by Brian Turrel
The Harmon Hawks and Sumner Academy Sabres played a closely contested game Friday evening, won by Harmon 71-66. A Hawks run in the fourth quarter put the game out of reach, despite a gutsy Sabres comeback run in the closing minutes.
The Hawks were first out of the gate, taking advantage of a sharp passing attack to run out to a 10-6 lead four minutes into the game, but the Sabres found their way back to tie the game at the end of the first quarter. Jason Rodriguez hit 2 three-pointers in the quarter for the Hawks.
The lead seesawed between the teams in the second quarter, with neither able to gain a clear advantage. Harmon picked up a backcourt press that created two Sumner turnovers, and the Hawks edged out to a 4-point margin at halftime thanks to 9 points from Lynell Lane.
The opening of the third quarter saw a lot of back-and-forth action, but just 2 made baskets in the first three minutes. Sumner closed to within a single point, but in the last two minutes Harmon ran out to a double-digit lead. With less than 10 seconds in the quarter, Harmon efficiently ran a scoring play to take a 52-39 lead.
The fourth quarter opened with another Harmon run, nearing blowout territory with a 21-point lead. The Sabres did not concede, but instead took the fight back to Harmon, scoring 27 points, including 8-of-11 at the line, to get within 5 at the buzzer.
Lynell Lane scored 25 points to pace the Hawks, and Eddie King scored 21, including 3 three-pointers. Jason Rodriguez added 10 points for Harmon.
For the Sabres, Jammial Hicks scored 21, all but 2 in the second half. Terry Rowe III added 18 points, 5-of-6 at the free throw line. Cameron Johnson scored 13, and Howard Peoples had 11.
Harmon improves its record to 2-3 for the season, hoping the win launches the Hawks toward defending their conference title. Harmon will play at home against Wyandotte on Tuesday, starting at 7 p.m.
Sumner drops to 2-2 and will play host to the Washington Wildcats on Tuesday, also with a 7 p.m. tipoff.