Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Hanika Comes Up Big Late, Lifts Hayden Boys

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Hanika Comes Up Big Late, Lifts Hayden Boys

Article excerpt

BASEHOR -- DeShawn Hanika knew exactly why he'd spent a little time in the doghouse during Hayden's opener at the Basehor-Linwood Invitational.

And the sophomore knew exactly what he had to do to find a little redemption.

"Coach (Ted Schuler) was on me all game about my rebounding and I hadn't been attacking the glass," Hanika said. "I decided if Jett (Canfield) missed I had to go get it and make a big play."

That mindset helped Hanika make the biggest play of Monday's 51- 50 win over St. Joseph (Mo.) Benton. After Canfield missed a runner in the closing seconds of a tie game, Hanika corralled the offensive rebound, was fouled on the putback attempt and sank a free throw with .4 seconds left to give the Wildcats the victory.

Hayden (4-5) will take on either Blue Valley or Pembroke Hill (Mo.) in Thursday's 4:30 p.m. semifinal.

"That first half, he didn't go to the boards like he can," Schuler said of Hanika, who had one rebound before his final game- saving board. "He's a guy who should be our best rebounder and the motor's got to get to the point where he goes after every rebound. He did that there and made a great play on a live ball, go-get-it type of play."

Breaking the tie wasn't exactly a given with Hanika entering the game shooting just 27 percent from the free-throw line for the season. But after making 5 of 7 earlier in the game, he had a renewed confidence when he stepped to the line with the game on the line.

"I was pretty confident knowing my teammates trusted me," Hanika said. "At the last practice, I spent a good hour working on free throws and I just had to remember my mechanics."

Hayden fell down 19-4 after the first quarter, but rallied to get within 25-23 at halftime. After falling behind by eight entering the fourth quarter, the Wildcats put together a 12-2 run to take a 43- 41 lead only to watch Benton answer with a 6-0 run to go up 47-43 with less than two minutes to play.

But Canfield buried his only 3-pointer of the game to get Hayden within two and then Mason Dodd scored on a runout to give the Wildcats the lead with 1:20 to play. After Benton's Tre Flowers nailed a 3-pointer, Canfield answered with two free throws to tie it.

Benton's Saxton Thuston missed a chance to put the Cardinals up, setting up a final play for Hayden and Hanika's heroics.

Hanika finished with 18 points and Canfield added 17.

HAYDEN GIRLS 61, OLATHE NORTH 38 -- Hayden was doing everything it had to do to bury Olathe North early.

The Wildcats' pressure was giving the Eagles fits, forcing 10 first-quarter turnovers. When Hayden wasn't getting layup chances off its press, it created open looks both inside and beyond the arc.

The problem? Those shots just weren't going in. Despite a quarter that followed the game plan to the letter, Hayden led just 13-9 thanks to a 3-of-18 shooting performance. …

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