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Fast start leads Hoover past Morse

02/08/2013, 11:22pm PST
By Steve Brand, Special to the U-T

Leading by 19 points at the break, Cardinals were never threatened by Tigers.

There aren’t a lot of basketball games that are won in the first quarter or even the first half, but Friday night host Hoover basically did just that.

Racing out to an 11-0 lead, building it to 18 and walking off the court at the break with a 19-point lead compliments of junior Miles Nolan-Webb’s 3-point field goal at the buzzer, the Cardinals were not threatened by Morse the rest of the way, 69-46.

“It was good to get out fast,” Nolan-Webb said, “because we could then keep back and play defense. The last time we played them we played three good quarters. This time we played four.”

With the victory, the Cardinals (23-5, 7-1) clinched no worse than a tie for the Eastern League crown. One win in its last two regular-season games and Hoover will hang its sixth consecutive league banner and make its case for a top four seed in the Division II playoffs.

With a packed house of mostly partisan Hoover fans, Damonte Holiday scored 12 of his 21 points in the first quarter as the Cards hit 8 of their first 9 shots. Nolan-Webb tossed in eight of his 22 points in the second quarter as a 10-2 run in the final two minutes of the period produced the biggest lead of the half.

Although No. 10 Morse scored a 79-77 upset over the No. 6 Cardinals the first round of league play, the Tigers (20-7) committed too many turnovers (15 in the first half) to stay close and after the 11-0 run, were never closer than 10 the rest of the game.

The Cardinals played such tenacious defense that none of the Tigers could score in double figures, while Dionte Whitfield had 10 points for Hoover and Jordan Alexander pulled down 10 boards.

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