CORNELIUS Hough junior forward Luke Maye got one bit of business out of the way early Tuesday against Independence. His teammates helped him take care of the rest, as the No.4 Huskies rallied in the final 20 seconds to beat the 15th-ranked Patriots 69-68 in boys’ basketball.
Maye scored 19 points – passing the 1,000-point mark in his career – and pulled down 16 rebounds for Hough (5-1), which blew a 10-point lead early in the fourth quarter and trailed 68-66 with 26 seconds remaining.
That’s when Maye’s teammates stepped up – especially Theo Mack, who came up with the final three points of the game.
Mack, who finished with 17 points, hit a free throw to pull Hough to 68-67. After Patriots forward Deion Lane missed a layup with 18 seconds left, Maye got the rebound and found Mack streaking down the court.
Mack’s fast-break layup with 13 seconds left put the Huskies in the lead, and a missed jumper by Independence forward Workpeh Kofa with four seconds remaining sealed the Huskies’ third straight win.
“I truly believe that those guys can go off on anyone,” Maye said of his teammates. “I usually try to take it on, but tonight I had to rely on my teammates more. Tucker (Thompson, who finished with 14 points and 13 rebounds) and Theo stepped up.”
Behind Lane (27 points) and Tayon Gleaves (21 points), Independence pulled ahead 23-17 at the end of the first quarter. It took Thompson scoring eight points during a 13-2 run to open the second quarter to put the Huskies in the lead.
Hough pulled ahead 61-51 on Ryan Friday’s three-point play with 5:13 left in the fourth quarter. The Patriots responded with a 16-5 run, with Lane’s layup with 48 seconds left giving Independence its first lead since the opening period.
Kofa hit the front end of a one-and-one 22 seconds later to put the Patriots up by two points, but his second shot was nullified by a lane violation.
“It was little things that caught up with us,” Independence coach Preston Davis said. “We put ourselves in position with our effort, so we could steal one. We knew this was going to be a tough game, but that’s why we play this tough schedule.”
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