Talk about working overtime.
For some reason, that’s what the Sweetwater boys basketball team has to do when it faces Hawley.
After having to go overtime to beat the Bearcats in both meetings this past season, the Mustangs once again required an extra period to beat Hawley, 71-62, here Tuesday in their 2010-11 season opener.
Sweetwater — which also defeated the Bearcats in OT in their ‘09-10 opener played at Mustang Gym, as well as this past January — was ahead for the vast majority of Tuesday’s contest and held its biggest lead of 12 points, 48-36, at the start of the fourth quarter. But a fierce rally by the Bearcats gave them three small leads late in the fourth quarter, and very nearly a dramatic win, before Malcolm Black’s tip-in with 1.3 seconds left tied it at 60 and forced OT.
Hawley completed a 13-3 run to take its first lead of the second half, 56-55, with 2:38 left in regulation, and led 60-58 until Black’s shot rescued the Mustangs.
It was Sweetwater’s first field goal since the 5:40 mark of the final quarter.
Then Dylon Adames and Taylor Jones took over for Sweetwater as the Mustangs outscored Hawley 11-2 in the four-minute overtime.
The Bearcats took their final lead, 62-61, on a shot at the 3:32 mark until Adames and Jones scored four points each to fuel a game-ending 10-0 run by Sweetwater.
“We hung in there,” said coach Al Hunt. “It was a good start.
“We kind of went to sleep out there for awhile in the fourth quarter, but give the guys a lot of credit for getting it to overtime.
“We’re still in the process of learning our roles, but tonight was a good win.”
Sweetwater got off to a fast start, scoring the first five points and building a 16-6 lead before Hawley cut it to 16-11 after one quarter and went up 18-17 early in the second. But Sweetwater was back on top, 33-28, by halftime, and got its lead back into double digits (43-32) when Paxton Kelley hit two free throws midway through the third period.
Kelley led the Mustangs with 21 points while Black had 20 and Jones 12.
Adames and B.J. Walker had seven points, Ryan Mercer two and Gabe Medellin and Kevin Sepeda one. Sweetwater will resume play on Friday when it travels to Coleman.