Hubbard rallies late, topples Salem in OT

By Chuck Housteau

SALEM — For the second time this season, the Hubbard High boys basketball team took the Salem Quakers to overtime.

And for the second time this season, the Eagles came away with a win, 53-47, in an All-American Conference White Tier contest Friday at Salem.

“[Overtime] wasn’t really what we wanted,” said Hubbard coach Rick Fox. “Not when you have ‘Hop’ [Kory Hopkinson] and ‘Lop’ [Mike Lopuchovsky] both with four fouls and Kurtis [Drummond] sitting on the bench not playing tonight because of an injury.

“We played them hard last time we played them in overtime and the kids played hard again tonight. I think we were down seven points in the fourth and they came back.

“These kids are gutsy and they stepped it up down the stretch.”

Although the Eagles might not have wanted to go into overtime, they were more than happy to force the extra session after trailing the Quakers 41-34 with only 1:40 left in regulation.

The Eagles (9-5, 2-2) went on a 5-2 run to cut the Salem lead to 43-39 with 44.1 seconds left.

Hubbard forced three turnovers in the remaining time to tie the game and move to overtime.

After the first turnover, Hubbard’s Tyler Loveless made two free throws when fouled after stealing the ball.

The Eagles forced another turnover and scored with 15 seconds remaining on a basket by Lupuchovsky.

Both teams turned the ball over in the remaining 15 seconds and neither team got a good shot off. The teams ended regulation tied at 43-43.

“We let one slip away tonight,” said Salem coach Will Klucinec. “We can’t turn the ball over three times in the last 30 seconds of the basketball game.

“We’ve got guys that have played a lot of basketball,” he said. We have to grow up. There is no excuse for us to make those plays down the stretch of the game.

“We have to do a better job of handling the basketball and tonight we didn’t do that.”

In overtime, Hubbard dominated and outscored the Quakers 10-4.

Lopuchovsky scored the first basket of the overtime session and added three more points to lead the Eagles.

His free throw with 11.7 seconds left clinched the win for Hubbard.

Lopuchovsky finished with 19 points and grabbed nine rebounds.

Loveless led the Eagles in scoring with 19 points including a 13 of 14 effort at the foul line.

Chase Meyers chipped in with 13 points.

The Quakers (7-8, 2-3) played well for the first 31‚Ñ2 quarters of basketball before falling apart.

Trent Toothman was the leader with 12 points and eight rebounds and he also played a strong defensive game for Salem.

Ryan Wolfgang added 14 points while Trent Kenreigh scored eight.

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