Parkway boys beat Hardin Park

Hardin Park’s Christian Santiago (1) takes on Parkway’s Zachary Parsons (23), Jackson Pryor (left), Maddox Greene (1), Jamison Hodges (4) and Cade Keller (3).

BOONE — The Parkway boys basketball team renewed its rivalry with Hardin Park in the semifinals of the Watauga County Middle School Boys Basketball Tournament Jan. 27.

The Patriots returned to the finals with a 33-31 victory over Hardin Park after neither team led by more than two points the entire fourth quarter. Parkway (14-2) started the fourth quarter leading 24-22 but Hardin Park tied the game 27-27 after Christian Santiago and Jake Henderson hit foul shots on separate occasions.

Santiago put Hardin Park in front 29-27, but Jackson Pryor tied the game with a basket. Cade Keller put Parkway back in front with two foul shots but again, Hardin Park (10-6) tied the game 31-31 on a Henderson basket with 29 seconds left in the game.

“We’ve competed in these close games and we’re just riding the momentum,” Parkway coach Grady McKinney said. “We’ve got to battle and we’ve got to stay focused.”

Parkway put the game away from the foul line. Maddox Greene made a foul shot with 19.2 seconds left, then hit another with 4.8 seconds left to ice the game.

“They showed up in the clutch moments and that’s what you have to do is these type of games,” Hardin Park coach Raymond Cheek said. “Hats off to them and their guys showed up in the key moments and made the plays they needed to make.”

Keller led a balanced Parkway attack with 10 points. Jamison Hodges scored nine points and Maddox Greene scored eight points. Zachary Parsons finished with four points and Pryor scored two.

Hardin Park got nine points from Henderson and eight points from Aparicio. Santiago scored five points and Heath Rowan, Matthew Habich and Josiah Railey each scored three points.

McKinney was happy with how the Patriots played defense against Hardin Park.

“I felt we did a good job shutting down their 3-point shots overall,” McKinney said. “They still gave us a lot of trouble driving through the lane and that’s something we have to work on for Blowing Rock.”

Both teams struggled from the free throw line. Parkway made 8-of-18 from the foul line, while Hardin Park made 4-of-13 of its free throws.

Hardin Park coach Raymond Cheek felt the Eagles’ defense was able to keep Hardin Park close to the Patriots.

Parkway jumped out in front 13-9 in the first quarter and then held Hardin Park to three points in the second quarter. Parkway was able to score just four points in the second quarter and maintained a 17-12 halftime lead.

Hardin Park, aided by 3-point baskets from Rowan and Habich, outscored the Patriots 10-7 in the third quarter, leaving the Eagles trailing 24-22 going into the fourth quarter.

“We played the best defensive game we’ve played all season,” Cheek said. “It was a big factor in why we kept it so close.”

Parkway 33, Hardin Park 31

Hardin Park (10-6)

Santaigo 2 1-2 5, Henderson 3 2-6 9, Rowan 1 0-0 3, Habich 1 0-0 3, Aparicio 4 0-2 8, Railey 1 1-3 3, Lyons 0 0-0 0, Collins 0 0-0 0, Gosky 0 0-0 0, Bishop 0 0-0 0, Rothrock 0 0-0 0, Edmisten 0 0-0 0, Scott 0 0-0 0, Dewey 0 0-0 0. Totals 12 4-13 31.

Parkway (33)

Greene 1 6-12 8, Keller 4 2-2 10, Hodges 4 0-3 9, Parson 2 0-1 4, Pryor 1 0-0 2, Sevensky 0 0-0 0, Burroughs 0 0-0 0, Smith 0 0-0 0, Greene 0 0-0 0, Martin 0 0-0 0. Totals 12 8-18 33.

Hardin Park 9 3 10 9 — 31

Parkway 13 4 7 9 — 33

3-point goals—Hardin Park 3 (Rowan, Habich, Henderson), Parkway 1 (Hodges). Total fouls—Hardin Park 14, Parkway 11. Fouled out—None. Technical fouls—None.

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