Schoolcraft survived a strong challenge from Kalamazoo Christian Friday evening, coming away with a 38-34 homecoming win.
It was yet another classic duel between the SAC Valley rivals decided in the final moments. The Comets had the ball down by two with 10 seconds to spare with a chance to tie or win. However, the inbound pass was stolen by Kobe Clark, who found an open Brice Walther for the final dagger.
Listen back to final moments below:
Despite the victory, the Eagles trailed for nearly the entire first half, as K-Christian opened the game with an 12-1 run. Schoolcraft would go on a 15-6 run for the remainder of the half, finally tying the game up with about 10 seconds left. Sean Cummings would score at the horn for a 18-16 Comet lead at halftime.
In the second half, the game would see five lead changes and seven ties, including a 28-28 score entering the final frame. Both teams only mustered one bucket for the first five minutes of the fourth quarter. K-Christian took a 31-30 lead on a free throw, which held until Clark sank a three-pointer with 1:15 remaining. On the ensuing possession, Cummings split a pair of foul shots, followed by an Eagle rebound and Comet foul.
After going a rough 6-15 at the line as a team prior, Clark hit both Schoolcraft free throws for a 35-32 score with 42 seconds left. K-Christian answered with a quick Cummings floater with 30 seconds to go, followed by a foul with 17 ticks to spare. Walther missed the first shot and made the second, putting the score at 36-34 with the Comets getting the ball.
Both teams called timeouts prior to the final inbound from in front of the KC bench with 9.7 on the clock. Aaron de Jong’s pass toward Cummings was tipped and stolen by Clark, who then delivered to an open Walther for the final basket. Walther had a team-high 13 points, matched by Cummings for the Comets.
Kalamazoo Christian falls to 11-5 with the loss and drops to third in the SAC Valley standings at 7-3. The Comets travel west to Berrien Springs on Monday for their lone game next week.
Schoolcraft moves to 14-2 and sits alone in second at 8-2 in the Valley, only behind 10-0 Hackett Catholic. The Eagles go east to Battle Creek Wednesday against Lakeview.
Friday’s win secures the regular season sweep for Schoolcraft, who also beat K-Christian 49-34 in December. They’re guaranteed to meet for the third consecutive postseason as they’ll battle at Gobles on Monday, February 25 to open district play. The Comets knocked out the Eagles in both the 2018 and 2017 regional semifinals by finals of 45-44 and 53-47 (OT).
Schoolcraft Scoring: Brice Walther 13, Kobe Clark 9, Ty Rykse 6, Brady Flynn 3, Tyler DeGroote 2, Trevor DeGroote 2, Bryce VanderWiere 2, Chris Cooper 1
Kalamazoo Christian Scoring: Sean Cummings 13, Aaron Verkaik 8, Elliot Lemmer 5, Carson de Jong 4, Aaron de Jong 2