Being the hero once wasn’t enough for Henderson International’s Danny Moerman on Saturday night.
The junior swingman twice gave his team the lead in the final three minutes, including the clinching free throw with 10.2 seconds left, as the Wolverines rallied for a 39-38 home win over Pahranagat Valley.
It’s the first time in school history the Wolverines are 4-0 in the Class 1A Southern League.
“It was big clutch,” Henderson International coach Greg Stephens said of Moerman’s performance. “Danny and I talked when we came in for shoot-around about how we’re short-handed. I needed him to step up and score tonight.”
Missing three starters because of various academic ineligibility and family-related issues, the Wolverines (9-11) were led to victory by Moerman’s game-high 19 points.
With a 34-32 lead, the Panthers (14-3, 2-2) went to a stalling strategy, having their guards hold the ball in the backcourt. But Henderson International eventually forced a turnover and took a 35-34 lead on Moerman’s 3-pointer from the corner.
“Clay (Tormey) made a huge drive to the basket, the defense collapsed, and he saw me,” Moerman said of the 3-pointer. “He kicked it out, and I hit the 3. That was Clay Tormey.”
Tommy Williams’ layup gave Pahranagat Valley a 38-37 lead with less than 28 seconds remaining.
But after a foul at the other end, Moerman found himself at the free-throw line in a one-and-one situation. He sank both, and the Panthers missed two potential game-winning shots on the final possession.
Tormey added nine points for the Wolverines, who were 9-for-11 at the line.
Brady Whipple scored 13 points and Cody Hoiser 12 for the Panthers, who have scored 61 in their past two games.
“We’re struggling scoring right now real bad,” Panthers coach Brian Higbee said. “But you’ve got to hand it to (the Wolverines), too. They did a nice job defensively.”