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New Haven survives Wayne in fierce battle: 5 keys to 'Dogs' win

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For more on prep basketball, follow Jonathan Batuello via Twitter at www.twitter.com/jcbatuello and The News-Sentinel.com crew at www.twitter.com/PrepHoops_ns.

Bulldog bench is ready when called on

Friday, February 28, 2014 - 3:39 am

New Haven and Wayne both got what they needed in each teams' final game of the regular season. It was close the whole way (largest lead was six points) and came down to the final possession. New Haven eventually pulled it out winning 65-62 to enter sectional play on a

six-game winning streak.

Here are five keys to the Bulldogs' victory:

1. Jordan Hogue's 4th quarter

The game was back and forth the whole way but the senior guard took over for New Haven offensively in the final five minutes. With the Bulldogs down by three, Hogue scored eight straight points for them to help New Haven go from a deficit to a 3-point lead with less than a minute to play. Without him taking over, it's Wayne entering sectional play with a win and not New Haven.

2. Turnovers

New Haven opened the game with seven turnovers in the first quarter as it fell behind. After that it was Wayne who struggled to keep the ball. The Generals had multiple turnovers on its last few

possessions, including the final one as it attempted to tie the game, while New Haven kept control.

3. Steve McElvene's 2nd quarter

For a game that was close the whole way, New Haven got a critical stretch from McElvene in the second quarter. Trailing 15-14 at the end of the first quarter, the big man came out and threw down two massive dunks and scored six straight points early in the second quarter. This energized the entire New Haven team and helped them build its largest lead of the game at six

points.

4. Strong bench minutes

New Haven relies on its starting five often for its scoring, but after Tyron Kinnie picked up two fouls in the first three miutes and McElvene dealt with some foul trouble in the second half it got good contributions from the rest of its team. Brayton Rudolph, AJ Smith, Jakhari Wilbert and Travis Crowe may not fill up the scorebook with stats, but they provided great minutes when

called upon.

5. Forcing tough shots

Wayne's Justin Mitchell is going to score, as are other players for the Generals. The good news for New Haven was it made Justin Mitchell earn all 18 of his points. He scored those on 19

shots, which is great indicator of the tough shots the Bulldogs forced him to take all game. Making it hard on him was a big reason New Haven was able to pull off the win.