnovers over the final 3 minutes of the quarter. Thanks to a pair of steals by Miquiyah Zamora, the Riverhawks and their quick-strike offense turned a nine-point deficit into an 18-15 lead.
"This one, I thought offense was going to win out," said Chiawana coach Chad Herron. "I'm not proud of giving up 81 points. We're a work in progress on defense. We don't want to try to outscore teams."
Chiawana would hold onto that lead for the next three quarters until Haynes took a bounce pass inside from freshman point guard Jalen DeVine and converted a three-point play to give Hanford a 57-56 lead at 7:23 of the fourth quarter. It was a big moment for Haynes, who did not start the game after a disastrous outing against Sunnyside. But he redeemed himself with a strong performance against the Riverhawks, recording 15 points and nine rebounds -- five of those in the final minutes of regulation.
"Brady really stepped it up tonight," Zachara said. "He's been struggling."
Justin Smith was a bright spot for Chiawana, hitting three 3-pointers and converting a clutch three-point play with 1:06 left in overtime to pull the Riverhawks within 75-74. Smith finished with 16 points, while Stephen Walter led Chiawana with 17 points.
"At that point, I felt we'd pick up our defense and pull it out," Smith said.
But in the end, it was free throws that turned the tide for Hanford, which hit 9 of 12 from the line in overtime.
"Of all the games we've lost this year, this is one I thought we had control of," Herron said.
HANFORD — DeVine 10, Manderbach 16, Pete Zachara 27, Rueter, Neary 13, Haynes 15, Funk. Totals 24-60 23-33 81.
CHIAWANA — Smith 16, Stephen Walter 17, Zamora 12, Knight 7, Downing 12, DeWitt 6, Graff 3, Lopaya 2. Totals 27-75 13-23 75.
Hanford 15 17 22 11 16 — 81
Chiawana 18 19 19 9 10 — 75
Highlights — Rebounds: H 40 (Aaron Neary 10), C 32 (Miquiyah Zamora 8); Turnovers: H 17, C 7; Smith 3 asts; 3 3-ptrs; Zamora 4 stls; Walter 3 asts, 6 rebs, 3 3-ptrs; Zachara 9 rebs, 4 asts, 4 3-ptrs; Haynes 9 rebs; Manderbach 3 3-ptrs.