Nash steps in to spark Hornets

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TURNER – Midway through the second quarter, with his team down by seven, Leavitt coach Mike Remillard looked to the end of his bench. To his delight, senior point guard Matt Nash was there, in uniform.

The 6-foot-4-inch Nash had missed a handful of games with a concussion.

Off the bench, he scored seven points and added six rebounds – all in the second half – and more importantly added a spark to a struggling offense, leading the Hornets to a crucial 62-52 win over the Eagles.

“His parents got a hold of a doctor who happened to be here watching,” Remillard said. “He did a full evaluation on him, and his determination was that he was fine. I wasn’t going to play him. My hands are tied by that.”

“It helps when I come into the game because it moves Cam (Angell) to the wing,” Nash said. “He’s more natural there and he can play a better game. It helps the flow of the game.”

Though Nash failed to score late in the first half, he cleared the way for Angell to hit one of his two 3-pointers with 1:08 to play in the second quarter to cut the Eagles’ lead to six.

In the second half, with Angell running the point, forward Tyler Millett exploded after finally getting some open looks. Millet scored 10 points in the third quarter and finished with a team-high 18.

“Tyler Millett is playing unbelievable,” Remillard said. “He’s tired. This was our third game in four nights. It’s our third ‘Eagles’ team in four days. We were just hoping to be able to pluck a feather or two and stay with them, because they’ve been playing some great basketball.”

Tuesday’s performance, though, left something to be desired.

“They out-performed us tonight,” Mt. Ararat coach Aaron Watson said. “We shot 31.5 percent in the first half and we were worse in the second. We can’t win a game shooting 30 percent from the floor.”

In the first quarter, the Eagles (7-6) held Leavitt down. With 3:11 to play in the opening frame, the Hornets (6-6) had managed just one point on a free throw.

Thanks to some clutch shooting from Angell, the teams finished the first deadlocked at 10.

In the second, Mt. Ararat started pulling away, opening the frame with a 13-4 run to build its largest lead of the night at nine points.

With Nash back in the third, though, the Hornets started to make their own run. Following a quick basket by Shawn Dostie of Mt. Ararat (18 points, 12 rebounds), the Hornets reeled off 20 points to the Eagles’ 10 to end the third with their first lead of the night.

Nash capped that run with a rebound and put-back underneath as time ran out.

“He could bring it back up top and I didn’t have to spend as much time there,” Angell said. “I could get out on the wing and do more things, get more people involved. We’re a better team with him on the floor.”

Angell finished two rebounds shy of a double-double, hitting for 14 points and adding eight rebounds. Eric Berry also crept into double figures with 13 points, including two from beyond the arc.

In the fourth, Leavitt again went on a run, this time a 10-2 jaunt that all but closed the door on the Eagles.

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