TOWN AND COUNTRY -- After falling behind by as many as 14 points early in the second quarter, the MICDS boys basketball staged a terrific comeback to tie Friday's Metro League game against Westminster Christian Academy.
Unfortunately for the Rams, a tie was as close to the lead as they would get, as Westminster played an almost perfect fourth quarter to get the lead back and eventually pull away for a 60-48 victory over MICDS.
"I think we kind of worked so hard to get back in it, that we didn't have a lot of energy left to play like we need to in that fourth quarter," MICDS head coach Matt Hixenbaugh said. "And you have to give (Westminster) credit too. They played really well against us."
Three Wildcat players scored in double figures, led by senior John Eric Steiner's 19 points, as Westminster improved to 10-6 overall this season, and 2-0 in conference play.
MICDS also had three players reach double-digits, with senior Trey Pettus' 17 points setting the pace.
It was his free throws with less than a minute left in the third quarter that tied the game at 39.
But an 8-0 run that began in the third and carried over to the beginning of the fourth, and then another 6-0 run midway through the fourth allowed Westminster to a 53-43 edge with just over three minutes left.
"That first three minutes of the fourth were really a killer," Hixenbaugh said. "I think on those first three possessions, they got a layup, a drive-and-kick three, and then some free throws, and suddenly, after all that effort to get back into the game, we were behind again."
MICDS is now 7-9 on the year, and just one year after going undefeated in the conference and winning the Metro League championship, the Rams are tied for third place with a 3-3 mark in league play.
Following a much-needed weekend off, both clubs will get a full week to practice and reflect on Friday's ballgame, as neither team will play another game until Friday, January 25.
On that evening, Westminster will host its biggest game of the season, and possibly its biggest home date of the year, when 14-1 John Burroughs comes to visit for a 7:30 p.m. contest at the WCA Gym.
The Wildcats and Bombers are tied for first place in the Metro League standings, so the winner of next Friday's matchup will grab the first leg up in this year's conference championship race.
MICDS, on the other hand, will be on the road again, with its own Metro League showdown against third place Principia.
Tip-off for that matchup is set for 8:30 p.m.
Score by Quarters ........... 1 ... 2 ... 3 ... 4 -- Final Score
MICDS .............................. 8 .. 20 .. 11 .. 9 -- 48
Westminster Christian ... 14 . 17 . 10 . 19 -- 60
MICDS -- Trey Pettus 17, Robin Thompson 13, William Morehead 10, Justin Randle 6, Brian Trelstad 2.
Westminster Christian -- John Eric Steiner 19, Jack Dohr 17, Aaron Cook 12, Shane Benes 4, Collin Einertson 4, John Barry 2, Grant Koby 2.