Churubusco 76 – Prairie Heights 67
Churubusco got on the scoreboard quickly as Josh LeFever hit a lay-up just three seconds into the game. A basket from Tyler Arrowsmith, a steal and a lay-up by Hunter Nicodemus and a jump shot by Kyle Mathewson got the Eagle offense in motion as they jumped out to a quick 8-2 lead against Prairie Heights. Then eight more points from Mathewson and a basket from Kyle Monk capped off the first quarter scoring with the Eagles leading 18-8 after one period.
Josh LeFever hit a jumper to put the Eagles up 20-8 early in the second quarter. Mathewson scored the next six for the Eagles extending their lead to its biggest on the night at 26-12 with 5:08 remaining in the half. Churubusco went just one of four shooting for the rest of the quarter. The Panthers took advantage of the Eagle misses and converted on their end of the floor to climb back in the ballgame. As the halftime buzzer sounded the Eagles took a 29-21 lead into the locker room.
“This was our concern coming into the sectionals, we don’t have any seniors and the seniors play their best basketball in the tournament. Just look at Anderson here tonight,” stated Coach Michael McBride. “The kid hit some incredible shots, deep shots, he carried them in that aspect. We as a team don’t understand that yet.”
In the third period the Panthers trimmed the Eagle lead to just five points. But Churubusco was able to extend the lead back to double digits at 48-36 with just over four minutes remaining. Prairie Heights ran off ten unanswered points to close the gap to two at the 2:38 mark. After a Churubusco time out and the teams trading a free throw apiece Monk hit a basket to give the Eagles a four point lead with a minute and a half to go. Following a Panther basket and a made foul shot, Dylan Herendeen hit a pair of foul shots to give the Eagles a three point lead with just over a minute left. Prairie Heights went to their hot hand on the night, Casey Anderson, who nailed a three-pointer to tie the game at 53 all. The Eagles held the ball for the final shot but were unable to convert.
In the first overtime period the Panthers scored first but LeFever answered with a rebound and put back to tie it up. Prairie Heights scored again and again it was LeFever at the line for the Eagles. He hit one of two and Busco trailed by one with :56 left in overtime. With 30 seconds remaining the Eagles fouled and the Panthers converted on both free throws to give them a three point lead. Monk drove the lane hitting the shot and drawing the foul. He then made the free throw to tie the game at 59-59 with 21 seconds to go. Prairie Heights again looked to their high scorer Anderson to get them the win. As the buzzer sounded the ball rattled out of the basket sending the game into the second overtime period.
Churubusco came out aggressive in the second overtime period and baskets by Mathewson, Monk and Nicodemus gave the Eagles a 65-61 lead. Another by Mathewson and a break away lay-up by LeFever extended the Eagle lead to eight points. Busco outscored the Panthers 17-8 in the last overtime to come away with the victory 76-67.
1 2 3 4 ot ot F
Prairie Heights 8 13 13 19 6 8 67
Churubusco 18 11 10 14 6 17 76
Leading Scorers: Mathewson 24, Monk 21, LeFever 17, Nicodemus 9, Arrowsmith 2, T. Herendeen 2, D.Herendeen 2.
“It is very difficult for a team that has lead the entire game and then ends up losing the lead going into overtime, to come out and win that overtime. We were in trouble, we are down three,” recalls Coach McBride. “Monk made an incredible play getting the basket and to top it off hitting the free throw to tie it up.”
Central Noble 64 – Churubusco 59
After closing out the first quarter with an 11-9 lead over the Cougars the Eagles played from behind, once the Cougars took the lead with five minutes remaining in the second quarter. Central Noble hit all twelve free throws they attempted in the second quarter while Churubusco went 8-12 shooting from the line in that period. The Eagles were able to cut the lead to one at 28-27, on a three-pointer by Jordan Turner at the buzzer.
The beginning of the second half saw the Cougars extend their lead to nine points with two three-pointers and a basket. The Cougars led after three quarters 44-35.
“When you play in this tournament it’s one and done, you have to throw the records out.” stated Coach McBride. “Unfortunately we didn’t play our best tonight but I am still proud of our team and what we have accomplished this season.”
With the Eagles’ season looking to be finished the Eagles didn’t give up as they went on an 11-4 run over the next three and a half minutes to trim the Cougar lead to four at 54-50 with two minutes to go. Churubusco cut the lead to two at 57-55 with an offensive rebound and put back by Arrowsmith. With the score 60-57 with 30 seconds remaining and the Eagles time running out Dylan Herendeen missed his shot. Central Noble hit a pair of free throws to make it a five point game. But Herendeen was able to convert on his free throws to cut the deficit to three with seven seconds left. The Cougars hit the long release player in stride for the basket and win 64-59 over the Eagles.
1 2 3 4 F
Central Noble 9 19 16 20 64
Churubusco 11 16 8 24 59
Leading Scorers: Nicodemus 17, Monk 13, Mathewson 8, Arrowsmith 6, LeFever 6, D. Herendeen 4, Turner 3, T. Herendeen 2.
“This was a night where we are disappointed we lost and are done for the season but we have everyone returning for next year,” explained Coach McBride. “There’s going to be a lot of competition for next year’s team. We will see who wants to put the hard work into the program and who improves throughout the year.”