BETHEL — The battle for supremacy in District 18-A, Division I lived up to the hype, thanks to a big fourth-quarter from Kerens.
But, in the end, the sixth-ranked Cayuga boys’ basketball team held off the ninth-ranked Bobcats for a 65-58 win.
But, even in victory, CHS coach Greg Jenkins wasn’t happy.
“Give them credit for the things they did, but we lost our composure there at the end,” Jenkins said. “We executed the gameplan for about three-and-a-half quarters…nothing we talked about doing…we just didn’t get it done.”
That victory moves Cayuga to 18-6 overall and a perfect 4-0 in district play.
While the matchup lived up to the top-10 matchup hype, it almost didn’t.
Cayuga led by 17 heading into the fourth quarter, and extended the lead to 21 at one point.
Then, however, the wheels began to tremble a bit.
Senior forward Deon Shofner picked up his fourth foul, which forced Jenkins to remove him from the game. From there, Kerens began to chip away.
The comeback was never dramatic, but instead steady. With just under a minute to play, Kerens sophomore Nate Betts him a put-back off of a Tobyus Thomas miss to cut the Cayuga lead to 62-53, the first time the Bobcats had been within single-digits since the first half.
Then, after some Cayuga missed free throws, Kevin Townsel made a lay-up to cut the lead to 62-55. Kerens got to within five with 21 seconds remaining on an acrobatic lay-up from Townsel after two missed free throws from Cayuga’s Chandler Rigdon.
Ridgon redeemed himself the next possession, making one-of-two freebies to extend Cayuga’s lead to 63-57, and Kerens would only get back to within five on a free throw from Townsel.
Cayuga star Preston Anderson hit two free throws to ice the game with five seconds remaining.