Kalamazoo Christian defeated Schoolcraft 52-47 at home Tuesday evening, keeping the Comets unbeaten within the SAC Valley and giving them their second victory this season over the Eagles. Despite the tight score, the game only had one lead change late in the third quarter.
Schoolcraft held the advantage for nearly the entire first half. Kalamazoo Christian evened the game 7-7 at the end of the first quarter, but couldn’t get ahead or tie the game again until the third. However, the Eagles never pushed too far ahead, with their biggest lead at seven points. Schoolcraft carried a five-point advantage, 24-19, into halftime.
The Associated Press fifth-ranked Comets won the third quarter 15-6 and assumed the lead on a Jordan Katje free throw with 1:29 remaining. A three-pointer by Noah de Jong gave Kalamazoo Christian a 34-30 lead heading into the fourth. Another triple early in the fourth by Elliot Lemmer extended the lead to seven.
The Comets were able to block a number of shots, then drain time on their offensive possessions. They remained up by two-scores for most of the fourth quarter and went up by 10 at one point. Kalamazoo Christian also reversed their fortunes at the free throw line with Schoolcraft forced to foul. After a lousy 2-9 first half, the Comets went 13-19 in the second half, helping preserve the lead.
Schoolcraft finally made it within one possession on a Trenton Lomason three-pointer with around 20 seconds to go, putting the score at 50-47. However, the Eagles had used all of their timeouts and couldn’t force a turnover. After a foul, Colin Sikkenga buried both Comet free throws to seal the 52-47 win.
Katje led all scorers with 13 points, nine of which came in the second quarter. He also snagged 12 rebounds and six of his team’s nine blocked shots. Sikkenga and De Jong both added 12 for the Comets.
Schoolcraft was led by 12 from Riley Piper, followed by 11 from Kobe Clark and nine by Lomason.
Kalamazoo Christian completes the regular-season sweep of Schoolcraft, having beaten them in their gym 63-56 in December. These teams could meet a third time, if both are able to win their districts next month. Last season, the Comets won an overtime thriller against the Eagles in the regional semifinal.
K-Christian improves to 13-1 on the victory and 8-0 within the SAC Valley division. Up next, they’ll host Valley foe Galesburg-Augusta Friday.
Schoolcraft drops to 10-4 with the defeat, third in the SAC Valley at 6-3. Ahead, the Eagles host second-place Hackett Catholic (8-1 in the Valley, 13-2 overall) on Friday, which can be heard live via JoeInsider.com. You can also listen the following Friday, February 16 as the Comets meet the Irish.
KALAMAZOO CHRISTIAN SCORING: Jordan Katje 13, Noah De Jong 12, Colin Sikkenga 12, Sean Cummings 6, John Cramer 5, Elliot Lemmer 3, Adam Ritsema 1.
SCHOOLCRAFT SCORING: Riley Piper 12, Kobe Clark 11, Trenton Lomason 9, Jakob Huysken 7, Bryce VanderWiere 4, Chris Cooper 2, Brice Walther 2.