Chandler Hamilton coach Kevin Hartwig isn’t thrilled with the idea of his team being so jumper-oriented, but he’ll certainly take a road win over a previously undefeated club.
“That’s kind of our strength. We’re really not a big, banging team inside, so we try to spread the floor a little bit,” Hartwig said after Hamilton knocked off their fellow Huskies, 5A-II Scottsdale Horizon, 83-74 Tuesday night.
Hamilton (3-0) connected on 14 3-point field goals, including seven by junior guard Ryan Campos, and erased a 12-point first-half deficit to get the win over third-ranked Horizon (4-1).
After a 3-pointer at the third-quarter buzzer by Horizon senior guard Stephen Telekesy made it a 58-58 game, Hamilton went on a 14-3 run to open the fourth, capped by a Campos 3-pointer with five minutes to play, to take the lead for good.
A 3-pointer by Horizon freshman guard Stephen Topercer cut Hamilton’s lead to 72-67 with 3:30 left, but that was as close as the home Huskies would get, as Hamilton was good on 9-of-10 free-throw attempts the rest of the way.
Campos led Hamilton with 23 points. Senior forward Ryan Evans scored 20 and senior guard John Jackson added 14 for the visiting Huskies.
The long balls weren’t falling early for Hamilton, and that allowed Horizon, led by senior guard Eric McGaffin, to build a 29-17 lead midway through the second quarter.
McGaffin had 14 of his 16 points in the first half but fouled out halfway through the fourth.
“They were hot early,” Hartwig said of Horizon. “They have some guys that can flat-out shoot the ball, but I thought in the second half we started defending a little bit better, getting help and (identifying) their shooters.”
Hamilton trimmed the margin to 38-35 at halftime, and a Campos 3-pointer gave the visitors their first lead of the game at 45-44 early in a back-and-forth third quarter that saw four ties and four lead changes.
“We’ve got a lot of things to work on,” said Hartwig, whose Huskies scored more 3-pointers (14) than 2-pointers (12). “We’ve got to develop a little more of an inside presence, but it’s a long year.”
Horizon senior forward Nick Streff led all scorers with 25 points, including 17 in the second half.