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Nogueira’s 22 help lead Sierra past Lodi

Hicks nails go-ahead lay-up with 1 second left

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Nogueira’s 22 help lead Sierra past Lodi

Sierra guard Eddie Andrade keeps his composure under the defensive pressure of Lodi's Collin Rhoads.


POSTED December 9, 2009 2:48 a.m.
With just over a minute left on the clock, every second that ticked away seemed like an eternity for the Sierra Timberwolves Tuesday.

Time seemed to freeze when Eddie Andrade fed the ball out to Trevor Nogueira, who buried a 3-point shot that gave Sierra the lead over the visiting Lodi Flames with just over a minute to play.

But it was when Nogueira fed the ball to forward Bryce Hicks with only seconds on the clock that everything started moving again, ending with Hicks’ uncontested layup that lifted Sierra to a 57-55 victory.

Lodi’s attempt at scoring with just over one second to play fell short.

“I think that our post players did well tonight,” Sierra head coach Scott Thomason said. “We had some good layups down there, and that one by Bryce was huge. Will Ward also did a great job down low for us tonight. I’m proud of those guys for how they played.”

The Timberwolves improved their record to 2-2 with the victory.

Ward finished the game with eight rebounds, while Hicks added a pair as well as an assist. Guard Allan Sampayan also pulled in three rebounds and recorded a pair of steals.

The fairy-tale ending, however, didn’t start off quite as pretty.

Lodi (0-3) quickly found that pressuring Sierra could disrupt its offense and created turnovers that the Flames capitalized on to jump out to an early lead.

But not even Thomason lost his cool.

Shifting some offensive looks around gave Sierra new life, and substitutions that kept some of the positions fresh thwarted the Lodi attack and allowed Sierra to counter whenever possible, which came quite often with Nogueira’s constant presence and deadly accuracy.

He finished the game with 22 points – 12 of which came from beyond the three-point arc – and was four-of-five from the foul line. He also stayed on the court for nearly the entire game.

“Tonight we had the ability to keep on grinding when we needed to – it was an important win for us,” Thomason said. “One of the things that we have to work on is ball control because having eight or nine turnovers in the first half is just not acceptable to us.

“Every possession is important, and we have to protect that ball. My hat goes off to Lodi – they played a fine basketball game tonight.”
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