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INDIANAPOLIS — Hillcrest coach Don Houston didn’t like the game’s deciding call made by officials, but he’s not blaming them for his team’s loss, either.
Arsenal Tech, Ind. standout Trey Lyles hit two free throws with one second remaining to lift the Titans to a 73-71 win over Hillcrest in the IPSAC vs. Midwest Basketball Showcase at John Marshall High School.
“If we make our free throws, then it’s a different ballgame,” Houston said. “We were 17 of 30 from the line and that’s prety uncharacteristic of us. Anyonecan say it’s the officials’ fault, but we can’t blame the officials when we’re 17 of 30 from the line.”
It was a game of runs in the fourth quarter, with Tech answering each one.
Hillcrest junior Allen Jones hit a 3-pointer to tie the game at 57 with 6:20 remaining. The Titans, ranked second in Class 4A, the largest in Indiana, then went on an 8-2 run.
Hillcrest then answered with a 12-5 run, culiminating in Jovan Mooring making two free throws with 21 seconds left, which set up Lyles’ game-winning shots.
Lyles was fouled several feet behind the 3-point line, as he began to drive to get up a shot.
“We made some critical mistakes,” Houston said.
Lyles, who reopened his recruiting process this summer after originally committing to Indiana, finished with 16 points and 15 rebounds. Leo Williams led Tech with 17 points.
Houston credited sophomore post player Taylor Adway for limiting Lyles. Adway finished with 14 points.
“I’ll give up two points to a kid like that who is one of the top kids in the country,” Houston said. “We didn’t focus on taking him away, we just felt if Taylor played the way he’s capable of playing he could do a good job on him and he did a great job on him tonight.”
Mooring finished with 25 points, making 12 of 14 from the free throw line. Delmon Brame added 12 points.
Houston hopes his team will mature into the team that makes the plays Tech did at the end to win.
“That comes with mental toughness and this team is developing that,” he said. “Once this team gets the mental toughenss I know it can develop we will finish these games.”