Caldwell has key shot

By TOM SPARKS

Kankakee Valley junior Matt Caldwell had a late score that kept his team close against Twin Lakes Friday night.

WHEATFIELD — Kankakee Valley dropped another heartbreaker, falling 70-67 to Twin Lakes at home on Friday night.

The game was hard-fought by both teams whistle to whistle and truly could have been either team’s game to win or lose.

Through three quarters, neither team was ever really able to pull ahead with the lead see-sawing back and forth by one or two. Twin Lakes (8-5) took the first frame 17-16, but that score was reversed after two to put the teams tied at 33-all as they headed into the locker room.

The Kougars, who lost their fifth straight to fall to 3-9, surged ahead by one in the third to go up 49-48. But it was the final period that saw both teams throw everything they could into the mix.

KV pulled ahead by five at one point with senior Gavin Herrema hitting his fourth 3-pointer of the night. But with 5:52 left in the game, the Indians had again turned the tide.

With 3:09 left to play, Kougar sophomore Nick Mikash fouled out, taking away the home team’s force underneath. That loss allowed the Indians second and sometimes third follow-up shots. The Kougars did not back down, however, and even stepped up the pressure.

Twin Lakes pulled ahead to 63-61 and then Indians senior Brayden Houser hit his only 3 of the night to push them to 66-61. Kougar junior Riley Jordan took advantage of a steal and hit a tough two to get the Kats back within three at 66-63, but the Indians answered back immediately.

KV senior Tyler Martin, having his best game of the season, hit an acrobatic layup and the game went to 6-65 with just over a minute to play. As Twin Lakes seemed ready to again answer, traveling was called and the Kougars had the ball with 52 seconds to go. Junior guard Matt Caldwell then drove in for a two, putting the Kougars within one at 68-67.

The Indians brought the ball in bounds with the clock down to 18.4 seconds. KV fouled twice, but each time the Indians ate up valuable clock after bringing it in.

A two by Twin Lakes sealed the Kougars’ fate. They had one last chance with just 8.5 seconds left, but pressure by the Indians caused the Kougars to call a timeout at 5.4 seconds with the ball at mid-court. The team got the ball in and only senior Eli Carden had anything close to an open three. He got the ball off, but it missed the rim.

Herrema would end up with 22 points, leading both teams in scoring. Martin had 15, Caldwell had nine and Carden and Mikash put up seven each.

For the Indians, three players were in double-digits, led by Noah Johnston with 16. Jace Stoop put up 14 and Brayden Houser had 13 in the effort.