FORT WAYNE – After four years, Jordan Hogue knows his responsibilities on an Al Gooden-coached team. The New Haven senior guard is usually counted on to get the ball to where it needs to go and play hard-nosed defense.
But there are times when he is called on to do more, and when that happens, Hogue can get that job done as well, as he did Thursday with eight of his game-high 21 points in the fourth quarter of a 65-62 win over host Wayne in the regular-season finale for both teams.
I usually don’t score much; I am usually the distributor, Hogue said. But my team needed me to take over, so I did that role and did what I had to do.
We always talk about focus and mental toughness, those are things written on the board before games. During practices, we shoot free throws at the beginning and at the end, when we’re fresh and when we are tired, so when it comes down to crunch time we can make those free throws.
Hogue scored all eight of the team’s points in a 3-minute stretch of the fourth that helped the Bulldogs go from a one-point deficit, 53-52, to a three-point lead, 60-57, with 1:37 left.
Jordan has been playing for me for four years, said Gooden, who is in his third year at New Haven. Even when he was a freshman (at Harding), he played some varsity for us. But I thought the whole group did a good job (in the fourth).
A Ball State football recruit, Hogue was 3 of 3 from the field and 2 of 2 from the free-throw line in the fourth.
It got really intense in the fourth quarter, Hogue said. It got down to like two minutes, and it felt like a sectional championship game. Everybody was getting into it, and it was like wow.’
Steve McElvene added 18 points and 15 rebounds for the Class 3A No. 6 Bulldogs (18-3).
Wayne is a good team, Gooden said. They are just as good as we are, so it is good to come here and play them.
Wayne (12-8) led at every quarter break, expect one – the last one. The Generals were up 15-14, 35-23 and 49-48 after each of the three quarters. Cameron Leshore and Justin Mitchell each had 18 points to lead Wayne, while Levi Mitchell added 13. Justin Mitchell pulled down 14 rebounds.
Leading 65-62 with 8.8 seconds remaining, McElvene had a chance to ice the game but missed the second of two free throws.
But the Generals turned the ball over looking for the tying 3-pointer in the final seconds, which was a common problem in the fourth when they had seven turnovers.
Obviously we are not happy we came out on the losing end of it, but it was a good high school basketball game, Wayne coach Aaron Rehrer said. We had turnovers down the stretch, which is what got us. In a game like that, you have to take care of the ball.
Nobody is hanging their head in the locker room. Nobody wants to lose, but they know what the ultimate goal (sectional championship) is.