BELLAIRE - A lot of teams down 12 entering the fourth quarter may just mail it in and look ahead to the next game.
Harrison Central isn't one of those teams. Actually, the Huskies have shown time and time again they thrive in such situations.
Another example came Tuesday evening on Guernsey Street.
After never holding a lead and trailing by as many as 16 at a juncture in the contest, the Huskies turned up the heat defensively, seemingly knocked down 3-pointer after 3-pointer and escaped Bellaire with a hard-earned 76-69 victory.
"I think I am going to start asking the other team if they'll let us get down by 15 or so, so we will start playing," said Harrison Central head coach Justin Clifford. "We've been there numerous times this year. I don't know if it's that we just relax, play and not think about stuff, but we've been comfortable in that situation and responded every time we've been there."
The Big Reds - despite battling foul trouble most of the evening - led by nine at half and carried a 58-46 advantage into the fourth quarter, but the Huskies found the touch from behind the arc.
Senior Nate Olmstead and junior Austin Kowalski, both of whom were consistent on the offensive end, buried treys on back-to-back trips to open the period. The Big Reds pushed the margin back to eight after junior Tyler Ramsay converted a pair of two-shot foul opportunities.
However, the Huskies kept coming.
Olmstead and Kowalski were all nylon once again from behind the line and Kowalski also hit a floater, knotting the game for the first time since the opening tip with 3:17 to play.
The Huskies achieved balance in the scoring column. Kowalski led all scorers in the game with 26 points. Olmstead finished with 13, while Mitchell added 11. Dustin Redish notched 10 points.
"These guys are so unselfish," Clifford said. "They don't care who scores the points as long we win."
Bellaire, meanwhile, was led by sophomore Michael Neil's 21 points. Ramsay finished with 19 points and grabbed 13 boards. Sterling Wright added nine points off the bench.
Harrison Central 76, Bellaire 69
HC 12 19 15 30 76
B 17 23 18 11 - 69
HARRISON CENTRAL: K. Mitchell 4 2-4 11; Kowalski 9 3-12 26; Rutter 0 0-0 0; Evans 1 0-0 2; Olmstead 3 4-6 13; Yoho 2 5-7 9; Redish 4 1-4 10; B. Mitchell 2 0-0 5; Christian 0 0-0 0; TOTALS: 25 15-33 76. 3-POINTERS: K. Mitchell, Kowalski (5), Olmstead (3), Redish, B. Mitchell.
BELLAIRE: Steele 2 2-2 7; Ramsay 5 9-11 19; Callarik 1 0-3 2; Hess 0 4-6 4; Neil 9 2-3 21; Westlake 1 0-0 2; Wright 4 1-7 9; Back 2 1-1 5; TOTALS: 24 19-33 69. 3-POINTERS: Steele, Neil.