HURRICANE — LaRon Dues put Hurricane’s boys basketball team on his back in the fourth quarter of Tuesday’s matchup against Cabell Midland.
The freshman scored 10 of Hurricane’s 23 points in the final period to help Hurricane over the Class AAAA No. 10 Knights with a 61-55 victory in a Mountain State Athletic Conference matchup at Hurricane High.
Hurricane (7-7) has won two straight after dropping three in a row while Cabell Midland (6-6) has lost its third straight game.
Dues and Jackson Clark led Hurricane with 15 points each and it was a balanced effort as eight different Hurricane players scored.
Hurricane coach Lance Sutherland said Dues was effective for his team the entire game, even though Dues scored most of his points in the fourth quarter.
“LaRon was big all game,” Sutherland said. “He’s a true point guard, which we haven’t had in a while. He just came back (from injury), so we’re getting him back into it full speed. He’ll be in good shape.”
Dominic Schmidt had a big night for the Knights as he led all scorers with 25 points and went 12 of 15 from the free throw line.
Mondrell Dean was Hurricane’s third scorer in double figures as he tallied 12 points.
Hurricane outscored Cabell Midland 35-26 in the second half. Sutherland said his team’s effort late in the game made the difference.
“We haven’t been playing four quarters of basketball and we finally played a good third quarter and a fourth quarter,” Sutherland said. “We just got that lead, and then we had some guys step up. LaRon stepped up big-time. Tonight we played to win instead of playing not to lose. A little maturity has come a long way. I think the (65-59 Jan. 20) Winfield (win) helped us. Then we got here in this one and it really helped a lot.”
Isaac Pettit, who finished with 10 points for the Knights, scored six quick points to start the game and Midland got out to an 8-2 lead. Hurricane hung with the Knights as it held a 17-15 lead after the first quarter.
Midland went on a 14-9 run in the second quarter and led 29-26 at halftime.
Midland jumped out to a 32-26 lead to start the second half, but Clark and Daniel Spencer combined for 10 of Hurricane’s 12 third-quarter points and Midland led 39-38 heading into the fourth.
That lead didn’t last long, though, as Dues scored five straight points to give Hurricane a 43-39 lead.
Despite Schmidt’s 12 fourth-quarter points, Hurricane never surrendered the lead.
Midland hit three 3-pointers in the first half and didn’t hit a shot from long range in the second. Sutherland said keeping the Knights at bay from beyond the arc was important.
“We wanted to make sure they didn’t score any 3-pointers, and I don’t think they got any in the second half,” Sutherland said. “That was our thing, was run them off the 3-point line. We didn’t rebound very well. We could have done better there.”
Sutherland said he wanted to get Schmidt to the line and Hurricane did that in the second half. Schmidt had three field goals in the half and had to do most of his work from the line with an 8 of 8 clip.
“Daniel Spencer did a great job,” Sutherland said. “He said, ‘I want him.’ He did a good job. He got a little tired there at the end. I think he did a great job. Schmidt hadn’t been doing well from the foul line, so I said ‘OK, he hadn’t been shooting very well.’ And then today he comes in and nails everything.”
The win over a sectional opponent was important for Hurricane.
“Gets us back to .500, it’s a sectional game and a regional game,” Sutherland said. “That helps. Of course Parkersburg South is in our section. So we’re playing for that two-seed to have our game here. This game looks good on our resume.”
Both teams play again on Thursday as Hurricane plays at Huntington and Cabell Midland hosts Spring Valley. Both games are scheduled for 7 p.m.
Hurricane 61, Cabell Midland 55
Cabell Midland (6-6)
Eastone 4, Petitt 10, Le.Marshall 3, Schmidt 25, Cottrell 5m Bohm 8
Dean 12, Clark 15, O’Dell 5, Whittington 3, Smith 5, Dues 15, Spencer 4, Taylor 2