ETHAN HENDERSON drives hard to the hoop in action against Farmington on Feb. 7. Joshua Spaulding. (click for larger version)
February 11, 2013ALTON — When the Prospect Mountain boys' hoop team started the game one-of-six from the free throw line, coach Tom Bourdeau thought that could be a problem.
However, the Timber Wolves found their free throw stroke late and pulled away from Farmington for a 53-40 win on Thursday, Feb. 7.
"We started out one-for-six from the line, I was a little nervous, wondering if we were going to make a free throw at all," Bourdeau said. "But I guess it averages out, so we were bound to make a few in a row."
Prospect hit eight free throws in the final minute of the game, turning a six-point lead into a 14-point lead and eventually the 13-point win.
The Timber Wolves were 10-of-15 from the line in the fourth quarter and outscored the Tigers 20-7 in the frame, including a 16-1 run to close out the contest.
"The kids we put in played well," Bourdeau said. "We got key rebounds we needed to have and we battled hared on the boards.
"Having a couple of extra tall guys helped a little," he added.
A Zach Robertson basket got Prospect on the board first, but the Tigers hit a hoop and a three-pointer to take a 5-2 lead. Prospect answered with a three from Austin Perrin to tie the game and the two teams went back and forth the rest of the quarter.
Ethan Henderson answered a Tiger hoop and then Perrin converted a Henderson steal to put Prospect up 9-7, only to see the Tigers hit a hoop and tie the game at nine. After a Robertson basket, Farmington hit two free throws, but Perrin hit the final hoop of the frame and Prospect led 13-11 through one quarter.
After Farmington tied the game early in the second quarter, Prospect went on a 9-0 run, with Logan Roberts hitting a hoop and Henderson hitting back-to-back buckets. Logan LaRoche capped the run with a three-pointer, pushing Prospect's lead to 22-13, but Farmington answered with a pair of hoops to pull within five.
A Perrin rebound and hoop upped the lead to seven again, but Farmington scored the frame's final points and cut the lead to 24-19 at the halftime break.
"We had them under 20 in the first half, so we wanted to duplicate that," Bourdeau said of his halftime talk. "And they did. For the most part."
Prospect got early hoops from Roberts and Robertson sandwiched around a Tiger hoop for a 28-21 lead, but the visitors responded with a 9-0 run of their own, turning a 28-21 deficit into a 30-28 lead with 2:40 to go in the third quarter.
However, Perrin hit the tying hoop and LaRoche finished off a Nate Farnham steal to give the Timber Wolves the lead back at 32-30. Perrin then hit a free throw to make it a three-point game, but the Tigers closed out the quarter with a three-pointer to send the teams to the fourth quarter with the score tied at 33.
Two free throws from Roberts got the scoring going in the fourth, but the Tigers answered with a hoop. LaRoche hit a bucket, but Farmington countered with a hoop and two free throws, giving them a 39-37 lead with five minutes to play.
Farnham answered the call, sinking a jumper for his first hoop of the day, tying the game at 39 and keying the 16-1 run to close out the game. Perrin hit three hoops in a row before Henderson hit four free throws in a row to up the lead to 49-39. LaRoche hit a free throw, Roberts hit two and Henderson hit one more, pushing the lead to 53-39 before the Tigers closed out the game with a free throw for the 53-40 final.
"Last time we kept them down in the second half, today, not as much," Bourdeau said. "Farmington's a good team."
The Timber Wolf coach also praised Perrin's work, as the senior forward poured in 18 points on the night to lead the way for Prospect.
"Austin works hard all the time," Bourdeau said. "He's one of those kids that stays under the radar. He's a lunchpail guy."
On the strength of his strong free throw shooting late, Henderson also reached double figures, pouring in 11 points, while LaRoche and Roberts each finished with eight points.
The win was a good bounce-back for the Timber Wolves after a 59-49 loss in Berlin on Tuesday, Feb. 5.
"The first quarter was just too much to come back from against the number one team," Bourdeau said.
The Timber Wolves fell behind 17-6 after one and were never able to get all the way back, despite winning the final three quarters by a 43-42 margin. Prospect outshot the hosts 47 percent to 43 percent and pulled down 37 rebounds to Berlin's 29, but they also had 23 turnovers, which didn't help the cause.
Perrin and Roberts both finished with double-doubles on the night, with Perrin putting in 18 points and grabbing 11 rebounds and Roberts netting 11 points and grabbing 12 rebounds. Robertson was one point and one rebound away from a double-double, putting up nine points and grabbing nine boards.
Prospect will be in action on Friday, Feb. 15, at Somersworth at 6 p.m. and will be at Gilford on Tuesday, Feb. 19, at 6 p.m.
Joshua Spaulding can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 569-3126