Gary Hubbard's second stint as the Western Hills boys basketball coach got off to a great start as his Wolverines pulled out an exciting 75-71 win over Mercer County Tuesday night at WHHS' Lapsley Cardwell Gymnasium.
"I just love this," Hubbard said after the win. "It felt like I was coaching for the first time all over again."
Hubbard, who is the WHHS interim coach and former head coach before resigning in 1998, saw several players come up big throughout the game.
One of those, however, wasn't senior point guard John Keene, who missed the game because of an illness.
"John's one of our key players and we really missed him," said junior guard Jonathan Hood, who had the best game of his career Tuesday night. "But we still made the plays when we had to and the guys who came in off the bench did a good job."
The game was close throughout with Western Hills leading most of the way. The Wolverines still had to survive some shaky moments after blowing a nine-point lead with less than three minutes to go.
Trailing 69-60 with 2:55 remaining, the Scotties scored six straight points but were forced to foul. WHHS sophomore Charles Keene, who had just recently missed the front end of the bonus, made two foul shots to make it 71-66 with 59 seconds left.
John Lyons countered with a three-pointer for Mercer County and after a WHHS turnover, Clif Watkins hit a runner in the lane to tie the game, now with 29 seconds on the clock.
For more on this story, see the latest State Journal.