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January 13, 2013

H.S. BOYS' BASKETBALL: Floyd ends losing skid with double OT win over Cougars

Hussung scores 11 of 17 in overtimes to propel the Highlanders

FLOYDS KNOBS —  Oh, how it’s good to be home.

After six straight games away from Highlander Gymnasium, Floyd Central returned home for the first time in three weeks and broke its six-game losing streak with a dramatic 78-77 double-overtime win over North Harrison on Saturday night.

“This was a very exciting win,” Floyd Central coach Randy Gianfagna said. “I thought all of our kids played really well. This weekend, we got better and that’s the big thing.”

Senior Drew Hussung scored 11 of his team-high 17 in the overtime periods to propel Floyd (3-10) to its fourth win over the Cougars in the last five years.

“He’s our senior leader,” Gianfagna said of Hussung. “The last two nights, he’s stepped up. After the tournament we told him that he’s going to have to bring it up and score for us. He said ‘I got it, Coach.’”

The Highlanders, who trailed by 10 at intermission, led 57-52 with 2:50 remaining in regulation and also held a three-point lead in the first overtime before finally outlasting the Cougars (7-4) in the second extra frame.

“We just laughed in the locker room that we probably won this game four or five times,” Gianfagna said. “When you have sophomores playing, that’s what you’re going to have to do sometimes.”

The first period was full of offense as both teams shot over 50 percent and Cory Smith’s nine opening quarter points paced the visitors to a 20-15 lead at the first stop.

That’s when a defensive change was made and Smith, who leads the Cougars in scoring this season, made just two field goals the rest of the game.

“Smith torched us in the first quarter and then Drew said ‘I got (No.) 12 now.’ I said okay and he did a great job on him,” Gianfagna said. “Smith didn’t get many looks in the second half.”

The Highlanders crept within 22-20 on a Jackson Logsdon 3-pointer at the 5:26 mark in the second, but North finished the first half on a 12-4 run for a 34-24 halftime advantage.

“What we talked about at hafltime was, OK, we’re not turning it over, they’re just speeding us up a bit and we’ve missed that free throw jumper about 15 times, which has led to their transition,” Gianfagna said. “So we just wanted to work it more and get what we wanted.”

Trailing 48-41 entering the fourth quarter, Colton Kimm’s bucket at the 4:32 mark capped a 10-2 run that gave Floyd its first lead since the opening minute of the game, 51-50.

Kimm and Zane Nichols each scored 11 of their 13 points in the second half. Aiden Cora came off the bench to score all eight of his points in the fourth quarter and the overtimes.

“First of all, with us scoring as many points as we did tonight, our kids were just joking, ‘Hey, that’s two games for us,’” Gianfagna said. “[Nichols] had a huge game tonight. We got contributions from everyone. I thought in the second half, we did a good job of getting what we wanted.”

Floyd is back in action Friday night at Jennings County, which is 9-5 overall and 3-0 in the Hoosier Hills Conference after beating Bedford North Lawrence at the buzzer on Saturday.

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