After a grinding contest for nearly three quarters, Friday's sectional semifinal between Tri-West and Cascade finally became what sectional basketball is all about.
A Tri-West took its first lead of the game at 31-29 with 3:05 left in the third on the strength of an 8-0 run. The two teams traded the lead for the better part of a quarter, but the Bruins took control late and won 55-49.
For the better part of the first half, Tri-West (10-12) could find no semblance of an offensive rhythm.
For their part, Cascade (6-16) exploited the Bruins inside. Cadet forward Austin Heimansohn scored six early points and led Cascade to an 8-1 advantage.
Tri-West recovered slightly, but still trailed 12-8 after one.
In the second, the Cadets led by as much as seven on a Tanner Dunn bucket that made the score 24-17. However, Tri-West scored the last four points of the half to make it 24-21 at the break.
In the third, the Cadets extended their advantage to six, at 29-23, before the Bruins made their big run.
The difference ultimately came down to the Bruins' two leading scorers, Randall Lowe and Sam Groth, finding some offense. Lowe scored 11 of his game-high 16 points in the second half. Groth had eight of his 14 points after the break.
Once the Bruins made their run, the two teams began trading baskets. A Cascade score would tie it and the Bruins would immediately regain the lead.
Tri-West led 35-33 after the third.
The fourth was more of the same until a bucket from Heimansohn gave Cascade a lead at 45-44, but they would not lead again.
A layup from Tyler Smith with 1:50 remaining gave Tri-Wes the lead for good.
In the final two minutes, the Bruins were 9-for-12 from the line, extending the lead to 55-49 at the final buzzer.
Heimansohn led a balanced Cadet attack with 12 points. Connor Guthrie and Josh Fuehrer added 10 each. Kyle Spencer chipped in nine points.
Besides Lowe and Groth, Joe Pierle was in double figures for the Bruins with 10 points.
Tri-West will face Covenant Christian at 7:30 p.m. tonight in the South Putnam Sectional final.
At South Putnam
IHSAA Boys' Basketball Sectional
|Tri-West||8 13 14 20 -- 55|
|Cascade||12 12 9 16 -- 49|
Tri-West (10-12) -- Lowe 16, Groth 14, Pierle 10, McVicker 7, Smith 7, Keck 2.
Cascade (6-16) -- Heimansohn 12, Guthrie 10, Fuehrer 10, Spencer 9, Arthur 4, Dunn 4.
Total fouls--TW 15, Cas 21. Fouled out--Arthur.
Next game -- Tri-West will face Covenant Christian in the South Putnam Sectional championship game at 7:30 p.m. tonight.