Wright helps Hoggard rally past Ashley

Ashley's T.J. Williams shoots against Hoggard at Hoggard in WIlmington on Tuesday. (Photo by Matt Born)

Hoggard coach Brett Queen said he almost forgot about junior guard Malik Wright in the fourth quarter Tuesday. It's a good thing Queen remembered.

Wright sparked Hoggard's come-from behind, 46-42 victory against Ashley on the Vikings' senior night to help the Vikings clinch their first outright Mideastern Conference title since 2001.

"We don't win that game if not for Malik in that fourth quarter." Queen said. "I told him in practice yesterday that we were going ot have to have him to win the game."

But Queen said Wright got lost in the shuffle of senior night and the course of the game. When he got into the action, Ashley led 35-31 in the fourth quarter.

Wright quickly drained a three-pointer from the wing and hit a driving layup to bring the Vikings within two points. With 1:02 to play and the Vikings down one, Wright forced a steal that set up Trevor Singleton's go-ahead layup.

To top it off, Wright sank a free throw with three seconds left to give Hoggard (15-6, 9-0) a four-point lead and effectively ice the game.

"He did that the other night against Rose as well," senior Austin Louthan said. "And he did the same thing tonight, coming in off the bench and just making an absolutely huge difference."

Wright's late-game play was part of Hoggard's efforts to come back in the second half after falling behind early. Ashley (14-7, 5-4) shot 7-12 in the first quarter to take command, while Hoggard struggled to make shots. For the game, the Vikings shot just 32 percent from the floor.

Ridell Camidge led the way for Ashley with 19 points on 8-for-11 shooting, but was held in check for the fourth quarter and didn't attempt a shot in the final minute.

"He made some shots that are unguardable," Queen said. "We were going to make somebody else have to make some shots. So we switched up some interactions to make it harder to get him the ball and to force him to give it up."

Without Camidge's shooting and with a bump from Wright, Hoggard outscored Ashley 17-7 in the final period.

"It's everything," Louthan said. "There's no better way to do it than on senior night."

Girls: Ashley 58

Hoggard 57

With the game on the line, Hoggard kept the ball from Ashley's Felecity Havens – but she got it anyway, and hit a put-back layup with eight seconds left to pull Ashley to a come-from-behind victory against Hoggard on Tuesday.

The Screaming Eagles (17-4, 8-1) trailed for the entire game after a slow start. Hoggard (9-11, 4-5) led by as many as nine and led by six points with three minutes to play.

The Vikings even seemed prepared to weather Ashley's late comeback when Julia Buehler banked in the last of her 30 points and put Hoggard up 57-56 with 16 seconds to play.

But Havens, who scored 25 points, wouldn't be denied. Hoggard successfully forced Jasmine Corbett into a jump shot, but Havens rebounded the miss and laid it in to put Ashley on top for good.