HURRICANE – No playoffs, no winning record, no state championship. And yet, Friday’s season-ending 59-50 win for Hurricane over Canyon View was an important one nonetheless.
Despite marked improvement over last year’s 1-19 team that ended the season with a 17-game losing streak, coach Todd Langston’s 2013-14 Hurricane Tigers did not want to end this season with an 11-game losing streak. Though the beginning looked bleak against the Falcons, who shot lights out beginning the game, the Tigers mounted a comeback and ended the season as winners.
“We started out the game with a zone defense,” Langston said. “And give Canyon View credit, they hit all of their shots early, even though we had closed on them and had hands in their faces.”
Over the first four minutes of the game, the Falcons scored at will, jumping out to a 22-4 lead. Canyon View spread the wealth as six different players scored in the run, led by Ty Nielson’s two 3-pointers.
“Down 18, we decided to go to man-to-man,” Langston said. “That seemed to notch up our intensity and take Canyon View out of their rhythm.”
The ploy worked as Hurricane would score the last six points of the first quarter and outscore the Falcons 20-4 in the second quarter. The 26-4 run was fueled by 13 points from post Austen Beatty and two timely 3-pointers from point guard Kaden Langston. Cody LeBaron also had five points in the run. The Tigers went into the locker room leading 30-26.
As they came from intermission, LeBaron hit double-figures on the first bucket of the second half. The Falcons then went on a run of their own, scoring the next eight points, capped by two Ryan Jensen jumpers. And at the 6:03 mark, Canyon View had reclaimed the lead, 34-32.
After a Hurricane timeout, the momentum switched back to the Tigers as they closed out the third with an 8-0 run, all of the points coming from Erik Mitchell and Jayce Housley. At the end of three, the Tigers led 40-34.
The Falcons did not let the lead slip away early in the fourth and slowly crawled back to take the lead 50-49 with 2:17 left. The Tigers buckled down once again, took a one-point lead on a jumper from Mitchell, and then hit 8 of 10 free throws to get to the final score when the Falcons were forced to foul to try to get back in the game.
Coach Langston said he saw improvement in his team throughout the year.
“There were so many times where we were close, or where we had leads late in games,” he said. “We are losing some good senior leadership with Cody (LeBaron) and Erik (Mitchell). But I am excited about what we have coming next year and we will continue to improve and be a force in region.”
Beatty led all scorers with 19 points. LeBaron joined him in double-figures with 15. Mitchell and Kaden Langston scored 9 and 8 points, respectively.
The Falcons were led by Jensen with 15 points. Koy Huxford scored 12. Keaton Kringlen had five points and eight rebounds.
Hurricane finished the season with a 6-16 overall record, 2-10 in region play. Canyon View also finished 6-16, 3-9 in region play.
Stats: HHS 59, CVHS 50
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