Adrian Lenawee Christian coach Scott McKelvey said he knew it was coming.
With a 10-point halftime lead, his Cougars were challenged in the third quarter by a hard-charging Cedarville team that cut the margin to 48-47 heading into the fourth stanza, but Lenawee Christian was able to hold on for a 67-58 win over the Trojans.
“We knew with them being such an experienced team and having a great tradition and playing in this tournament, we knew they were going to have a run and they would come back,” McKelvey said of Cedarville. “They have many great shooters on the team and we knew that was going to happen.
“We just had to weather the run and continue to play our type of basketball and the way we wanted to control the tempo. I thought we did a good job of keeping our composure even though they made their run.”
Cedarville junior Brad Causley led the Trojans in the third with 15 of his team’s 23 points in the quarter, driving to the basket for field goals, drawing fouls and even sinking a three-point goal. But Cedarville’s run may have drained too much energy for the long haul.
A basket inside by Causley tied the game at 49 early in the fourth quarter before Lenawee Christian went on an 8-0 run and basically maintained that margin the rest of the way.
“We just didn’t knock down some shots,” Cedarville coach Dave Duncan said. “Every coach in America says if you’re making shots you look good, but I was really proud of our effort. I thought it was a gutsy effort.
“I felt like we played a college team. The bottom line is we can’t compete with that size. What are you going to do? This is our fifth final four and that’s the biggest team I’ve ever seen at the state finals, in any class. So, it’s not rocket science.”
Lenawee Christian shot 45% from the floor while Cedarville (23-3) shot 35%. Going 2-for-23 from behind the arc didn’t help the Trojans.
Two-time defending champ Southfield Christian is on deck for Lenawee Christian.
“If we can play our game Saturday I think we have a great shot,” Lenawee Christian’s Grant Hohlbein said.