The Warrior boys’ varsity basketball team found itself in very unfamiliar territory in any number of ways as they took on the Fortuna Huskies in Big Five Conference action Thursday at Thunen Gymnasium. Riding a winning a 14-game winning streak heading into Thursday’s action, most of those victories coming by double digits including a 53-35 victory over the very same Huskies in the first meeting between the two schools, the Warriors were on a considerable role and clicking.
However, nobody informed the Huskies they were simply supposed to concede a season sweep to the Warriors, as the visiting team put the clamps on the Warriors defensively throughout the first half, and generated just enough offense of their own to take a 15-14 lead into the locker room at halftime.
Things started out much the same way in the third quarter, as the contest continued to be defensive oriented with neither side being able to put much of anything together on offense.
That all changed seemingly on one possession, as Kaleb Price drilled a 3-point goal late in the shot clock to give the Warriors a 21-15 lead with 3:36 remaining in the third quarter, and from there it was virtually all home team for a majority of the third period and well into the final stanza.
For whatever reason, things simply just clicked, and the Warriors started finding the bottom of the net at will over a seven minute stretch of the second half, starting with an Omar Banuelos corner 3-point field goal that extended the Warrior lead to double digits at 32-21 less than a minute into the final quarter.
Banuelos scored a game-high 27 points on the evening, 14 of those coming in the fourth quarter alone, as the Warriors led by as many as 20 midway into the fourth quarter.
Just as the Huskies have historically been prone to do though, the visiting team did not go away, capitalizing on lackadaisical offense from the home team and turning that into buckets at their own offensive end. The Huskies ultimately cut what had been a comfortable 20-point in the mid-to-late stages of the final quarter down to single digits down the stretch, draining 3-point field goals on four consecutive possessions in the closing minutes before the Warriors iced the contest from the free-throw line to secure the victory and keep themselves alone atop the conference standings.