WINAMAC — Lewis Cass boys basketball team entered Saturday night’s game at Winamac on an eight-game winning streak, winning all eight by at least 18 points.
But the Kings found themselves in a dogfight with the Warriors. The game went down to the wire, with the Kings holding on for a 59-54 win for their ninth victory in a row.
The Class 2A No. 11 Kings (11-2) secured the win at the foul line, going 31 of 41 for the game including 18 of 20 in the second half.
But hot 3-point shooting by the Warriors (5-6) kept it close in the fourth quarter. J.T. Garnett hit three treys in the final nine minutes, and Adam Gruenig’s 3-ball with 28 seconds remaining broth the Warriors to within 56-54.
Evan Ohman hit 1 of 2 free throws to push the lead back to three. Blake Hadley then came up with a big steal for the Kings, and Austin Keisling hit two free throws with 7.7 seconds left to secure the win.
“That was exactly what we needed,” Cass coach Jon Kitchel told WLHM in a postgame interview. “We’ve had a lot of games that have been decided by early in the third or fourth quarter. We hadn’t really been challenged. We had guys step up and hit free throws for us, and for us to make a run in the tournament we’ll have to win games like this.
“As disappointed as I was with our play last night, I was very proud tonight. Winamac had a great game plan. They played 13 guys and used as many fouls as they needed to. They’re a very physical, very strong team. At halftime me and coach Yeoman were talking and we said if we could get a two-point win tonight we’d be tickled to death.”
Keisling led the Kings with 18 points. Hadley had 15 and Evan Ohman added 12.