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Boys basketball: Haines’ late three downs Blackfoot

By MICHAEL GUISE | Idaho State Journal | mguise@journalnet.com
POCATELLO — Reece Robinson stood still and slowly untucked his jersey as Century’s students formed a mob at center court.

Century’s Deshun Harwell attempts a layup as Blackfoot’s Trevor Miller (left) and Rayce Shelley (right) defend during their game Tuesday at Century. Kyle Riley/For the Idaho State Journal

The sophomore guard’s teammates had already walked away disappointed, leaving Robinson with a front-row view to the D-backs’ authentic joy after Connor Haines hit a last-second 3-pointer to give Century a 43-40 home win Tuesday against Blackfoot.

Haines’ triple came with 5.3 seconds remaining after the D-backs (7-4, 2-0 4A District 5-6) methodically burned one minute off the clock, hindering the Broncos’ chance at a final shot. Robinson was the Broncos’ last hope, but the sophomore could not get a shot off as time expired.

“I felt it going in,” Haines said. “I wanted redemption. In my mind, I was getting it. It just felt good, like the hundreds of times in practice. It came off the fingers right.”

Haines’ game-winning shot was an opportunity for the senior to wipe the slate clean. Earlier in the final quarter, Haines missed two layups, but showed no ill-effects when he rose up in the right corner in the final seconds, lifting the D-backs to a win.

“He was resilient,” Century coach Ryan Frost said. “He was ready. You could see him in the corner, he was waiting for the ball to get to him. He wanted to make the shot.”

As jubilant as Century was after the win, the Broncos (2-8, 0-2 4A District 5-6) walked out of Century’s gym with another close loss on their record. Haines’ 3-pointer was the culmination of a second-half rally that handed the Broncos their fourth loss this season by four points or fewer.

Blackfoot led by as many as five points in the third quarter and three points in the fourth quarter. The road team also played the final 4:12 without starter Trevor Miller, who fouled out after scoring five points.

“We have to do something different to win these close games,” Blackfoot coach Cody Shelley said. “We were leading in the fourth quarter, and every home team makes a run. We have to quit finding ways to lose close games.”

Blackfoot tied the game 38-38 with 2:56 left in the fourth on an and-1 opportunity from Dexter Hale, but the junior missed the ensuing free throw. Century answered one minute later with a layup from Coleton Adamson after a Bronco turnover to jump ahead 40-38 before Rayce Shelley knotted the game with 1:18 left in the final frame.

Rayce Shelley led Blackfoot with 14 points, but was the only Bronco to score more than six points. Blackfoot shot 33.3 percent from the field and turned the ball over 16 times, including four in the fourth quarter.

“When we show up and defend, we have a chance every night,” Frost said. “If it’s a dog-fight game and we are playing defense, that is more our tone of basketball.”

Haines finished the game with eight points, while teammates Adamson and Deshun Harwell scored 14 and 10 points, respectively. Adamson was instrumental in Century’s fourth-quarter comeback as he tallied six points in the final frame.

With one month left in the regular season, Century has two conference wins, the same amount of league victories the team had in each of the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons.

“Coach Frost has taught us really how to play basketball,” Haines said. “He’s beating us up, but he’s been a big difference.”

CENTURY 43, BLACKFOOT 40

Blackfoot 8 9 13 10 — 40

Century 7 13 9 14 — 43

Blackfoot (40) Hale 4, Robinson 6, Fuller 5, Miller 5, Shelley 14, Brower 5, Thomas 1.

Century (43) Harwell 10, Ordyna 3, Tallon 3, Adamson 14, Haines 8, Rogers 5.

 

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