MORGAN TWP. | For much of the first half, it appeared Washington Township was on the ropes.
An early lead disappeared midway through the second period, but the Senators recovered thanks in part to a 20-point third quarter to beat Covenant Christian 67-49. Nathan Line led Washington with 19 points and Alex Lowther added 17.
The Senators outscored Covenant Christian 20-10 in the third quarter and the lead reached 20 points, 50-30, on an Alex Perez layup with just under two minutes left in the period.
“It wasn’t pretty, I can tell you that much,” Washington Twp. coach Scott Bowersock said. “Give Covenant Christian credit; they played tough, they played hard.
“The reality is, win and advance. You’re going to get everybody’s best shot, and that’s what happened. We did enough good things tonight to come out with a victory.”
Scoring runs were the name of the game for both teams, keeping Covenant Christian close before Washington Twp. was able to pull away.
Washington Twp. (16-5) opened the game with a 12-0 run and led 16-8 after the first quarter, but Covenant Christian fought back with an 8-0 to open the second period, tying it 16-16.
The Senators quickly regained the lead, but the Knights pulled within 21-20 with just under three minutes left. Washington then closed the half with an 8-2 run and held a 32-23 lead at the break.
The game was decided in the first three minutes of the third quarter, as Washington Twp. opened the second half with an 11-2 run punctuated by back-to-back-to-back layups from Lowther, Bryce Pappas and Line.
“It was just a matter of being in the correct places,” Bowersock said. “That’s what killed us in the first half, in our pressure defense we were just about a step or step-and-a-half out of place.
“For a lot of our guys, this was their first sectional game. That’s hard because you get amped up and there are times you’re going to be out of place. Once our guys calmed down a little bit and understood what we’ve taught them, they were relaxed.”
Covenant Christian ends its season 4-18, but loses just one senior: John Van Kley, who scored 10 points.
“He stepped it up. He brought a great leadership and toughness to us,” Covenant coach John Heerema said. “I was hoping we could hit a couple 3s and build some momentum, but I’m excited (about the future). We looked like a basketball team tonight.”