The third quarter started off just fine for the Kings as both squads made short runs on each other with the Kings maintaining their lead. However, midway through the quarter the Kings started playing in a way that is uncharacteristic of their season. One of the keys to their season has been composure and midway through the quarter it went out the window. When it did the Apaches went on the warpath. They had cut the Cass lead to just four points and by the end of the quarter it stood a 49-44 kings lead heading into the final eight minutes.
“We’ve played them once already this year so we pretty much knew what they were going to do,” Cass senior Blake Hadley said. “We just wanted to go out and dictate the pace of the game and we did that for most of the game. We kind of fell apart and got away from that but late in the game we brought it back together and got the win.”
The quarter break was just what the Kings needed as Kitchel was able to settle his troops and once get them back to the game plan. In doing so the Kings regained control of the tempo and slowly put some distance between them and Wabash. Ryan Bixler and Owen Ohman hit big 3-point shots to help maintain the lead, and around the five minute mark Cass slowed its offense and began using the clock forcing the Apaches to eventually start fouling. With the Kings hitting their freebies and not letting up on the defense they came out on top 74-60 and advance to the second round of the tournament.
“A win’s a win but we forced a lot of shots,” Bixler said. “We gambled a lot and didn’t work our offense like we were supposed to. We’ve got to be able to hold our composure more than we did tonight.”