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Gorman ends Hug's season
by Dan Eckles
Feb 21, 2013 | 1460 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
LAS VEGAS - After getting blown out and outclassed on the hardwood by Bishop Gorman in last year's state title tilt, the Hug Hawks were looking to earn some respect in a Division I state tournament semifinal rematch Thursday night at the Orleans Arena.

Hug gave Bishop Gorman all it could handled for a half and stayed competitive through three periods, but Bishop Gorman blew the game open in the fourth and rolled to a 70-52 postseason victory.

Hug trailed by just three at the break, 33-30. The Hawks found themselves down by two, 36-34, after two free throws from Felix Cox.

It was about that time Hug's leading scorer, Sam Williams, who averages 24 points a contest, picked up his third foul. He watched the rest of the third quarter from the bench and Bishop Gorman pushed its lead to 10, 54-44, by the third quarter's conclusion.

Bishop Gorman then proceeded to rip off the first 11 points of the fourth quarter. The key run saw the defending state champion Gaels push their lead to 21, 65-44, midway through the final quarter.

A minute later, Gorman's Jamin Tillman buried a pull-up jumper and the Gaels took a 67-45 lead. The 22-point lead was Gorman's biggest of the game.

"I feel bad for my guys," Hug coach Keith Crawford said. "It's been a fun ride, but I don't think they represented Hug basketball tonight. We didn't leave it all on the court. We had one intention and that was to win this game. We had them on the ropes."

Hug had no answer for Gorman's 6-foot 5-inch swingman Rashad Muhammad, who torched the HHS defense for 29 points. Gorman's Trey Kennedy contributed 20 points to the winning cause. Gaels' 6-foot 10-inch sophomore center Stephan Zimmerman added eight points but no other Gorman player had more than four.

Raymond Kerr threw in 14 and Williams chipped in 12 for Hug.

Hug, northern Nevada's large-school champion, got off to a sound start. The Hawks grabbed a quick 10-4 lead. They still led 14-12, but Gorman strung together six straight points and captured an 18-14 lead at the completion of the first quarter.

Bishop Gorman pushed its lead to eight, 25-17, after a dunk and 3-point play by Muhammad, but Hug didn't roll over. The Hawks outscored the Gaels 13-6 over a four-minute stretch and trimmed the private Catholic school's lead to one, 31-30. Kerr wrapped up the outburst with a coast-to-coast steal, drive and layup with 41 seconds remaining before the break.

"We were getting beat on the offensive glass (in the first half), which is really disappointing considering our size," Gorman coach Grant Rice said. "But then in the second half, we were able to get some stops, rebound and score in transition."

Gorman will meet Centennial Friday at 8 p.m. in the state championship contest.
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