The Heights boys were finally able to get a rhythm going late in the fourth quarter and put the game out of reach for a 62-50 victory over Kapaun on Tuesday night at Heights.
The Falcons outscored Kapaun 22-13 in the fourth quarter, thanks to scoring surges by Perry Ellis, Evan Wessel and E.J. Dobbins, who forced turnovers, grabbed rebounds and pushed the tempo for a combined 14 fastbreak points in the fourth quarter.
“We dominated the boards, we told the kids we wanted to outrebound them and push it,” Heights coach Joe Auer said. “We got off to a great start. Then it became a foul fest. Then we regathered our composure and finished strong against a very good team.”
Ellis, who had 24 points and 10 rebounds, led the Falcons to an 18-3 lead in the first quarter. Kapaun battled back to close the gap to 31-23 at the half. That’s when Kapaun guard Michael Martin caught fire. He scored 11 points in a row to start the third quarter, and then Keaton Lewis nailed a three to cap off a 12-3 run for the Crusaders and give the team a 35-34 lead with 3:23 left in the third.
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Heights, however, kept its composure. Guard Terrance Moore responded with a shot from downtown to give Heights a 37-35 lead. Ellis then ended the third quarter by releasing some frustration on a one-handed reverse dunk off of a rebound. Heights led 40-37 going into the fourth.
“We got a little confidence,” Kapaun coach Bernie Pearson said. “We had everything to gain and nothing to lose. That’s what we talked about in the locker room.
“We came out and decided to take it to them. Some guys stepped up and made some plays and we finally started making shots. We took the lead at the end of the third quarter and we just weren’t able to hang unto it.”
Martin had 18 points and Lewis had 10 points for Kapaun. Wessel, who came on for six points in the fourth quarter, had 14 points and six rebounds. He was impressed by how his team held together when faced with adversity.
We’ve got a lot of seniors on the team,” Wessel said. “We’ve been there before. That just helps us in close games. We know we don’t have to get frustrated. It just comes to us.”
With the play of Kapaun (1-1, 1-1) Tuesday night, Auer said the team will continue to be competitive in the City League.
“Martin and Lewis are guards that have started in the City League for three years.æ.æ.æ. That team has all of the makings to be a contender in this league,” Auer said. “They’ve got solid guards. They’ve got strong big men. We were a little bit out of rhythm, but we’re going to get better. We’ll take the win.”
Kapaun (1-1, 1-1) 3 20 14 13 — 50
Heights (2-0, 2-0) 18 13 9 22 — 62
KAPAUN: Martin 6 2-2 18, Lewis 4 0-3 10, Floyd 1 4-4 6, Washington 2 2-4 6, Griffith 2 0-0 4, Hesse 0 3-4 3, Reynolds 1 1-4 3. Totals 15 (5) 12-21 50.
HEIGHTS: Ellis 9 6-8 24, Wessel 5 3-5 14, Moore 4 1-5 11, Dobbins 3 1-2 7, Smith 2 0-0 4, Cross 1 0-0 2. Totals 24 (3) 11-20 62.