(Rick Hickman / American Press)
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 30, 2013 10:04 AM
The champs haven’t been knocked out yet.
The Elton Indians edged Hamilton Christian 37-33 Tuesday night to move within a game of the Warriors, who suffered their first District 4-3A loss. Elton has won the district the past two seasons.
Micah Lavan drained a 3-pointer with 1:05 left to put Elton (15-8, 5-2) ahead for good. Hamilton (12-14, 6-1) pulled within one on a Jalen Doucet free throw with 15 seconds left, but Elton guard Dane Williams converted a three-point play with 7 seconds left to put the game away for Elton.
“We were really getting after it man-to-man,” said Elton head coach Justin Fruge. “The last couple of weeks we have had a big change in the attitude of the team. I guess we thought it would be easy to win district for the third time in a row. Now we are in a dogfight. We have to compete with everything we have, and I am proud of my guys for doing that tonight.”
Lavan scored five of his 14 points in the fourth quarter, scoring on a post move with 2:10 left to give Elton a 31-28 lead. Hamilton took the lead with four straight points by Isaiah Wheeler, but Lavan responded with a 3-pointer from the left wing to give the Indians the lead for good.
“He is the man for us, no doubt about it,” Fruge said. “He is the leader for us in all aspects. He is always giving everything in practice; I am happy for him to have this chance to continue our success.”
Wheeler led Hamilton with 15 points and 19 rebounds.
“He is a (heck) of a player,” Fruge said. “You can’t stop him. We just tried to hold him to the least we could. He is so good that he is going to get his.”
Warriors head coach Dexter Washington said his team had an off-night shooting.
“The shots we normally hit, we didn’t make,” he said. “We have been bad at the free-throw line all night. I said that would get us in a close game. We didn’t get the hustle rebounds we normally get, they got a lot of second-chance points. You have to give it to Micah Lavan, he hit the big shot. Big-time players make big-time shots.”
Hamilton led throughout the first half, taking an 18-9 lead midway through the second before Elton scored the last eight points
of the first half, including six straight by Lavan, to pull within one at halftime.
Jaslyn Jones scored a game-high 20 points as Elton cruised to the win.
The Indians (10-14, 4-3) scored nine straight points midway through the second quarter to take a 15-6 lead, then blew the game open with an 11-2 run to take a 33-14 halftime lead. Jones scored 16 points in the first half.
Nique Griffin scored 16 points to lead Hamilton (4-13, 1-6). Ashley Fusilier added 11.
Lydia Faulk and Juliet Langley scored 12 each for Elton.