The Dunham School battled back to take the lead in the final two minutes, but Dutchtown junior guard Nick Whalen came up with another big play as the Griffins came away with a 48-45 victory Tuesday night at Dunham.
Whalen, who scored a team-high 17 points, made a steal at the top of the key of Dunham’s next to last possession. Whalen missed two free throws with 13 seconds remaining.
Dunham’s Quinton Thomas, a 6-foot-2 versatile junior, missed a 3-pointer and teammate Matt Williams rebounded but was unable to get a shot off before the final buzzer.
Dutchtown improves to 7-1. Dunham, which replaced four starters from a season ago, drops to 4-2.
“Tonight was a pretty good defensive team effort,” Dutchtown coach Patrick Hill said. “This game could have gone either way. We got the stops we needed late.
“Nick Whalen is a good player. He’s small, but he’s mighty. We don’t have a lot of height, but we play big.”
Thomas scored a game-high 22 points. He connected on two spectacular dunks and has a 45-inch vertical leap. Thomas scored 16 points in the second half to help lead the comeback.
“Quinton Thomas is a great athlete,” Dunham coach Jonathan Pixley said. “He’s getting better every game. I didn’t feel like we were able to get Matt Williams, our 6-foot-5 player, enough shots, and we’ll work on that in practice. He’s a good shooter.
“I thought we guarded OK. Dutchtown is a good team. We’ll be alright. We’re a much better perimeter shooting team than we showed tonight.”
Whalen hit three 3-pointers to pace Dutchtown, while Williams hit one for Dunham.
Dutchtown led 24-20 at the half. Dunham tied it at 24-24 on a slam dunk by Thomas. Dutchtown went on an 8-2 run as Whalen scored four points, including a floater in the lane off a spin move.
Dutchtown led 39-32 after three quarters as Patrick Thompson hit two free throws with 12.3 seconds remaining.
Dutchtown was held scoreless in the fourth quarter until Leonard Scott hit two free throws with 4:12 remaining to put the Griffins up 41-37. Brian Blume scored on a follow rebound and Thomas added two free throws as Dunham tied it at 41-41. Thomas hit two free throws with 1:20 remaining as Dunham took its first lead of the half at 45-44.
Austin Sampson scored on a free throw jumper off an assist from Patrick Thompson to put the Griffins up 46-45 with 45 seconds left. Thompson hit two free throws with 27.9 seconds remaining to complete the scoring. Dylon Maggio added nine points for Dunham.