Galena loses third OT game of year, 51-45 to McQueen | NevadaAppeal.com
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Galena loses third OT game of year, 51-45 to McQueen

Jeremy Evans

RENO — After Galena’s overtime loss to Fallon on Jan. 7, coach Tom Maurer made his team look up the word ‘character’ in the dictionary and read the definition. Maurer felt that the Grizzlies, who held a two-point lead in regulation and then missed three 1-in-1 attempts in the final seconds that could’ve sealed the victory, couldn’t possibly know what the word means.

Three weeks later, Maurer still doesn’t.

Galena, which held a two-point lead late in the game against McQueen, missed the front end of a 1-in-1 with 23 seconds left, then watched the Lancers convert two free throws to tie it before pulling out a 51-45 overtime win on Tuesday at John J. Flynn Gymnasium.

“We still need to develop character at the end of close games. We don’t have that,” said Maurer, whose team fell to 0-3 in overtime games this season. “I thought we played hard. (But) I thought McQueen played with that football character and mentality. I thought we played very passive and without character.”

The Grizzlies didn’t score and were 0-of-7 from the field in overtime. The Lancers’ Dustin Rosness drilled a 3-pointer to give his team a 46-43 lead and Galena, which turned the ball over four times in OT, never threatened. The turnovers were a problem the entire game for the Grizzlies (9-13 overall, 4-2 league).

“We had 23 turnovers. Our two points guards had seven turnovers,” Maurer said. “And McQueen, I bet, more than doubled us on the boards. You’re not going to be able to beat many teams when that happens. I thought we played pretty good defense but we didn’t rebound.”

Galena held an early 7-2 lead, then saw McQueen (9-9, 5-2) go on a 9-2 run because of Mohu Otuafi. Otuafi, who scored a game-high 16 points, scored eight of his points in the first quarter, which ended in a 14-14 tie. The score was 22-22 at halftime and the game was unfolding like many of the games played between these two teams in recent years.

The Lancers led 35-34 after the third quarter and led most of the fourth quarter until Derek Lorenzen’s 3-pointer with 1:27 left in the game made it 41-40. Another trey from Tommy Myers put Galena up 43-41 with a minute remaining.

The Grizzlies were only 1-of- 7 from behind the arc in the first three quarters, but relied solely on 3-pointers in the fourth, when they were 3-for-4. They were 0-for-11 otherwise.

Whip Thompson, who was 2-of-2 from the foul line in the game, missed the front end of a 1-on-1 and Dalton Turnbow was called for a soft foul, which rewarded McQueen’s Zack Hicks with two free throws with 21 seconds left. He sunk both of them and Lorenzen’s 15-footer attempted game-winning shot bounced in and out.

“We had our chances to win,’ Maurer said. “Look at all the situations. We had a chance to win in with a 1-in-1 at the end and we miss. Then we commit a foul and they make two free throws to tie. We had a shot at the end. We win the tip in overtime and then turn it over on the first possession. I mean how many more chances do we need?”

Lorenzen and Sheldon Hutchins led Galena with 10 points. Myers had eight. Hicks and Rosness both finished with 12 for the Lancers, who play at Elko on Friday. The Grizzlies, who are in third place in the High Desert League, host Fallon on Saturday.

“We have our next four games at home and basically we’re in control of our own destiny,” Maurer said. “But for the rest of the season, taking care of the basketball is going to be an issue for us. We’re right we should be. We’re a blue collar team. The Galena tradition isn’t going to win us any games.”