Staring down the barrel of a potential three-game losing streak, Whitten Dominguez and Tre Harrill kept Hart from falling into a tailspin.
The Indians seniors combined for 18 fourth-quarter points, including a 13-0 run to open the quarter, to lead Hart to a 54-44 Foothill League victory over Golden Valley on Friday night at Hart.
“For the first, second and third quarters, we weren’t really playing that well,” said Dominguez, who led Hart (16-7, 4-2 Foothill League) with 25 points, 10 of them coming in the final quarter. “I don’t know how to describe it. Our energy wasn’t high and we weren’t working very hard.
“Me and Tre just talked about how we needed to pick it up. We just started attacking and things started falling our way.”
Five points from Golden Valley’s (7-14, 2-4) Colt Cangemi in the final minute of the third quarter cut Hart’s lead to 36-33 entering the fourth quarter.
Harrill opened the fourth quarter with four consecutive points and Dominguez took it from there, scoring the final nine points of the run.
“(Dominguez) took over; I’ve seen him do it many times,” said Golden Valley coach Larry Keys. “I thought we didn’t really step up to the challenge. We kind of knew, with the way the game had gone, that he was going to try and take over.”
Harrill scored eight of his 10 points in the fourth quarter. After opening league play 3-0, the Indians dropped back-to-back games, including a 86-74 home loss to Saugus on Tuesday.
“When we’re aggressive on offense, it opens it up for other guys, too,” said Hart coach Tom Kelly. “Tre can play like that all game, every game. If he stays aggressive, he’s really, really good.”
A 3-pointer from Jhani Levias gave Golden Valley its first and only lead of the night at 17-16, with just under five minutes to play. That lead was short-lived, though, as Hart went into the half with a 26-19 lead.
Cangemi and Micah McLuarin led Golden Valley with 11 points apiece, with McLaurin also grabbing 11 rebounds. The Grizzlies have dropped three straight league contests since beating Saugus on the road on Jan. 16.
“In this league, you can’t take possessions off and we’ll take them off on the defensive end, giving up a bucket, and then carry it to the offensive end and miss a layup,” Keys said.
Hart travels to Valencia on Tuesday and Golden Valley will travel to play Canyon.
Saugus 66, Valencia 61
Saugus exacted a bit of revenge on Valencia after the Vikings beat the Centurions back on Jan. 9 at Valencia to open Foothill League play.
Luke Bodeau led the Cents (16-6, 4-2) with 20 points, with Adrian McIntyre adding 18 points and Dylan Spring 15 points.
Jayden Trower scored a team-high 13 points for the Vikings (8-13, 4-2) and Josh Assiff had 11 points
Saugus will hit the road to play West Ranch on Tuesday.
West Ranch 56, Canyon 42
Austin Galuppo led West Ranch (14-6, 4-2) with 20 points and six rebounds as they picked up their third straight win.
Carter Williams had 13 points and four rebounds and Andrew Austin chipped in nine points and four rebounds while battling foul trouble most of the night. Noah Haskett came off the bench for five rebounds and four steals.
Canyon (4-17, 0-6) remains the lone winless team in Foothill League play.