Whitkoâ€™s Trey Weber drives against Blake Gross, who hit the game-winning shot Saturday. Post & Mail photo / Mark Parker
CHURUBUSCO â€” Saturday nightâ€™s basketball game was most definitely a game of very contrasting halves.
The visiting Whitko Wildcats used stellar shooting from the field to win the first half, but the host Churubusco Eagles used a furious fourth quarter and an off-balance shot in the final seconds to win the second half, and the game, by a 42-40 score.
Fans in the stands watching the first half of the game probably believed that there was a runaway in progress. The visiting Wildcats went 5-for-5 from the field in the first quarter and hit a scorching 12-of-15 from the field in the first half.
They outscored the Eagles 16-11 in the second quarter to take a 27-17 lead at halftime.
With a 33-24 advantage going into the final quarter, the Wildcats extended the lead on two inside baskets by Bennett to push their advantage to 13 points at 37-24.
The Wildcats only managed a free throw and a basket for the rest of the game while the Eagles put on a furious rally.
Fueled by defensive pressure that caused seven Whitko turnovers in the final half of the quarter, the Eagles gradually whittled down the Wildcat lead.
Sarrazinâ€™s second basket of the quarter brought Churubusco to within two at 40-38. A â€™Busco steal and a basket by Simmons knotted the score at 40 with 1:22 left on the clock.
The Eagles got the ball following a defensive stop, and worked the clock before a Whitko foul sent Beau Barkley to the line. Barkley missed the front end of the one-and-one with the rebound going into the corner.
Stoddard grabbed the ball for the Wildcats, but was pressured into a turnover, giving the ball back to the Eagles with barely 10 seconds left on the clock.
The Eagles worked the ball to Gross, who was forced to take an awkward left-handed hook from the top of the key that banked in with two seconds left on the clock.
A final heave by Cumberland sailed wide and the Eagles took the win, 42-40.
Simmons led Busco with 11 points with Gross adding nine and Sarrazin seven for the Eagles. Cumberland, Stoddard and Weber each notched eight for the Wildcats.
For a more in-depth look at this story, see the Feb. 18 issue of The Post and Mail. Don't have a subscription? Call (260) 244-5153 or subscribe to our e-edition. For breaking news, sports updates and additional coverage, bookmark the homepage and find us on facebook.
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