Highlanders drop heartbreaker to Howard

Highlanders drop heartbreaker to Howard

In a game that came down to the final play, the McLennan Highlanders fell to the Howard Hawks 62-59 in the quarterfinal round of the Region V Tournament at Frenship High School in Wolfforth, Texas.

It was a low-scoring affair through the first half as both teams appeared to suffer from big-game jitters. Nic Thomas began the scoring for Howard on a jumper with 18:35 to play in the first half. Srdjan Budimir hit a 3-pointer just over a minute later to give the Hawks an early 5-0 lead. The Highlanders struggled to find their offensive rhythm. Derrick Farquharson broke the ice for McLennan with a jumper in the lane with 14:07 remaining in the half. The Hawks extended their lead to eight, 10-2, with 11:56 to go. That's when Shannon Bogues came alive for the Highlanders. Bogues drained back-to-back 3-pointers, one from the top of the key and another from the sideline, to pull McLennan within two, 10-8. Howard extended the lead to four but the Highlanders rallied, tying the game at 13 on a Jashawn Talton put back with just over five minutes remaining in the first half. The Hawks pulled away down the stretch extending the lead to six, 26-20. A Bogues layup with 35 second on the clock would be the final bucket of the half and Howard took the 26-22 lead into the locker room. 

Howard opened the second half on a 4-0 run to extend the lead back to eight and continued to hold the eight-point lead with 16:41 to play in the game, 36-28. A Bogues put back ignited a 10-0 run for the Highlanders. Farquharson's long range 3-pointer tied the game at 36 and a fast-break layup by Hayden Hunter capped off the run and gave McLennan its first lead of the game, 40-39, with 12:12 to go. Howard pulled away once again extending the lead to six, 51-45 with 8:20 on the clock. The Highlanders continued to fight. A Zarious Wilson layup followed by a bucket and one by Talton pulled McLennan within one, 51-50. The Hawks continued to lead by one, 53-52, with 4:45 to go. K.J. Riley and Dante Scott sank a pair of free throws each to put Howard up by five, 57-52. McLennan stepped up to the challenge. Another Farquharson 3-pointer from the corner followed by a hook shot by Talton tied the game at 57. The game was tied at 59 with 50 seconds to play. Jake Hutchings' bucket and a free throw by Scott put Howard up by three with 4.12 to go. McLennan drove the ball down the court and had a chance to tie the game at the buzzer but it wasn't meant to be as Bogues' 3-point shot bounced off the iron.

Bogues led the Highlanders with 19 points. Wilson and Farquharson added 15 and 10, respectively. 

McLennan: Zarious Wilson 6 0-0 15; Chamar Hawkins 0 0-0 0; Hayden Hunter 1 0-0 2; Derrick Farquharson 4 0-1 10; Shannon Bogues 7 2-2 19; Isaiah Gurley 1 2-2 4; Jashawn Talton 4 1-1 9; Fred Jackson 0 0-0 0; Julius Palmer 0 0-0 0; Totals: 23 5-6 59.

Howard: Srdjan Budimir 5 0-1 14; Dante Scott 6 7-9 21; Fener Langens 0 0-0 0; Nic Thomas 4 0-0 8; Amari McCray 1 2-2 4; Jake Hutchings 3 0-0 7; K.J. Riley 2 4-4 8; Totals: 21 13-17 62.

3-pointers: McLennan 8 (Wilson 3, Bogues 3, Farquharson 2), Howard 7 (Budimir 4, Scott 2, Hutchings 1); Total fouls: McLennan 19, Howard 12; Fouled out: McLennan (Talton); Halftime score: Howard 26, McLennan 22; Record: McLennan 29-2 (11-1).