M-A jumped off to a fast start, hitting five three pointers in the first quarter, with two beyond the arc by Michael Culhane. M-A and SHP were in a see-saw battle the entire first half, but a tip-in by Nils Gilbertson, timely rebounding by Walbank Mahoney, and Jeff Keller hitting one of three free throws, kept the Bears close as SHP led by two (28-26). M-A sophomore twins Jesse and Christian Perkins, along with Miles Brewer stepped up the defense in the third quarter, and the Bears outscored the Gators 16-9. Keller hit another bomb from the outside and Gilbertson was 4 of 6 from the free throw line, putting the Bears in the lead after 3 periods (42-37). A wild fourth period kept the crowd on edge as neither team could pull away from the other. Keller went on a nine point tear and the Bears would ultimately shoot 70% from the foul line down the stretch. A couple of dagger free throws from Christian Perkins and a steal by Keller sealed the dramatic win for M-A. With the game in doubt until the final buzzer, M-A’s award winning 6th Man Club emptied the stands to a wild celebration with the Bear players and coaches on the court.
Reed McConnell scored 16 points and brother Will McConnell had 15 for SHP.
Coach Phil White adjusted his lineup due to illness and injury.
This story contains 261 words.
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