Hammond tames Lions
The Hammond Skyhawks started their SCISA boys’ SCISA 3A semifinal against the Augusta Christian Lions in spectacular fashion. Point guard Seventh Woods lobbed a pass from the right side of the key to a leaping Xavier McDaniel for an alley-oop dunk. Woods followed that with a basket, and it looked like Hammond was off and running. But the Skyhawks could never completely shake the pesky Lions and held on for a 63-55 victory.
Sam Ulmer blocked a shot, saved the ball to Woods, and then Woods went coast-to-coast for the last of his eight first quarter points to give Hammond a 14-5 lead going into the second quarter. A 3-pointer from Spencer Carlson pushed that lead to 19-7 with 5:00 to play in the half, but Augusta Christian scored the next nine points to close the gap to 19-16.
The Skyhawks repsonded with a bucket from McDaniel and four points from Woods. The Lions made 3- of- 4 free throws to end the second, and Hammond led 25-19.
The teams continued the same pattern. Ulmer’s backdoor layup put Hammond up 37-28, but the Lions battled back, and Nick Fortenberry’s second 3- pointer of the quarter cut the gap to 37-32. The Skyhawks responded again with a 7-0 run, but another Fortenberry 3-pointer with four seconds remaining in the third kept the Lions within striking distance at 47-39.
Hammond had an inauspicious start to the fourth quarter. Ulmer picked up his fourth foul, Woods got his third, and McDaniel picked up his third and fourth fouls with 6:15 to play. The Lions made 3-of-6 free throws to close within 47-42.
The Skyhawks then spent much of the fourth at the free throw line making 6- of-11. Meanwhile, Fortenberry hit two more 3-pointers, and after McDaniel fouled out and Ashton Roper hit a couple of free throws for the Lions, the Hammond lead was just five with a minute to play, but that was as close as Augusta Christian would get.
Woods led the way for Hammond with 21 points. Ulmer and Carlson each finished with 13 points, and McDaniel had eight. Ken Krupa and Cannon Smith got four points each for the Skyhawks. Fortenberry led Augusta Christian with 22 points, which included five 3-pointers in the second half.