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ROD VEAL, ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER
Sunny Hills' guard Max Thurman drives to the basket against Troy Friday night.
See more photos from this game in the OCVarsity Hot Shots slideshow.

Sunny Hills survives late drought, holds off Troy

OCVARSITY.COM

FULLERTON – With 14.7 seconds remaining in regulation and Troy trailing Sunny Hills by a point, the student section of the former revved up a magnificently orchestrated, "I BELIEVE THAT WE WILL WIN!" chant during the Warriors' final timeout.

Without hesitation, Lancers students in attendance belted the same chorus, with the same ferocity, until both teams returned to the floor.

Despite enduring nearly a 6-minute scoring drought late in the final frame, Sunny Hills (18-6, 5-1) rode its damage from the third quarter to a 54-51 Freeway League victory over its rival on Friday night at Troy High.

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SLIDESHOW: OCVarsity Hot Shots: Friday's basketball games

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"After last week's game against Sonora, we told our guys to cherish these moments," Coach John Wooldridge said. "You only get so many moments like these. ... You have to enjoy, and have fun with them."

In erasing a two-point halftime deficit, Sunny Hills outscored the hosts, 16-8, in the third quarter on the back of Max Thurman, who scored seven of his game-high 21 points in the frame.

"Max hit some big shots early that kept us close," Wooldridge said. "We live and die with Max a bit with some of the shots he takes ... but this was his first time sort of being the man in a big game."

Trailing, 52-43, early in the fourth quarter, Troy (18-6, 4-2) turned four empty possessions in a row by the visitors into eight points.

"We were a little tentative the last five minutes," said Wooldridge, whose team missed three free throws late, including the front end of a 1-and-1.

During the final three minutes, the Warriors squandered three consecutive opportunities to seize the lead — three missed shots and a turnover on the possession after their final timeout.

"There are no easy games in league, as status quo as that sounds," Wooldridge said. "It's true, though. Everyone else is going to show up to play us. ... We still have four more games to go, so we have to keep working."

Devin Manning led Troy with 16 points.

Contact the writer: bwhitehead@ocregister.com


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