Kalamazoo Home School’s boys basketball team pushed Mendon to the limit Thursday but the Hornets held on for a 68-66 victory on the road.
Trailing 35-27 at halftime, Mendon (1-1) chipped away in the third quarter, gained a narrow advantage in the fourth and exhaled when a Home School shot with less than a second remaining caught the side of the backboard.
“In the last few minutes we had a short lead, so we tried to keep the ball, take some time off the clock and make them foul us while making sure we dug in and played good defense so they couldn’t force the game in to OT,” said Mendon’s Marcus Craft, who led the team with 25 points.
“It wasn’t a pretty win, but I think on the offensive side we were able to get going much better than Monday night (loss to Battle Creek St. Philip) and we played better defense in the second half.”
Mendon shot 38 percent from the field (27-for-71) and a dismal 6-for-17 from the free-throw line, but got some big-time buckets when it needed them, particularly from Craft and Erik Batten, who stroked four 3-pointers on nine attempts to finish with 15 points.
Parker Cupp registered 11 points and six steals, Zach Darmofal produced a double-double with 14 rebounds and 10 points, Joe Gales added three points and three assists and both Jordan Medich and Elijah Klepper posted two points and four boards.
“It was back and forth all game and in the second half we started clicking on offense and defense,” Batten said. “So we were trying to keep our defensive intensity and pressure up to force them to make mistakes. And we did a pretty good job at that. And yeah, I was feeling it. I just had a good feeling coming into this game and my shots kept going in. My teammates did a good job of driving and dishing to get me those open shots.”
Mendon heads to Howardsville Christian Tuesday.