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Hanover-Horton High School basketball player Carson Sanders follows through on a free throw during the Michigan High School Athletic Association Division 3 quarterfinal game against Arbor Prep at Tecumseh High School on Tuesday. Sanders scored 14 points to lead the Comets to a big win. Photo by Jeff Steers, JTV Sports

By Jeff Steers
JTV Sports

(April 6, 2021  10:58 PM) The Hanover-Horton High School boys’ basketball team knew one shot would not get them back into the Michigan High School Athletic Association Division 3 quarterfinal game on Tuesday against Arbor Prep.

But it sure felt good going into the hole.

The Comets erases an eight-point deficit in the first half to earn a 41-29 win over the Gators at Tecumseh High School during the quarterfinal game on Tuesday. 

With the win, Hanover-Horton advances to the Final Four in Division 3 for a third time. 

The Comets will play Flint Beecher in the Division 3 semifinals at 10 a.m. on Thursday at the Breslin Student Events Center on the campus of Michigan State University. 

Hanover-Horton trailed 19-11 at halftime, but was satisfied with the defensive effort. They must have loved the defensive effort in the second half, holding Arbor Prep to only 10 points – including an eight-minute drought at the end of the third quarter into the fourth. 

“Coach Mortimer told us we were fine and out shots would start falling,” senior guard Garrett Gumper said. “They only had 19 in the first half … we were happy with that.”

Gumper hit a big 3-point basket to start the first quarter as the Comets whittled away at the lead. A 3-point basket by Carson Sanders cut the lead to 25-22 for Arbor Prep to begin the fourth quarter.

That is where the Comets dug in their heals defensively. 

“We knew they were trying to get to the rim … we made it difficult,” Coach Chad Mortimer said. “The guys played with a lot of energy in the second half.

“This is a huge win for us. 

Hanover-Horton took the lead for good on a 3-point basket by Conner Mortimer at the 7:02 mark of the fourth quarter. Arbor Prep did not score until a free throw with just under two minutes to play. 

Senior Brogan Brockie scored eight points in the quarter as the Comets made a number of steals and easy baskets. 

The win sends the Comets to the Final Four, something special for the senior class.

“This has been a dream of ours,” Gumper said. “We attended those final four games in the past.”

Sanders led the Comets with 14 points, Brockie scored 10 points, Mortimer scored nine points, and Gumper scored eight points and pulled down seven rebounds.

Evan Keeder finished with a team-high eight rebounds and Gumper dished three assists for Hanover-Horton (20-1). 

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