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HomeSportPrep Hoops: Orson Hoogendorn’s 3-pointer with 2.3 seconds left lifts Nome boys...

Prep Hoops: Orson Hoogendorn’s 3-pointer with 2.3 seconds left lifts Nome boys to 3A title over Mt. Edgecumbe

Picture perfect. Nome’s Orson Hoogendorn with the game-winning shot. Photo by Stephanie Burgoon/Alaska Sports Report

Don’t think, just shoot. And keep shooting.

That was the advice Nome-Beltz boys basketball player Orson Hoogendorn heard before Saturday’s Class 3A boys state title game and again at crunch time.

That constant support pumped confidence back into him before he pumped in the game-winning 3-pointer in storybook fashion.

Hoogendorn drained a 22-foot jump shot from the left corner with 2.3 seconds left to lift the Nanooks to a thrilling 63-61 victory over previously undefeated Mt. Edgecumbe in front of a crowd of more than 4,000 at the Alaska Airlines Center.

“My mind just went blank and then I saw it go in. I was relieved,” Hoogendorn said. “It felt great. It’s truly a lifetime experience.”

3A Boys All-Tournament
Alex Fruean, Barrow
Jarrett Gage, Valdez
Richard Didrickson Jr., Mt. Edgecumbe
Kellen Jedlicka, Grace Christian
Richard Cross, Nome-Beltz
Ben Ambrosiani, Seward
Donovan Stephan-Standifer, Mt. Edgecumbe
Finn Gregg, Nome-Beltz
Jaziah Trivao, Barrow
Kaison Herrmann, Mt. Edgecumbe

Nome got three shots in the final 25 seconds to break the Braves’ heart, thanks to chairman of the boards Peyton Weyiouanna, whose hustle and muscle with offensive rebounds provided second- and third-chance opportunities. Richard Cross got the game-winning assist in more ways than one.

Hoogendorn had been 0-for-4 from 3-point range entering the title game, but his mother told him to keep shooting. After he missed a 3 with 17 seconds left in Saturday’s championship game, Cross told him to keep shooting.

“Shoutout to Richard. He trusted me after I missed the first one,” Hoogendorn said.

The winning play started with Weyiouanna, who grabbed an offensive rebound at the free-throw line and got the ball to Cross, who fed Hoogendorn in the corner. Hoogendorn had to avoid a defender before getting in rhythm and letting it fly.

Hoogendorn finished with 14 points, hitting 3-of-6 from range as the Nanooks buried ten 3-pointers to outscore Mt. Edgecumbe 30-6 from downtown.

This was his third game-winning shot of the season, with all of them coming on jumpers from the wing.

“He always hits the big shots for us,” Nome coach Patrick Callahan said. “He doesn’t let pressure bother him.

“Some of our guys are super into basketball and they might get worried about that shot, but Orson is a well-rounded guy. He runs cross country. He climbs mountains, shoots Moose, plays basketball.”

He also hits game-winners at crunch time.

Hoogendorn joined Dawson Shaeffer as Nome hoops heroes. Two years ago, Shaeffer hit the go-ahead jumper with 18 seconds left in Nome’s 49-47 win over Grace Christian, handing the Grizzlies their first loss of the season to a 3A team.

This time, Nome handed Mt. Edgecumbe its first loss in 27 games in reportedly the final game for 25-year Braves coach Archie Young.

Nome-Beltz’s Richard Cross looks to finish through contact. Photo by Stephanie Burgoon/Alaska Sports Report

Mt. Edgecumbe was the tournament’s top seed and came into Saturday’s title tilt riding a 26-game winning streak. Led by Kaison Herrmann’s 27 points, it looked like that string of wins would continue.

His three-point play gave the Braves a 59-53 lead with 2:56 to play. Herrmann was on a heater all week, but he was scorching hot Saturday as he put on a show on 12-of-18 shooting.

“He was as advertised. The real deal,” Callahan said.

Herrmann and Nome’s Finn Gregg (21 points) provided the crowd with a ton of entertaining moments after hitting big shots. Back and forth they went, trading buckets and drawing oohs and ahhs.

NOME (63) – Gregg 21, Callahan 0, Hoogenforn 14, Smith 0, Martinson 0, Weyiouanna 4, Schuerch 4, Omedelina 0, Erickson 0, Ongtowasruk 0, Cross 8, Booth 12.
MT. EDGECUMBE (61) – Brandall 0, Friske 0, Kai.Herrmann 27, Armstrong 5, Kad.Herrman 11, Didrickson Jr. 3, Otton 0, Cromer 5, Stephan-Standifer 10, Mork 0.
Nome-Beltz 8 20 13 22 – 63
Mt. Edgecumbe 9 17 19 16 – 61

These two put on a show. Nome’s Finn Gregg and Mt. Edgecumbe’s Kaison Herrmann. Photo by Stephanie Burgoon/Alaska Sports Report

Third-Place Game

Jarrett Gage and Tino Tucker combined for 32 points as Valdez earned a 52-47 decision over Grace Christian and Gatorade Alaska Player of the Year Kellen Jedlicka in the third-place game.

Gage went 8-for-8 from the free-throw line and scored a game-high 17 points while Tucker made 6-of-12 shots in the key. Nicolas Alfaro chipped in 10 points on 5-of-6 shooting for the Bucs (23-6).

Jedlicka led Grace with 15 points, eight rebounds and six assists in another strong outing for the 6-foot-5 guard headed to Lewis-Clark State College.

Bristol Tobin scored 12 points for the Grizzlies (23-6).

VALDEZ (52) – Gage 17, Tucker 15, Brandshaw 0, Ade 0, McCumby 0, Case 6, Alfaro 10, Watson 4, Wade 0, St. Amand 0, Boone 0, Holbrook 0.
GRACE (47) – B.Clarkson 5, Dale 0, A.Clarkson 8, Tobin 12, Annett 2, Adolfae 0, Rock 0, Malone 3, Jedlicka 15, Jones 0, Beck 2.
Valdez 16 10 10 16 – 52
Grace Christian 16 10 8 13 – 47

Fourth-Place Game

The future is now at Barrow.

Freshman Alex Fruean went 5-for-5 in the key on his way to bagging 18 points to go with seven rebounds as the Whalers won big over Seward 66-42 in the fourth-place game.

Jaziah Tivao pumped in 16 points and Uatahouse Tu’ifua collected eight points and nine rebounds while freshman Hunter Wilhelm chipped in six points for Barrow (17-11).

Seward’s Ben Ambrosiani hit 7-of-11 field goals and netted 19 points. Bergen Davis and Mason Elhard added 3s for Seward (20-9).

SEWARD (42) – Linquist 0, Elhard 3, Price 0, Peterson 2, Shank 0, N.Ambrosiani 8, Lemme 0, Cross 4, B.Ambrosiani 19, Albino 0, Senecal 0, Davis 6.
BARROW (66) – Dias 2, Goodwin 0, Librado 0, Wilhelm 6, Adams 1, Adams-Tookak 6, Fruean 18, D.Unutoa 3, S.Unutoa 6, Tivao 16, Fields 0, Tu’ifua 8.

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