'Hawks end with late loss - The Explorer: Sports

'Hawks end with late loss

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Posted: Wednesday, March 3, 2010 12:00 am | Updated: 8:17 am, Thu Mar 24, 2011.

For the first time in four years, the Ironwood Ridge Nighthawks won't be playing in the 5A-II boys basketball championship game.

The 'Hawks, who opened state play Thursday with an easy 71-44 win over Laveen Betty Fairfax, bowed to the seventh-seeded Chaparral Firebirds 63-58 in overtime on Saturday night.

Ironwood Ridge held a 12-point lead in the final period Saturday after Mitch Fischer drove to the basket, drew the foul and sank a free throw. The Nighthawk lead was 51-39 with 4:40 to play.

Chaparral's Nick Tomsick took over, scoring 10 points in a 14-0 Chaparral run. He'd finish with a game-high 24 points.

Tomsick's first three looked innocent enough, but when he made the next one, the game turned. He buried that trey while getting hammered. His subsequent free throw made it 51-46, and the Firebirds were alive. Meanwhile, Ironwood Ridge went four minutes without a basket.

Another trey by Tomsick tied it at 51 with 2:26 left. Alex Pyper got free for a layup with 14 seconds left to give the Firebirds the lead, 53-51. Down to their last chance, Nighthawk guard Lawrence Hampton drove the lane and layed it in just before time expired, forcing overtime.

The extra session was anti-climactic, as the tired-looking Nighthawks had problems on the free-throw line and were outscored 9-5. In the final 12 minutes, they were outscored by the visitors, 29-14.

"I thought we got very tight at the end," said Nighthawks coach Brian Peabody.

"Not everyone stepped up," Hampton said. "I wasn't tired. The free-throw shooting hurt."

The Nighthawks made 55 percent of their charities, while the Chaparrals made 69 percent. "It will bite you sooner or later," Peabody said of the free throw shooting.

Hampton led the Nighthawks with 20 points and was 7-13 from the floor. Matt Walter added 15 on 6-11 shooting from the field.

"We had a championship team," Hampton said. "But we didn't show it today."

"They definitely had a better bench," Peabody said. "That hurt us all year long."

Ironically, the last game the Nighthawks would win would also be the first game in which they were able to play all five of their regulars at the same time. In their win over Fairfax, the players weren't new, but the combination was.

"Today was our first game with all of us," Hampton said.

Hampton, who missed most of the season due to academic ineligibility, was playing in his fourth game since returning. He led all scorers with 23 points, was 8-12 from the floor and 6-9 from the free-throw line.

"Lawrence is like another coach on the floor," coach Brian Peabody said.

Seven-foot center Jan Maehlen has played most of the season for the Nighthawks. The team's defensive stopper went out with injuries and illness just when Hampton returned.

"Jan was released Tuesday (by the doctors)," Peabody said.

Maehlen's presence in the middle helped to anchor the Nighthawks' high-pressure defense. Ironwood Ridge held Fairfax to 30 percent shooting from the field and forced the visitors into 27 turnovers.

The Nighthawks made their first five shots en route to an 11-2 lead. Mitch Fischer scored eight of his 17 in the first, as Ironwood Ridge built a 21-9 lead after one.

"I thought we'd be hard to beat with all five of our starters," Fischer said. "Having Lawrence (Hampton) and Jan (Maehlen) back helps."

"I think we did well for having all five of us together for the first time," Hampton said.

Tyler D'Amore scored 10, while Matt Walter added eight points.

Maehlen was the only Nighthawk starter who didn't score at least eight points. However, his defense was instrumental in holding Fairfax to just 44 points.

Ironwood Ridge is losing Hampton, Maehlen and sixth man Sean Collins. However, Walter, Fischer and Tyler D'Amore will return for the 22-9 Nighthawks.   

The Nighthawk girls basketball team lost their playoff opener to South Mountain, 54-48. Three players were named to the 5A-II all-star team. Mya Perrow-Donovan was named to the first team, while Brooke Seavitt and Kelci Wilson each made the second team.

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HS Schedule

Tuesday, September 16

Boys Golf (@ 3 p.m.)

Buena, Cienega at Marana

Mountain View, Ironwood Ridge, Catalina at Amphi (Silverbell GC)

Catalina Foothills, Pueblo, Sahuarita at Sahuaro

Girls Volleyball (Fr 4 p.m., JV 5 p.m., Var 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Mountain View at Rio Rico

Ironwood Ridge at Glendale Ironwood

Swimming (@4 p.m.)

Pusch Ridge, Sahuarita at Desert Christian

Wednesday, September 17

Girls Golf (@ 3 p.m.)

Rincon at CDO

Ironwood Ridge, Desert View at Flowing Wells (Silverbell)

Cross Country (@4:30)

Salpointe at Catalina Foothills

Palo Verde, Nogales at Marana

Rincon, St. Gregory at CDO

Sahuarita, Pueblo, Pusch Ridge at Desert View

Girls Volleyball (Fr 4 p.m., JV 5 p.m., Var 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Empire at Marana (4:30, 5:30, 6:30)

CDO at Queen Creek

Cienega at Mountain View

Sahuaro at Catalina Foothills

Walden Grove at Pusch Ridge

Thursday, September 18

Girls Golf

CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Boys Golf

Sahuaro and Salpointe at Ironwood Ridge

CDO, Rincon, Sunnyside at Tucson High

Girls Volleyball (Fr 4 p.m., JV 5 p.m., Var 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Marana at Sahuarita

Ironwood Ridge at Sahuaro (4:30, 5:30, 6:30)

Catalina Foothills at Rincon

Pusch Ridge at San Manuel

Swimming (4 p.m.)

Marana vs. Tucson at Quincy Douglas Pool

Cienega at Marana

CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Amphi

Catalina Foothills at Sahuaro

Freshman Football (all games at 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Flowing Wells at Marana (4 p.m.)

Desert View at Mountain View

Cienega at CDO

Ironwood Ridge at Buena

Catalina Foothills at Sahuarita

JV Football (all games at 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Amphi at Marana

Santa Cruz Valley at Pusch Ridge

Mountain View at Desert View

CDO at Cienega

Buena at Ironwood Ridge

Sahuarita at Catalina Foothills

Friday, September 19

Boys Golf

Catalina Foothills, Ironwood Ridge, CDO, at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Cross Country

Mountain View, Ironwood Ridge at Mt. Carmel Invitational (San Diego, CA)

Girls Volleyball

CDO at Westwood Tournament of Champions

Football (@7 p.m.)

Pusch Ridge at Santa Cruz Valley

Catalina at Marana

Desert Vista at Mountain View

Ironwood Ridge at Buena

Cienega at CDO

Catalina Foothills at Sahuarita

Saturday, September 20

Boys Golf

Catalina Foothills, Ironwood Ridge, CDO, at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Cross Country

Marana at Old Pueblo Invite(Lincoln Park)

Mountain View at San Diego

Catalina Foothills, CDO at Ojo Rojo (Chandler, AZ)


Marana at Wolves Classic (Chandler High)

Girls Volleyball

CDO at Westwood Tournament of Champions


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