It's Hope Christian at the buzzer in overtime to beat Valley

Jan. 30—At roughly 2 o'clock Tuesday afternoon, the new prep basketball coaches' polls were released, and the Valley High School boys were Class 4A's new No. 1.

A mere 6 1/2 hours later, the Vikings were taken down.

On a buzzer beater in overtime.

Hope Christian senior guard Noah Perry's 17-footer as time expired Tuesday night sent the fourth-ranked Huskies to a hard fought, thrilling 49-48 OT win over visiting Valley in a District 6-4A battle.

"It felt amazing. My teammates knew I had to take that shot, they set me up," said Perry after the last of his 12 points. "It was definitely amazing."

Perry and the Huskies (12-7, 1-1 in 6-4A) could not have done it without some help from the Vikings (15-5, 1-1).

Luciano Mondragon of Valley misfired on two free throws in OT with 21.2 seconds to go, so the Vikings had just a one-point lead. Hope called timeout with 14.8 seconds remaining to set up a potential game-winner.

The ball found its way to Perry, who briefly fell to the ground, before regaining the dribble, rising to his feet, and finding a clean look from just beyond the free-throw line.


"We had a couple of different options," Hope coach Jim Murphy said, "but Noah is a senior leader, and he probably has the most confidence to take that shot. He hit the biggest shot of the day."

Probably of the season, too.

Said Perry: "Julian (Chavez of Valley) is an amazing defender, he got his hands on it, I fell to the floor, but dribbled and got back up."

Valley, which rose from No. 2 to No. 1 by the coaches after beating previous No. 1 Albuquerque Academy last week, led most of the way Tuesday.

Murphy said some of his reserves helped turn the tide, getting Valley into some half-court trapping situations, forcing some turnovers and climbing into the game.

"I thought our bench did a good job defensively, changing the tempo a little bit," Murphy said. "We put some of our reserves in, we told them, let's work on our half-court trap, see if we could create some turnovers, and I thought we got (Valley) rushing. They missed some shots and we were able to get back in the game."

The Vikings were up nine at 39-30 with a minute left in the third quarter, but Valley didn't score for the next five minutes as Hope Christian eventually pulled even at 39 on Nathan Saavedra's three-point play.

With 1:22 left, Hope inched in front 43-42, its first lead since 3-2, on another Saavedra bucket.

The Huskies even had a 45-42 lead into the final 35 seconds; Chavez's driving layup moments later with 17.1 seconds left tied the game at 46. Hope didn't get a decent look before the end of regulation.

Perry's basket was Hope's only field goal in OT.

Valley also was hit with a technical in the overtime, which led to one Hope free throw. That brought the score to 48-47 for the Vikings.