LAKE TWP.: North Canton Hoover continued its recent flair for the dramatic Tuesday night at Lake.
Senior Tyler Veldhuizen rebounded a missed shot and scored a putback as time expired in the fourth quarter to lift the Vikings to a 42-40 victory over the Blue Streaks.
Veldhuizen, a 6-foot-3 forward, said he used the mentality of “crashing the boards” that his coaches stress to the team.
“Our coaches have been telling us all year to keep hustling through the end of the play,” Velduizen said. “If you do that, the bounces will go your way.
“I’m usually not the guy that takes the last shot. It happened to come to me there, so I just took my opportunity and thankfully it went in.”
The win ups Hoover’s overall record to 8-5 and its Federal League mark to 3-4. Lake drops to 11-2 overall and 6-2 in league play.
“It was a hard-fought game that went down to the wire,” Hoover coach Randy Montgomery said. “Fortunately, Tyler got that last tip-in. That was the difference at that stage of the game.”
Lake, Jackson and Perry have emerged as the leaders of the Federal League this season.
“Any game in the Federal League is a big game,” said Veldhuizen, who finished with four points. “It’s a great league with lots of good teams.”
Lake coach Tom McBride said he felt the shot should not have counted.
“The film don’t lie,” McBride said. “The horn blows when the ball is coming off the rim on the [missed jump-shot that Veldhuizen rebounded]. There is a good second and a half delay.”
Veldhuizen said he rebounded the ball and released his shot before hearing the horn.
Senior Taylor Moore led Hoover in scoring with 13 points.
Hoover’s exciting victory comes after securing an 81-74 double-overtime win on Friday night at GlenOak.
“We’re improving,” Montgomery said. “Our guys are starting to find their niches and we’re starting to find our strengths and weaknesses, which we didn’t know earlier in the season.”
Both teams played scrappy defensively and contested most shots aggressively, which resulted in both offenses looking disjointed for stretches of time.
“When we got into our set offense, I thought we were raggedy tonight,” McBride said. “I didn’t think we cut [toward the basket] very sharp. It looked like we were catching and holding the ball a little bit. We have been really good with our ball movement this season. The crispness that we showed in the earlier part of the season wasn’t there for 32 minutes tonight.”
Lake entered Tuesday averaging 55.0 points per game this season.
“Lake is an excellent team,” Montgomery said. “They are very disciplined. They had a little bit of an off night with some of their shots. They didn’t score as much tonight. They are used to scoring a lot more.”
Senior Ryan Coen paced Lake with 13 points and five rebounds.
Hoover led 12-10 after the first quarter, but Lake pulled even by halftime at 19-19. Lake had more turnovers (nine) than field goals made (six) in the first half. Hoover made eight field goals in the first half and committed seven turnovers.
Hoover led 33-29 following three quarters. The Vikings led by seven points twice in the fourth quarter. Their largest lead was 8-0 with 5:36 to go in the first quarter.
Each team finished with 14 turnovers.
Michael Beaven can be reached at 330-996-3829 or email@example.com. Read the high school blog at http://www.ohiomm.com/blogs/varsity_letters/. Also follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/MBeavenABJ. Follow ABJ sports on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sports.abj.