Furious rally falls short for Mustangs
Saturday, 19 February 2011 11:58
L&T staff report
KISMET — Friday night was already an unforgettable night at Southwestern Heights High School.
Girls coach Barry Mellen earned his 600th career coaching victory, and Marissa Angell and Felix Schweiger were crowned Homecoming Queen and King.
The cap would be a win for the Mustangs boys basketball team against Elkhart.
It almost happened.
An off-balance 3-point ahot from the left corner by Lane Sherer fell short at the buzzer, and Elkhart survived for a 67-64 win over the Mustangs.
That Heights (4-13) was even in a position to win or tie at the end might have been surprising to anybody who left the game early.
Elkhart built a 20-point lead late in the third quarter, and led by 18 at 51-33 entering the final frame.?
But the Mustangs went on a furious run in the fourth, and cut Elkhart’s lead to just two — twice — in the final 37 seconds. The Wildcats missed four of six free throws in the final 45 seconds, and Southwestern Heights simply could not miss from long distance.
If there’s a hero in a losing effort, it would be Ben Johnsrud. The 5-foot-8 sophomore scored 34 points for Southwestern Heights, including seven 3-point baskets. Heights hit 13 three-pointers for the game, including four in a row in a one minute span of the fourth that brought it from a 59-48 deficit to a 64-62 game with 37 seconds left.
That’s a 14-3 run for Heights that brought the Homecoming crowd to its feet.
After Johnsrud’s seventh 3-pointer cut it to 64-62, Elkhart got two free throws from Ulises Prieto to make it a 4-point game.
Johnsrud hit a traditional 2-pointer to make it 66-64. Two missed free throws by Cole Parks gave Heights a chance to tie it, but a Johnsrud shot rimmed out. Jordan Simmons made the second of two free throws with five seconds left for Elkhart before the desperation shot at the end.
Sherer scored 11 for Heights, Clayton Chase added eight, Jeff Dutton five and Jr. Herrera three.
— SHAWN YORKS