But both teams’ offenses were more productive when their senior guards were on the bench.
“I don’t think either team had any ebb or flow with their superstars on the floor,” H-T coach Chris Glennon said.
Mudge, averaging an area-best 21.5 points coming into the game, committed his third foul with 6 minutes, 54 seconds left in the second quarter and wouldn’t return to the game until the third quarter.
Ehrhart’s second foul came with 30 seconds left in the first quarter and he missed a majority of the second quarter.
Still, the teams combined to score four more points than they did in the first quarter.
“If you told me Mudge wouldn’t have a point the whole first half and we’re only up six points, I wouldn’t have believed it,” O’Connell said.
Stamford increased its 26-20 halftime lead to 35-23 when Dustin King made a layup off a pass from Ehrhart with 4:30 left in the third quarter.
However, any thoughts of an Indians runaway ended as H-T scored the next 13 points.
The spurt included deep three-pointers by Mudge and Dylan Legg, both connected from the left side of the circle. Mudge’s three represented his lone field goal of the night as he finished with six points.
When Legg, who scored a game-high 16 points hit a contested jumper from the left wing with two seconds left in the quarter, H-T took a 36-35 lead.
“We were just up 12 points and I’m thinking, how are we down by a point?” said O’Connell, whose team has won five straight since back-to-back losses to H-T and Margaretville in January. “It was a blur. I’ll say this about this group; they don’t panic. All year long, anytime we’re down, we fight back.”