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Class 2A boys hoops: 12 3s lift Fort Sumner/House to championship

There’s much to be said for long-range shooting. Just ask the Fort Sumner/House Foxes.

The Foxes sniped their way to a Class 2A boys basketball championship Saturday night, hitting 12 3-pointers on their way to a 56-53 victory over Menaul at Dreamstyle Arena — the Pit.

Brant West scored a game-high 21 points and hit five of his team’s 3-pointers. West netted three of his long balls during a third-quarter rally that lifted Fort Sumner/House (24-6) from a 10-point deficit to a 47-42 lead.

“We just keep on shooting,” West said. “We have that mentality that every one’s going down. That’s every game, not just tonight, but we definitely needed all of them in this game.”

The elated Foxes stormed in around West and coach Brad Holland on the postgame media podium after the game, turning the interview session into an impromptu celebration.

“This is a great group of upperclassmen and I think they’ve helped us start something great with this program,” Holland said. “We had to work for it tonight against Menaul. That’s a big team and they gave us fits, but these guys got it done.”

Fort Sumner/House, which secured its first state title since 2009, did an effective job containing Menaul’s 6-foot-9 senior Michael Ou, especially in the opening half. Ou finished with 13 points and made his presence felt with four blocks, three of which got the Panthers offense out in transition.

That’s where Menaul did most of its damage, attacking the basket and scoring 28 in the paint. The Foxes answered with perimeter shooting but trailed 29-24 after Cory Terrell’s 3-pointer with 3:30 left in the second quarter.

But Carlos Fuentes drained a 3-pointer for the Panthers, then converted a fast-break layup after a Fort Sumner/House turnover to extend Menaul’s lead to 10 points. It was 35-25 at halftime.

“I felt like we got them a little bit with our zone,” Menaul coach Gary Boatman said, “but then they’d always seem to hit a 3. Give them credit. Our length didn’t faze them.”

It didn’t take the Foxes long to set their preferred pace in the third quarter. West hit a 3-pointer on the first possession and the comeback officially was on.

The senior hit two more 3s in the quarter, and teammates Jude Segura and Noah Maxwell added two more. Maxwell’s came at the buzzer and gave the Foxes a 47-42 lead as Menaul scored just seven points in the quarter.

The Panthers (26-6), who were seeking the school’s first championship, battled back in the fourth quarter and gave themselves a final chance to tie. Menaul had possession trailing 56-53 with 17 seconds left, but its final possession never netted a shot. Ou caught a high pass on a back screen, but his pass to teammate Jason Huang was knocked loose and time expired.

MENAUL (26-5): Dereck Pyle 3-6 4-9 10, Santiago Henry 2-2 0-0 4, Cody Leslie 0-1 0-0 0, Luis Alvarado 0-0 0-0 0, Benny Morales 0-0 0-0 0, Samuel Calderon 0-0 0-0 0, Xavier Johnson 0-0 0-0 0, Marcos Morales 0-0 0-0 0, Dylan Lerch 0-0 0-1 0, Gary Lucero 0-0 0-0 0, Carlos Fuentes 8-15 0-0 18, Jason Huang 3-11 1-2 8, Ryan McCann 0-0 0-0 0, Michael Ou 3-5 7-8 13. Totals 19-40-FG 12-20-FT 53.

FORT SUMNER/HOUSE (23-6): Chance Drake 0-0 0-0 0, Francisco Chavez 0-1 0-0 0, Parker Lewis 0-0 0-0 0, Alex Moyer 0-0 0-0 0, Peyton Lewis 0-0 0-0 0, Brant West 8-16 0-0 21, Cory Terrell 1-7 0-2 3, Jude Segura 3-7 3-4 12, Noah Maxwell 6-12 4-8 19, Izaiah Padilla 0-0 0-0 0, Kane Burney 0-0 0-0 0, Hunter Sturgeon 0-3 1-4 1, Kreston Butterfield 0-3 0-0 0, Jayden Terrell 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 18-49-FG 8-18-FT 56.

Menaul 19 16 7 11 — 53

Fort Sumner/House 15 10 22 9 —56

3-point FG: M 3-12 (Fuentes 2-6, Huang 1-3, Ou 0-1, Leslie 0-1, Pyle 0-1); FSH 12-27 (West 5-10, Segura 3-5, Maxwell 3-5, Terrell 1-6, Butterfield 0-1). Rebounds: M 36 (Ou 13); FSH 34 (West 7). Assists: M 9 (Pyle 3, Huang 3); FSH 9 (Terrell 3, Segura 3). Field-Goal Percentages: M, 54 first half, 38 second half, 48 game; FSH, 36 first half, 38 second half, 37 game. Steals: M, 9; FSH, 3. Blocks: M, 4; FSH, 1. Turnovers: M, 21; FSH, 17. Total fouls: M 19; FSH 17. Fouled out: FSH, Sturgeon.

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