NORTH CANTON: North Canton Hoover multi-sport star Dom Iero has a flair for the dramatic.
With the Vikings and visiting Lake tied with less than two minutes to play, the senior guard made back-to-back 3-pointers Tuesday to propel Hoover to a 56-43 Federal League boys basketball win.
After junior guard Alex Belinsky connected on a deep 3-point shot from the left wing to bring Lake even at 43-43 with 1:57 to go, Iero answered with an NBA-distance 3-pointer from the top of the key at 1:39 to give Hoover the lead for good.
“I just wanted to come back and match him and get back to 46-43,” said Iero, who finished with a game-high 24 points, which included six 3-pointers. “I had no idea where I was on the court.”
Iero then broke it open with another 3-pointer from the left side to make it 49-43 with 1:13 left.
“That was a dagger,” Iero said. “I dream about that stuff.”
Iero has had two games with nine 3-pointers already this season.
“He was geared up,” Hoover coach Randy Montgomery said of Iero. “He really wanted to win and you can feel that from your players. You could see it in his eyes. He was like, ‘I’m dialed in.’ ”
Hoover (12-1, 7-1) extended its winning streak to nine games since a Dec. 11 loss at Lake and kept pace in the Federal League race with Jackson (7-1), which defeated GlenOak on Tuesday night.
“I thought we dug pretty deep and got that thing tied and that was a deep three Dom hit,” Lake coach Tom McBride said. “We don’t guard a lot of threes that long. So, I take my hat off to that.”
With Lake (10-2, 6-2) determined to limit Hoover 6-5 senior Harrison Blackledge (nine points, 10 rebounds) in the post, the Vikings relied on 10 3-pointers and outscored the Blue Streaks 16-3 from the foul line.
“This was a team effort,” Montgomery said. “That’s the key. That is the key to this season.”
Lake had a 24-23 lead at half, thanks in large measure to Belinsky, who had 13 points in the first two quarters and finished with 21 points, including six 3-pointers.
Junior forward Mitchell Spotleson had 10 first-half points and ended with 16 points and eight rebounds for the Blue Streaks.
Iero uncorked an 8-0 run by himself, dropping two 3-pointers sandwiched around a steal and layup to give the Vikings a 14-7 lead.
Senior Alex Shingleton swished a 3-pointer as the first-quarter horn sounded to push Hoover’s lead to 19-14. But the Vikings did not score a field goal in the second quarter and had to settle for four points on free throws.
“That’s just Federal League basketball the way it’s been for 15 years,” McBride said. “With two talented teams, you are going to have possession basketball.
“That’s tournament basketball.”
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