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02/08/2014 - BOYS BASKETBALL: Almond's Free Throws Lift Grand Island Past East High

By Jeff Motz

Pierce Almond scored 19 of his 23 points in the second quarter, but two of his points were huge late in Grand Island's game at Lincoln East on Saturday night.

Almond hit two free throws with four seconds remaining to help the Islanders earn their fourth win of the season by defeating the Spartans 58-54 in boys basketball.

For Grand Island (4-14), it marked the end of a losing streak dating back to the fifth place game of the Heartland Athletic Conference Tournament, which started when East beat the Islanders 46-43.

East (11-9) erased a 14-point deficit in the second half and climbed back ahead at 54-53 after center Jerry Cunning hit two free throws with 2:05 to play.  But on Grand Island's next possession, reserve guard Seth Roberg drove in for a layup and drew a foul from Cunning, ultimately completing a three-point play.

The Spartans had two opportunities late to take advantage.   Brandon Metcalf missed a layup and after Almond missed the front end of a one-and-one, Metcalf threw an errant pass with six seconds left that gave the Islanders the ball.

After a 39-25 halftime lead, Grand Island saw their lead start to dwindle away, as East sprinted out on a 10-0 spurt, sparked by Bryan Reimers that saw the Spartans as close as four points, down 39-35 with four minutes remaining.  Reimers finished with 23 points for the Spartans.  

The Islanders got a spark on a Trevor Wojtalewicz put back and out scored the Spartans 9-4 to end the third quarter with a 48-39 lead.


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