An impressive Battle Creek Central boys basketball team broke Tuesday’s game against visiting Sturgis wide open in the closing minutes of the first half and opening minutes of the second for a 57-42 victory.
Within a bucket with two minutes remaining in the second quarter, Sturgis was smacked by a Bearcats run to go into the locker room down 27-19. A 9-0 run out of the gate in the third quarter gave Battle Creek Central (8-1) all the room it needed to preserve the Southwestern Michigan Athletic Conference East Division win.
Soon after the opening tip, Sturgis senior Chance Stewart reached 1,000 points for his career on a layup. He finished with a game-high 24 and 15 rebounds. Offensive partner in crime Jack Scheske had 13 points but couldn’t find his touch in Cereal City, making just 3 of 17 shot attempts.
“They’re all seniors, they’re quick, they can shoot, they’re athletic and they just don’t have many weaknesses,” Sturgis coach Keith Kurowski said of the Bearcats. “Against a team like that, which plays an extremely aggressive zone, you’ve got to hit shots. Tonight we just didn’t hit enough shots.
“… They had a little too much firepower for us. They have got guys that will probably be playing at the next level next year, and their senior leadership, experience and maturity really showed in the second half.”
Ryan Schuller added seven points for Sturgis, which shot 13-for-40 (32.5 percent) as a team and fell to 5-3 overall and 2-3 in the SMAC.
Curtis Trigg (19 points), Wendell White (11) and Joseph Bower (10) shouldered the offensive load for the Bearcats, which improved to 4-0 in the SMAC.
Sturgis outrebounded Battle Creek Central 30-24 but turned the ball over 18 times compared to the Bearcats’ 10. Both teams shot under 60 percent from the foul line.