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Southard's FT's at :03 lift Cougars

February 03, 2010
North Harrison senior Devin Southard walked up to the free-throw line as cool as a cucumber with three seconds left in the Cougars' tie game against visiting West Washington on Friday night. He promptly punched in both shots for a 49-47 win over the Senators. It wasn't the first time Southard had shown he could be calm in the clutch.

North Harrison vs. West Washington
"We won last Friday night (at Lanesville), too," North Harrison coach Greg Walters said. "Devin knocked down 10 free throws late. They fouled him five times, and he was able to cash in on all 10 of them. He's been really big the last two weeks. He came off a hurt ankle, and it was bothering him Saturday night. He didn't have the game he wanted to have, nor did the rest of us."

North Harrison coach Greg Walters
The Cougars led by six point early, but the Senators' Cody Huff and Josh Green sandwiched a pair of three-balls around an Alex Edwards deuce to close the gap to two, 12-10, at the end of the first quarter.

West Washington tied the game three times in the opening minutes of the second period. Lincoln Jones scored inside and Southard drove the lane for two more for a 20-16 Cougar lead. That evaporated in a hurry as Trevor Nice and Green delivered on a deuce-and-one, with the Senators taking a 21-20 lead to the locker room at halftime.

"West Washington is a good team, and Josh Green is a heck of a player," Walters said. "He's had some big games this year. We knew we probably couldn't stop him, but we were hoping to contain him a little bit. We came out in a box-and-one (defense), trying to frustrate him a little bit. When we didn't have someone right on him, he got free in transition and knocked down some big threes for them and really kept them in the game."

North Harrison’s Devin Southard shows no pressure as he puts away two free throws with three seconds left to give the Cougars a 49-47 win over visiting West Washington Saturday night. Photo by Wade Bell
Green buried a three to open the second half for a 24-20 Senator lead. Southard countered again with a deuce and Joe Bolin added a freebie later to cut the gap to one. Nice sank another West Washington three to gap the Cougars by four once again. However, Jones and Bolin scored to the tie game at 27.

Southard added a three and Bolin sank a free throw and deuce to push the Cougars in front by six, 33-27. Clayton Sullivan countered with a Senator three, but Bolin drove the baseline on the next possession for a deuce and a 35-30 Cougar advantage with one quarter left.

North Harrison (5-8, 0-7) kept the lead at five through the first four minutes of the fourth period. Green then struck twice — first with a deuce and then a three — to tie the game at 42. Bolin pushed North Harrison in front by two, but Logan Hall and Sullivan connected for four points and a 46-44 Senator lead with 2:22 remaining. With 1:07 left, Bolin tied the game at 47 with two free throws.

West Washington called time-out with 55.2 seconds left. The Senators spread the floor but then coughed up the ball to the Cougars with 6.4 seconds left.

Hall was then called for his fifth foul, sending Southard to the line with three ticks left on the clock. The Cougar senior calmly sank both freebies.

Green got off a shot from midcourt, but it bounced off the front of the rim, and the Cougars had the 49-47 win.

"We've been in the last three games," Walters said. "We told ourselves we were starting new. The first 10 games are done. This group hasn't really played together as a group. We finally got to know each other and finally know what we're doing and in the right places. That puts us at 2-1 in the last stretch here. We're not satisfied with just one win."

Southard and Bolin led the Cougars with 16 points each. The Cougars connected on 16 of 34 (47 percent) field goals and 17 of 20 free throws. North Harrison finished with 15 turnovers.

"We have a winning record on the road, and we hadn't won a home game," Walters said. "It was one of those deals we were able to get to the foul line to tonight. We had two seniors step up and be absolutely big. Devin Southard and Joe Bolin both get 16 points. Devin makes those free throws down the stretch."

"We still made some bonehead plays tonight," he said. "You can't fault the effort, but we dive and an over-and-back, and they end up getting a layup out of it. We fall down on the ground and at worst it's going to be a jump ball. We throw it toward the end, and they get a three out of it. I was telling the kids at halftime we turn the ball over two times and gave them five points."

Green led West Washington (8-6, 1-2) with 18 points, and Sullivan added 10. The Senators were 17 of 43 (40 percent) from the field and 5 of 10 from the free-throw line. West Washington committed 12 turnovers.

"We tried to go a 2-3 zone, and they put (Green) in the middle of it, and he exploited it and laid it in on us," Walters said. "He's a heck of a player and a really good athlete. We were proud we were able to beat such a good team."

"It was our first home win," he said, "and we've started the season over, and we've kind of come back with a new attitude."

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