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WGH survives scare by Lake

Published: Wed, February 23, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.

A fourth-quarter rally by Lake forced Raiders to work overtime.

CANTON -- Pushed to the brink of a shocking upset, you better believe the Warren Harding basketball staff is talking up a blue streak today.

Specifically, the Lake Blue Streaks, who rallied from an 11-point deficit with 2:05 to play Tuesday to force overtime against the state's third-ranked Division I team.

In the extra period, the Raiders ate all but three seconds of the final 1:06 before junior guard Brian Wright's one-handed shot in the paint gave Warren Harding a 66-64 victory at the Civic Center.

Lake's Jeremy Duerr's 35-foot desperation shot clanked off the rim.

"I give Lake all the credit in the world," Warren Harding coach Steve Arnold said. "They did not quit -- they fought to the very end."

Saturday at 7:30 p.m., Warren Harding (20-1) will play either Marietta or Massillon Perry.

Senior guard Mario Manningham set up the winning points then dished to Wright.

"He was hot -- I thought he was going to take it," Wright said.

Off to a slow start

In the first half, the Raiders trailed, 35-32, after the Blue Streaks (14-7) hit eight 3-pointers, including four by sophomore Eric Coblentz in the second quarter.

"Part of our problem in the first half is that we tried to match them with 3-pointers -- that's not our game," Arnold said. "We're not a 3-point shooting team."

At the break, Arnold's staff switched defensive assignments on Coblentz, putting Manningham on him.

"Our goal was to not let [Coblentz] touch the ball -- he was hot," Wright said.

Manningham was the difference -- in more ways than one -- after the Raiders trailed, 42-41.

Manningham scored the first five points of the final quarter on a spinning jump shot and a 3-pointer to put the Raiders ahead, 46-42.

The lead grew to eight after an Allen putback, but Coblentz shaved three points with a basket and free throw. Harding's lead eventually grew to 11, 56-45, but down the stretch, the Blue Streaks outscored the Raiders, 17-6, to force overtime.

Manningham led the Raiders with 20 points while Terrin Brown came off the bench to score 14.

Coblentz scored 20 points, including five 3-pointers.


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