Hamilton hangs on to defeat Indians 47-44

Fairfield’s Devonte Ross defends a shot by Hamilton’s Jaylen Robinson during Tuesday night’s game at the Hamilton Athletic Center. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

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Fairfield’s Devonte Ross defends a shot by Hamilton’s Jaylen Robinson during Tuesday night’s game at the Hamilton Athletic Center. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

It wasn’t easy for the Hamilton High School boys basketball team Tuesday night. But the effort was rewarded with relief after a hard-fought win over arch-rival Fairfield.

Hamilton built a nine-point lead and survived a last-second shot by the Indians that went off the back of the rim to win 47-44 at the Hamilton Athletic Center.

“The guys know I am not happy with some of the things we did tonight, but it is nice to get a Greater Miami Conference win at home on Tuesday night over Fairfield,” HHS coach Sean Van Winkle said. “We have a way of losing close games, but tonight we found a way to win at the end.”

Both teams struggled shooting the ball all night, but Hamilton was able to ride a 12-2 run to end the third quarter, grabbing a 35-26 lead.

PHOTOS: Nick Graham’s gallery from the game

The Big Blue hit 5 of 10 from the line in the fourth quarter (12 of 23 for the game) and turned the ball over five times, but the Indians could only get as close as the final margin.

Fairfield didn’t help its cause by missing four free throws in the final quarter. The Indians shot 18 of 57 from the field in falling to 7-7 overall and 2-7 in the GMC.

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Fairfield’s Andre Givens puts up a shot while being defended by Hamilton’s Daniel Brunck during Tuesday night’s game at the Hamilton Athletic Center. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Fairfield’s Andre Givens puts up a shot while being defended by Hamilton’s Daniel Brunck during Tuesday night’s game at the Hamilton Athletic Center. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

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Fairfield’s Andre Givens puts up a shot while being defended by Hamilton’s Daniel Brunck during Tuesday night’s game at the Hamilton Athletic Center. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

“We just didn’t execute what we needed to when we needed to,” FHS coach Jeff Sims said. “I thought Hamilton played really well. They did a good job on defense. We got good looks, but we got good looks from the guys Hamilton wanted to take the shot.”

Ben Phillips battled foul trouble to lead the Indians with 11 points and eight rebounds. Andre Givens had nine points, while Devonte Ross added six points and eight caroms.

D’Marco Howard led Hamilton with 15 points, and Myles Howard added nine points and 17 rebounds. The Big Blue (7-7, 5-4) also turned the ball over 14 times and shot 16 of 51 from the field.

“Myles Howard was huge tonight,” Van Winkle said, noting the Big Blues 50-35 rebounding edge. “He was huge for us on the glass. I thought our defense was good, but our rebounding won the game. It is a rival game, a league game, and we won. I am proud of the guys and happy for them to be rewarded for their effort.”

Fairfield led 24-23 in the third period, but suffered through a nearly seven-minute scoring drought that saw HHS build a nine-point lead.

“We played well in spurts and other times we had the wrong guy taking the shot,” Sims said. “We just need to execute better in key spots.”

Both teams are back in action Friday. Fairfield is at home against Princeton, with Hamilton visiting Lakota West.

Fairfield 9-10-7-18—44

Hamilton 8-12-15-12—47

FAIRFIELD (7-7, 2-7 GMC): Drew O’Donnell 1 2 4, Devonte Ross 3 0 6, Andre Givens 4 1 9, Blake Spaulding 2 0 4, Ben Phillips 4 3 11, James Armstrong 2 0 6, Kyle Schimpf 2 0 4. Totals: 18-6-44

HAMILTON (7-7, 5-4 GMC): Johnny Jones 0 1 1, Jaylen Robinson 2 2 6, Myles Howard 4 1 9, Hunter Hamilton 3 1 7, D’Marco Howard 5 4 15, Tyrique James 1 3 6, Daniel Brunck 1 0 3. Totals: 16-12-47

3-pointers: F 2 (Armstrong 2), H 3 (D. Howard, James, Brunck)

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Hamilton’s Myles Howard denies a shot attempt by Fairfield’s Ben Phillips on Tuesday night at the Hamilton Athletic Center. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Hamilton’s Myles Howard denies a shot attempt by Fairfield’s Ben Phillips on Tuesday night at the Hamilton Athletic Center. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

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Hamilton’s Myles Howard denies a shot attempt by Fairfield’s Ben Phillips on Tuesday night at the Hamilton Athletic Center. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

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