Holt is making it very clear who the team to beat in the CAAC is this season. The Rams reaffirmed their position as the league’s top team with a 60-45 win over Okemos on Friday night.
Now with wins over Sexton and Okemos, the Rams have survived perhaps their toughest conference tests, but Holt coach Matt Essell is quick to keep his team grounded.
“There’s not much margin for error, and there’s not much difference between the first and the last place teams,” Essell said.
A nip-and-tuck battle against Okemos was blown open late, as the Rams closed the game on a 19-5 run for the victory.
The key to that stretch was junior Don’Quall Jackson, who had two three-point plays. Nine of his team-high 12 points came in the fourth quarter.
“I was struggling all night, and I knew I had to get something to fall,” Jackson said.
In the early moments of the game, it appeared that Jackson’s team would cruise to a victory. The Rams began the night on a 7-0 run.
But Okemos responded with a 10-0 run to get itself back in the game, and it was back-and-forth from there until the final minutes.
After trailing 26-20 at the break, the Chiefs tried to rally behind senior Nathan Lafayette.
The center was unstoppable in the third quarter, recording 11 of his game-high 15 points and getting the Rams’ frontcourt into foul trouble.
“We started playing behind him a little too much,” Essell said. “When he gets two feet in the lane, there’s not much you can do to stop him.”
Holt also only made one 3-pointer but a balanced scoring attack wore down the Chiefs. Eight different Rams had at least four points.
The Rams will try to stay perfect in the CAAC when they host Jackson on Tuesday.