Basketball: Anderson leads comeback, propels Northwest past Sam Houston

By Reece Waddell | Published Saturday, December 30, 2017
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As the clock dwindled under two minutes Thursday night, Northwest guard Avery Anderson crossed halfcourt and approached the 3-point line.

Without hesitation, Anderson stepped back with a defender in his face and hoisted a 3-pointer that found nothing but twine. It was his fourth made 3 in the Texans’ last five trips up the floor. On the next possession, senior Mason Hix put Northwest up for good.

Trailing by two, Hix drove the baseline and finished through contact, completing the and-one to propel the Texans to an 81-76 victory over Houston Sam Houston in the opening round of the Whataburger Tournament.

“He had it in his mind he was going to dunk that ball,” said Northwest coach Mike Hatch. “He finished strong and got the free throw. That’s a huge, get-over-the-hump shot.”

Northwest erased a double-digit first-half deficit, falling behind early due in large part to an inability to break the Tigers’ full-court press. Several errant passes and costly mistakes led to Sam Houston points, putting the Texans in a hole not once, but twice.

“Everybody had something to do with [the win],” Hatch said. “I’m excited we could reward ourselves with a win. It’s one of those of those games where you feel like you play really well for most of the game. [We] just had some two-minute blips of terrible ball.”

After clawing back to tie and take the lead for a brief moment, Northwest nearly trailed by more than 10 in the third quarter when the Tigers applied their full-court press again. But just when it looked like the game was slipping away from the Texans, Anderson came to the rescue.

The junior guard finished with a game-high 33 points, scoring 24 in the fourth quarter. Anderson outscored the entire Sam Houston team in the final frame 24-22.

“I was just trying to get the [win] for my team,” Anderson said. “I had a sluggish and bad first half. I knew I had to make up for it. After the first two [3s] went in, I knew I was on.”

Anderson managed just six points in the first half before catching fire in the fourth quarter. Hatch said he thought Anderson may have been pressing the issue early, leading to some tough shots and turnovers. He reiterated that once Anderson finds his groove, he believes he is a special player, as evidenced by his fourth quarter performance.

Hix finished with 22 points.

Sam Houston’s Kendric Davis had 31 points in the loss.

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