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CSLA proves to be road warriors


1A basketball — Country Christian needs a buzzer beater to top the Watchmen, who turned around to beat Jewell 70-67

With road games at perennial Casco League champion Country Christian and Jewell, C.S. Lewis head coach Vince Swagerty knew last week would be an important litmus test for his team.

Considering it took a buzzer beater for the Cougars to prevail 52-50 Jan. 7 and that the Watchmen rallied to beat Jewell 70-67 Friday, Swagerty’s squad appears to be a true contender for the league crown.

“I’m really pleased with where we’re at,” Swagerty said.

Against Country Christian, senior point guard Matt Martin drove for the game-tying basket with 9.5 seconds to play and the Watchmen almost pulled off the upset right there, nearly missing out on a steal on the ensuing inbounds play.

As it was, the Cougars pushed the ball down the court and got it into the hands of Cooper Nofziger, who pump faked once to get Evan Hager out of position, and then drained an eight-footer from the baseline as the horn sounded.

“If it had been the NBA, they probably would have gone to the monitor, it was that close,” Swagerty said. “But looking at it from the film, I think they got it right.”

On Friday, Jewell and CSLA played to a 27-27 tie at halftime before both offenses got on track in the third quarter. The Blue Jays had the better of it, scoring 23 to take a 50-45 lead into the fourth quarter.

Jewell stretched its lead to 60-50 three minutes into the fourth quarter, but from that point forward the Watchmen took over the game with its full-court press, going on a 20-7 run to finish the game.

C.S. Lewis forced 10 turnovers in the quarter, including eight steals, but still trailed 66-60. However, the run wasn’t over, as the Watchmen, led by Martin and Joseph Brooks, closed on a 10-1 run to steal the win.

Martin finished with 36 points, 12 rebounds and eight steals, with Brooks pouring in 22.

“Once the tide turned, our press just drilled them with steals,” Swagerty said. “Then we started attacking the hole and they were getting in foul trouble.

C.S. Lewis (7-5, 3-1) moved into a tie for second place with Perrydale and hosted the Pirates Tuesday (results unavailable at press time). The Watchmen will travel to play Portland Waldorf Thursday before hosting Falls City Friday.