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BOYS' BASKETBALL: Huskies Win 38-36, Watt Nets Game-Winner

Panthers’ record drops to 4-6

January 9, 2013
By RICK DeLUCA For The Intelligencer , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

CONNORVILLE - Harrison Central's Fletcher Watt has been playing longer than some coaches have been coaching, so it is no wonder he is the go-to guy for the Huskies.

Watt drove the lane with four second remaining to score the game-winner as the Huskies pulled out a 38-36 victory against Buckeye Local on Tuesday night.

With the victory, coach Justin Clifford's Huskies moved to 8-2 and successfully rebounded from a heartbreaking loss to St. Clairsville on Friday.

Coach Jay Morris' Panthers dropped them to 4-6.

''For whatever reason, we haven't shot well all season except for a couple games,'' a emotionally drained Clifford said. ''You have to give them credit, they kept changing defenses on us, but you hold a team to 36 points you give yourself a shot.''

Buckeye jumped out to a 12-3 lead in the first period, outscoring the Huskies by 10-1 after being deadlocked at 2-2. Brennen Czuchran led the Panthers in the opening session with seven points and three boards while John Rozenek tossed in four.

In the second, scoring slowed as the Panthers managed to hold on to a 20-9 lead at the intermission. The hosts led by 20-5 before Watt and Nick Pelegreen scored back-to back in the final minute.

Harrison rallied to close the gap to 29-21 in the third. Pelegreen converted three shots from the floor to lead the Huskies.

In the exciting fourth, Rasheen Mitchell converted to at the line then meshed a trey to cut the gap to 29-26 at the 6:10 mark. Buckeye bounced back as Kyle Michalo added one at the stripe and Czuchran cashed a layup. Watt netted two at the line and a 3-pointer around a John Rozenek score at the line as the hosts led 33-31.

With an assist from Caleb Agnew, Michalo drained a 3, but seconds later Austin Kowalski converted underneath to close the gap to 36-33. With 45 second left, Cody Evans took his first and only shot of the game and drained a 3-pointer from the right corner to knot the score. A Buckeye turnover setup Harrison's last attempt. Watt drove the left side of the lane, bouncing off defender to lay in his game-winner.

Watt and Mitchell paced the Huskies with 11 points each while Pelegreen added nine. Mitchell finished with nine rebounds and seven blocked shots while Pelegreen collared eight strays.

Czuchran led all scorers with 13 while Michalo added 10. Rozenek led the Pante with nine rebounds.

''My kids battled hard throughout the entire game,'' a dejected Coach Morris said. ''It all came down to them (Harrison) taking their first lead on their final shot.

''You could just tell by the way the game was going that the game was going to come down to the last possession.''

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