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It wasn’t the worst end-of-game shot to concede defensively for the Hunt High varsity boys basketball team.
But having already shown a proclivity to connect from 3-point territory, Nash Central’s Tim Bridges turned his final make into the dagger Monday night.
With time ticking down in a tie game, Hunt appeared to be in a fair position to force a difficult, contested shot and force an overtime session. But Bridges pulled up several feet behind the arc and netted his fifth 3-pointer of the night in the final seconds. Senior Javion Farmer’s open look in the corner bounded off the rim as time expired, dooming the Warriors to a 56-53 loss against their former 3-A Big East Conference foe.
Hunt fell to 2-7, while Nash Central, now affiliated with the 2-A Eastern Plains Conference, climbed to 3-4.
After what proved to be the game-winning basket from Bridges, Hunt quickly advanced the ball down the floor and located senior Jeremiah Ganaway, who lofted a desperation heave towards the basket. The ball was tipped out of bounds by Nash Central with one-tenth of a second showing, but the officials reset the clock to .4 seconds.
Senior Jameson Lucas served as the inbounder and found Farmer, who caught the ball in rhythm and had a clean look before it harmlessly bounced away.
Ganaway, who led Hunt with 17 points, hit a 3-pointer with 2:46 to play to tie the game at 51. A Lucas free throw put Hunt up by one for the final time, but Nash Central responded with a nifty feed from Chris High to a cutting Ta’Rod Brown down the line to put Nash Central back up by one. Lucas, who drove the baseline to foul out lengthy Nash Central center Isaiah Jones, hit one of two free throws before the Bridges game winner. Bridges, who finished with 16 points, swished a 3-pointer in the final seconds of the first half to send the Bulldogs into halftime with a 29-27 lead.
Brown, who was a problem on the drive and on the offensive glass for Hunt, led all scorers with 20 points. Farmer added 11 for Hunt, while Lucas tallied 10. The Warriors climbed out of an early 8-0 hole against Nash Central’s length to close the opening period on a 17-4 run before the game settled into a back-and-forth affair. Hunt led by as many as seven in the second quarter.
NASH CENTRAL (56)
Jones 4, Styles 6, Simmons 4, Bridges 16, Brown 20, Phillips, High 6,
Wade 2, Taylor 5, Ganaway 17, Coley 4, Farmer 11, May 2, Ward 2, Lucas 10.
Score by quarters: