Intense Hopewell squad takes down Moon
In a back-and-forth battle, No. 3 Hopewell defeated No. 2 Moon, 82-76, on Friday to move into a three-way tie with Blackhawk in Section 3 AAA.
"You know, the seniors could never get over that hump with Moon," senior forward Zach Fetchin said. "We always came close, but this time we had that fire inside us that helped us beat them."
Hopewell (13-4, 5-1) thrived off of the home-court advantage in the filled-to-capacity gym, which was highlighted by a motivated student cheering section. The Vikings opened the game with a 7-2 run, but Moon (12-3, 5-1) tied the game, 9-9, with 4:30 remaining in the first quarter. Moon went on to take the lead and established a 41-39 advantage by halftime.
"You always say defense wins championships, and we knew we had to play harder on defense," Hopewell coach Mark Javens said. "Usually, we make offensive and defensive switches, but we were able to get our best offensive and defensive teams on the court at the same time."
After trailing for the majority of the first half, Hopewell opened the third quarter on a 9-0 run thanks to three forced turnovers. The Vikings led for the remainder of the game until Moon tied the game, 69-69, with less than three minutes remaining.
"Intensity was the key, and when you win like that, it's the intensity," Javens said. "Of course, it's hard to keep composure in a game like this, but we did a good job."
Senior guard Tim Kubis went 7 for 8 from the line, and senior guard Michael Seech scored six points to seal the win for the Vikings in the final minutes.
Kubis led all scorers with 20 points. Fetchin, senior center Jimmy Turnley, and Seech finished with 18, 14 and 13 points, respectively.
"The foul shots were key because we weren't making them earlier in the season," Fetchin said. "We knew foul shots would be big in big games, and (Seech and Kubis) did a great job tonight."
Moon was led by junior guard Andy Dowdell, who netted 18 points, and junior forward Chris Jeannot, who added 15. Sophomore guard Brian Walsh scored 16 points, including eight fourth-quarter points.
"If we play as a team, we know we can play well because we have five players that we know can put up 15 points," Javens said. "This is a huge win for us because we won on our court. Now, we have to go to their court."