KOUTS | Kouts head coach Matt Crawford was willing to admit his team’s victory over Boone Grove on Friday night wasn’t pretty, but he and his Mustangs will take it just the same.
The Mustangs connected on just two field goals in the fourth quarter, but they also made eight free throws down the stretch, and that was enough to preserve a 40-37 win over the Wolves in Porter County Conference play.
“It was an ugly win,” Crawford said. “Cody Nelson was shooting a free throw with a bloody nose at the end of the game.
“No pun intended, but that represents the game. It was an ugly, bloody win.”
Jacob Bekelya made two free throws with 6:23 left in the game to give Kouts (10-2, 5-0 PCC) the lead for good at 31-30. Bekelya hit his head against the floor on the foul that sent him to the line, but he never left the game. He scored nine of his team-high 21 points in the fourth quarter.
“That showed a lot of toughness, being able to get hit in the head like that and being able to knock down two free throws,” Crawford said.
The Mustangs used a 10-0 run in the latter part of the third quarter and opening part of the fourth to grab a 34-30 lead. Nelson started the run with a three-point play, and Bekelya closed it out with a 3-pointer from the top of the key.
Jon Hogg had a double-double with 24 points and 12 rebounds for Boone Grove (5-6, 3-3). He scored 14 points in the second quarter and keyed a 16-0 run in the first and second quarters that gave the Wolves the lead at 19-9.
Kouts had 10 field goals for the game, but the Mustangs were 17-of-22 at the line. Boone Grove was 4-of-13 on free throws, including 4-of-11 in the second half.
“Free throws were the ball game,” Boone Grove coach Matt McKay said. “We outscored them by 10 in the field, and they beat us from the foul line. We just couldn’t make any free throws.”
Nelson added 10 points for Kouts, and Matt Stewart added 11 rebounds.