DAYTON -- Nick McQueen and Matt Bowman delivered key plays down the stretch as Dayton High School held on for a 59-56 Northern 3A boys basketball victory against Yerington on Saturday afternoon.
They combined to score Dayton's final seven points and were also factors defensively in the final two minutes to help the Dust Devils win their Winterfest game.
Dayton snapped a two-game losing streak and improved its league record to 6-2 (11-7 overall) to remain in the thick of a tight race for second-place in the Northern 3A race. Yerington dropped to 3-4 (6-8 overall) and is still in position to capture one of the six positions for the league tournament next month.
"It was kind of ugly, but we'll take the win," said Dayton coach Rob Streeter, whose squad had its game at Rite of Passage on Friday night stopped in the second quarter because of a power outage in the gym. "And give Yerington a lot of credit. They played a good game."
Yerington coach Daron Wildermuth echoed that.
"Give credit to Dayton. They executed when they had to. They got the rebounds when they needed to. They won the game," Wildermuth said.
McQueen scored 17 points and Bowman added seven to help the Dust Devils. Those points at the end were certainly important.
Tight defense by Justin Harris forced a Yerington turnover in the backcourt and then McQueen's drive for a basket gave the Dust Devils a 54-49 lead with 2:03 left to play. Yerington's Wes Thomas went inside for a basket, then McQueen sank one of two free throws to make it 55-51. Heimy Olivera was fouled as he drove for a basket and converted the free throw as Yerington pulled to within 55-54 with 1:24 remaining.
Dayton worked a minute off the clock before taking a shot that missed and gave the Lions an opportunity to go for the win. Olivera grabbed the rebound, but the Lions saw their opportunity slip away when Bowman took a charge near midcourt with 20.1 seconds remaining.
"That was huge. If Matt doesn't get that charge, it's a layup at the other end," Streeter said of the junior point guard.
Wildermuth wasn't about to call for a time-out in that situation.
"I saw we had the 3-on-1. We had three seniors running the floor so I knew we were going to come up with a good opportunity. We just got a bad break there. We have to live with it and pick ourselves up again," Wildermuth said.
Moments later, Bowman stepped to the line and sank the first of two free throws. Dayton's Jake Deen rebounded the miss on the second shot and passed the ball back out to Bowman, who was fouled again. Bowman made one of his two attempts to make it 57-54 with 15.6 seconds left.
Jay Sciarani hit two free throws as Yerington pulled back within one point, then McQueen knocked down both of his free throws with 13.0 seconds left to provide some breathing room.
Yerington's 3-point attempt to tie the score glanced off the rim at the buzzer.
Olivera led Yerington with 17 points, including four 3-pointers. Conway scored 13, including three 3-pointers, all of which came in the first half. Thomas, who ranks among the top scorers in the North with his 19.8-point average, finished with 12.
"We were very concerned about Wes coming into the game," Streeter said. "Conway kind of hurt us in the first half, we made an adjustment on him, but then Olivera picked up the slack in the second half."
Brian Lahmann contributed 13 points and Deen had 10 for Dayton. Lahmann also grabbed 10 rebounds, five on the offensive end.
"We kind of count on Brian to get some garbage buckets," Streeter said. "He does a good job inside. He can kind of get lost in there because everybody pays so much attention to Jake."
McQueen drew the assignment of defending Conway in the second half and turned in a shutout performance. The 6-foot-2 senior's 17 points on the offensive end also came as a welcome sight.
"Nick's stroke is coming around," Streeter said. "He didn't shoot the ball well early in league; tonight he started to slash and get to the basket, which opens up the perimeter shots for him."
DAYTON 31, YERINGTON 26
Jessica Cantwell hit a pair of 3-pointers in the third quarter to trigger a run that lifted the Dust Devils (3-4, 6-12) to their win.
Dayton outscored Yerington 14-9 in the third quarter to take the lead for good. Yerington (0-5, 2-10) led 17-15 at halftime, but the Lions were only able to score nine points after the intermission, two in the fourth quarter.
Cantwell, a 5-8 senior, led all scorers in the game with 13 points. Bridgette Galles finished with eight points.
Hattie Emm scored 12 points and Misty Baker had 11 to lead Yerington offensively.