Lobos Defeat Highlanders in Overtime

By: Todd Hveem
| Published 03/02/2010

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CYPRESS, Texas -- Great players are not always great, they are only great when they have to be. Langham Creek’s MacKey McKnight was great on Monday night at the Berry Center. And he had to be.

The 5-foot-11 McKnight, who is headed to Lehigh, showed why he led the Houston area in scoring this season by practically carrying the Lobos to a thrilling 56-47 overtime win over The Woodlands.

Langham Creek, which has won three straight overtime games in the first three rounds of the playoffs, will carry a 24-11 record into the Region II-5A tournament on Friday in Waco. The Woodlands, which had one of its finest seasons in school history, ended the 2009-2010 campaign 26-6.

McKnight, who averaged right at 25 points per game during the regular season, 14 of his 19 points in the second half as Langham Creek rallied from a 31-21 deficit with just over nine minutes left in the game to a 42-39 lead with 7.9 seconds to play.

But, after McKnight and Joe Johnson both missed the front end of one-and-ones, The Woodlands still had one last shot with 6.1 seconds remaining.

After a timeout, the Highlanders inbounded the ball under their own basket to junior guard Brandon Caporale, who weaved his way up the court and launched a 3-pointer from the top of the key.

The horn sounded as the ball tickled the twine to send the game into overtime tied at 42-apiece.

The Highlanders, who won the District 14-5A title, grabbed a 44-42 lead when relentless Brian Nordstrom scored on an offensive putback just 20 seconds into the four-minute overtime.

But the Lobos went on a 10-0 run -- anchored by eight straight free throws from smoothing-shooting southpaw Duke Reed -- to grab the regional quarterfinal victory.

During a three-minute stretch of overtime, The Woodlands missed two putbacks and three 3-pointers. It also had two turnovers and a pair of missed free throws.

Wes Cole, who was brilliant in the Highlanders’ playoff wins over Klein and Georgetown, struggled from the field on Monday and finished with only seven points.

Nordstrom was the only Highlander in double figures with 10 points. Justin Nelson had nine and Davis Tucker added eight.

Reed had 18 points, including 12 free throws, for the Lobos.

The Highlanders jumped out to a 16-6 lead at the end of the first quarter, but went stone cold in the second quarter as Langham Creek came back to tie the contest at 21-21 at intermission.

The Woodlands went from the 1:20 mark of the first quarter until Justin Nelson’s 3-pointer with 2:29 left in the half without scoring a field goal.

Still, The Woodlands came out of the popcorn break and scored the first 10 points of the third quarter before McKnight ignited the Lobos, who were playing in front a boisterous crowd.

The Woodlands went to a box-and-one defense on McKnight in the fourth period, but Reed went to work at the free throw line and Chris Aaron and Devon Rhodes started pounding away inside the paint.

The Highlanders also saw the 3-point shot abandon them at the worst time of the season. The Woodlands, who made more than 10 3-pointers in several games this season, made only 4-of-20 triples on the night.

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