MHS beats buzzer, Cair Paravel at home
McLouth High coach Chad Brown drew up the play, and MHS junior Trevor Keling successfully executed it -- just in time.
After taking an Andrew Booth pass from the perimeter, Keling drove the lane and laid in a bucket just before the buzzer sounded for a 67-65 victory Friday against Topeka's Cair Paravel in McLouth.
"It was a great pass, I'll be honest," Keling said of his teammate's pass.
The bucket sparked a frenzy among those gathered in the McLouth gymnasium on a night when Booth and Jimmy Steffey scored career highs. Steffey scored 21 and Booth 19.
Keling and Kevin Stewart also were in double figures with 11 and 10 respectively.
The game, a nail-biter, included six ties and 12 lead changes.
And on two occasions, the visiting Lions seemed poised to run away with the ball game.
In the first quarter, Cair Paravel had an 18-6 lead. A 15-0 McLouth run, however, turned the one-sided game into a contest.
Then, in the second half, a 6-0 Cair Paravel run put the Lions up, 54-45. However, another McLouth spurt -- a 9-2 run -- tied the game at 56.
"I think when they pulled away, we went on a run," Booth said. "That first run really helped us."
It was an important victory late in the season, not just because the Bulldogs rallied big twice held on during crunch time, but because it also snapped an eight-game losing streak. The Bulldogs now are 5-13 on the season.
"I think it gave us some much-needed confidence," Booth said. "It gave us a boost."
The Bulldogs' coach concurred.
"We needed that one," Brown said. "We had shots in the clutch when we needed them."
Brown said his team has played fairly strong defense this year and has been a solid rebounding squad, but the Bulldogs haven't been a good shooting team.
On Friday, MHS found its touch.
With 1:13 left in the game, Steffey's three-pointer helped McLouth to a 65-62 lead. Cair Paravel answered, though, with a three-pointer from Adam Aadalen.
Stewart, a fellow senior, had three three-pointers in the victory on a night when both players were King and Queen of Courts candidates.
With a large crowd on hand, Steffey said the atmosphere was a nice change of pace for a squad that was 4-5 at one point earlier this season.
"Usually we don't have a very big crowd," Steffey said. "The students were going crazy, and everybody was into the game."
McLouth traveled Tuesday to Jackson Heights and will be home Friday against Kansas City Christian for Senior Night, the team's final regular-season game.
Substate begins next week at Oskaloosa.
Other teams in the 3A substate are Maur Hill-Mount Academy, Pleasant Ridge, Atchison County, Oskaloosa, KC Christian, Maranatha Academy and Wellsville.