High School Sports

Suns eke out win over Falcons

The "charge chart" at Southridge High School isn't something that makes headlines in the newspaper.

But you can tell Brad Scott takes pride in making his way up the list.

The Suns' 6-foot-6 junior center drew a momentum-stealing charge late in the fourth quarter Saturday and hit a pair of clutch free throws to ice Southridge's 49-47 CBBN 3A home win over Hanford.

Seconds before taking the charge in the lane on Falcons' guard Marcus Nash, Scott scored in transition after Kurt Rueter drilled a 3-pointer to cut the Suns' lead to 45-42 with 1:32 left in the game.

Scott finished with just eight points, but he certainly made his minutes count after early foul trouble put him on the bench for the majority of the first half.

"It was a breakout game for Brad, and we really need him to play that way. Taking that charge, you don't get any bigger play than that," Southridge coach Jason DeVere said.

The play kept the Suns (5-5, 3-1 CBBN 3A) charged up for a close finish that wasn't decided until the final seconds.

"It made me feel like the team was giving full effort at the end," said Southridge guard Matt Mendenhall, who finished with 12 points and six rebounds.

Hanford (3-7, 2-2) shot just 30 percent (14-for-47) from the field but got some clutch shooting from guards Bear Braich and Rueter at the end of each half to keep things tight.

Braich nailed a buzzer-beating 3-pointer at the end of the first half to cap the Falcons' 10-2 run that cut the lead to 26-21. The 6-1 junior hit two more treys in the fourth quarter to finish an 8-0 run that brought Hanford to within 43-39 with 2:22 to play.

Then it was Rueter's turn to get hot, drilling two more 3-pointers to cut the lead to 47-45 with 1:04 to go. In fact, he had another shot at a 3 after Aaron Neary snagged an offensive board following a missed free throw by Braich with 10 seconds left.

But with Derek Porter -- the Suns' 6-6 post -- flying at him in the corner, his shot came up well short of the mark, and Southridge held on for the win.

"Our defense is fine. We've just got to get better on offense," said Rueter, who led Hanford with 17 points. "That last shot, I couldn't see anything."

It was the second tough loss in as many nights for Hanford, which lost to Kennewick 55-53 on a last-second shot Friday night.

"It's been a rough two weeks for us," Falcons coach Paul Mayer said. "It's hard. I think we're all frustrated. We've lost five games by (a total of) 17 points.

"But the guys made a spirited effort at the end. I'm proud of them."

Porter led the Suns with 13 points with six rebounds and three assists.

HANFORD -- Wagar 4, Braich 13, DeVine, Kurt Rueter 17, Neary 5, Nash 6, Serkowski 2, Funk. Totals 14-47 11-18 47.

SOUTHRIDGE -- Palmer 5, Jones 3, Mendenhall 12, Derek Porter 13, Scott 8, Keef 8, Molt, Willard. Totals 21-48 5-10 49.

Hanford 8 13 10 16 -- 47

Southridge 14 12 12 11 -- 49

Highlights -- Porter 6 rebs; 3 assists; Matt Mendenhall 6 rebs; Dallas Jones 3 assists; Cam Wagar 5 steals; Rueter 9 rebs; Aaron Neary 12 rebs, 3 assists.

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