WALTON — Western and Class 2A No. 9-ranked Lewis Cass went back and forth in regulation of their Mid-Indiana Conference boys basketball contest Friday night. Every time one squad seemed to grab momentum, the other squad answered with a run of its own. Regulation ended in a 71-all tie.
The overtime session proved all Cass.
The Kings scored on their opening possession of OT, then took advantage of the Panthers’ repeated turnovers to pull away for an 85-74 win. The Panthers committed four turnovers in the extra session after committing just nine in regulation.
“We were able to handle their press for the first 32 minutes of the game. For some reason, there in overtime, we got a little overzealous or tried to make the big play — I don’t know exactly what it was — but we had turnovers and we’re having to play catch-up,” Western coach Bart Miller said. “We had to foul and give them credit, they knocked down their free throws there in the overtime.”
The Kings made 10 of 12 free throw attempts in OT to secure their 13th straight win. Austin Keisling was 6 of 6.
Cass scored on the opening possession of OT with Ryan Bixler grabbing an offensive rebound and converting a putback. Western missed a shot on its first possession, then had turnovers on its next three possessions. The Kings scored after each of those turnovers to build a 79-71 lead with 1:29 remaining. Following another Western miss, Cass went up 81-71.
“Our full-court pressure all season has paid big dividends for us,” Cass coach Jon Kitchel said. “A lot of teams, we can turn over and score out of it. Western is good enough, and they have great ball-handlers, that it didn’t really do that, but we felt like we needed to keep up the pressure, that we could wear them down over the course of the game. It really didn’t happen until the overtime.”