The first three quarters Friday night between Sturgis and Battle Creek Harper Creek were just a formality compared to the epic fourth quarter that gave way to a 70-64 Trojans victory.
“(It was) one of the craziest games I’ve ever played in,” Sturgis senior Chance Stewart said. “The team showed a lot of fight to hang on and pull it off. We got up by 16 at one point. The whole fourth quarter was just back and forth.”
It was almost as if these Southwestern Michigan Athletic Conference East Division competitors saved all the offense for the fourth quarter, where they combined for a staggering 65 points.
The Trojans (10-6, 5-6) led 38-31 heading into the final quarter of play, when the two teams nipped back and forth at each other.
Stewart had a lot to say about the victory, scoring a game-high 26 points and grabbing 21 rebounds. He was 5-for-15 from the field and went to the free throw 22 times. Sturgis was 33-for-46 from the charity stripe overall, which played a pivotal role in the win.
“It was a lot of fun,” said Jack Scheske, who added 24 points for Sturgis. “We played probably our best offensive game of the year and knocked down free throws.
“Ryan (Schuller) also played big; he had 11 points. The fourth quarter was just a ton of scoring. Chance, Ryan, and I were all in foul trouble. I think they pulled within four once. Coach was really fired up, but he also kept his composure really well, especially with Harper’s ruthless student section.”
Schuller was 4-for-9 from the field en route to his 11 points. Lonnie Wright and Andrew Airgood added three points each while Matt Polzin chipped in a couple points and Tristen Stewart dropped in a free throw for a point.
Khylen Watkins paced Harper Creek (11-4, 7-3) with 16 points.