Manogue’s Brennan Hogan came off a screen on a sideline in-bounds play, after a Miners timeout, and got a leaning floater on the baseline to fall. The bucket came with 2.8 seconds left and Manogue held on for a 57-55 playoff victory to keep its season alive.
The basket capped a Manogue comeback that the Miners' faithful was waiting for.
“For three and a half quarters McQueen was the better team and I don’t like saying that about my guys, but that was a fact,” Manogue coach Bill Ballinger said. “But my guys didn’t quit.”
McQueen’s Trevor Harnack knocked down a 12-foot jumper in the lane to give McQueen a 50-45 lead with 4:07 to go in the contest. Manogue got an Ethan Dillard 3-pointer and two Hogan free throws to knot the game at 50-50 with 3:24 remaining.
Harnack then made a driving layup for a 52-50 Lancers lead at the 3:09 mark of the fourth quarter. It was McQueen’s last lead of the night.
Manogue responded with the next five points to forge ahead 55-52 after Miners point guard Niles Lujan made 1 of 2 free throws with 55.4 ticks to go.
The Lancers were unfazed. After their own timeout, Lukas Engstrom got loose on a baseline screen and buried a fade-away 3-pointer with 32 seconds remaining on the game clock to get his McQueen crew into a 55-55 deadlock and set the stage for the late Manogue heroics.
Engstrom poured in 19 points to lead McQueen (17-9). Stallworth added 13 for the Lancers.
“That’s a really, really tough one to swallow,” McQueen coach John Franklin said. “The kids fought hard … It was a great game. Somebody had to lose. It just happened to be us.”
Manogue (23-5), which had trounced McQueen 91-48 in the two school’s previous meeting earlier this month, could not turn the trick again. The Miners did take a 14-7 lead after a Dillard trey midway through the first quarter.
McQueen responded with the next seven points to tie the game and the playoff foes were knotted at 17-17 after the first period.
“All we’ve talked about the last two weeks is that we truly believed we were the better team,” Franklin said. “I’m not one to believe in moral victories and I’m not claiming one here. But this loss wasn’t about believing whether or not we could win. We believed we could get it done.”
McQueen scored 15 of the first 23 points in the second quarter and forged ahead 32-25 after an Engstrom jumper with 2:40 remaining in the first half.
However, McQueen could not extend the edge. Manogue closed the first half with an 8-2 spurt and trailed by just one, 34-33.
McQueen picked up in the third quarter and regained the momentum. The Lancers reeled off a 10-2 outburst. The burst, which was capped by a Rollins Stallworth 3-point play, gave the northwest Reno school a 44-35 lead with three and a half minutes showing on the third-period clock. It was McQueen’s largest lead of the night, but Manogue did not go away.
“McQueen shot the ball really well and I thought they crashed the boards harder than us. Plus Rollins Stallworth was a tough matchup for us,” Ballinger said. “ I wanted to go to a zone, but we were behind and they were hitting shots.
“I think we wore them out a little bit at the end. I don’t know that for sure, but that’s always our intent.”
Hogan posted a game-high 24 points for Manogue. Dillard and Lujan each contributed 13 to the winning cause.
Manogue moves on with the win and will play in Saturday’s Northern 4A championship final, set to tip off at 6 p.m. at Carson High. McQueen’s season is over following the dramatic defeat.