CHURUBUSCO – Whitko held on for the win Saturday.

The Wildcats jumped out to an early lead and survived sharp shooting from the opposition for a 60-55 high school boys basketball win at Churubusco.

“Our kids just kept grinding it out,” said Whitko coach Eli Henson. “They were gritty tonight.”

Whitko (11-9) held a 16-4 lead after the first quarter and led 34-23 at halftime.

Churubusco was 2 of 15 from the floor in the first quarter.

“I don’t know what it was with us, but Whitko just came out and they were just ready to go a lot more than we were,” said Churubusco coach Chris Paul.

The Eagles (10-11) heated up in the second half and cut Whitko’s lead to six heading into the fourth quarter.

“Coming into the second half, we knew they were gonna get it going,” Henson said.

Twice in the fourth quarter, Churubusco cut Whitko’s lead to one point.

The Eagles’ Jake Fulk knocked down a three-pointer and Brayton Bonar sank two free throws to cut the Wildcats’ lead to 44-43.

Whitko’s Micah Cokl responded by knocking down a trey of his own.

He did so again with the score 47-46 to stretch the Wildcats’ lead to four.

Bonar responded with a bucket, and Whitko’s William Rickerd hit a shot for a 52-48 lead.

Churubusco’s Jackson Paul nailed a trey to cut Whitko’s lead to one.

This time, Rickerd was fouled on his way to a made basket, and sank the free throw for the four-point lead.

Shortly after, the Eagles resorted to intentional fouling to stop the clock, and the Wildcats made their free throws to secure the win.

“Knowing that we still won, I’d rather win like that just so they learn something,” Henson said. “And, that’s how a sectional game is gonna be.”

Whitko’s Brett Sickafoose scored a game-high 19 points and pulled down 10 rebounds, while Spencer Sroufe had 18 points and nine rebounds.

Bonar and Gage Kelly scored 17 points each for the Eagles, while Paul  added 13 points.

Churubusco finished 34 percent from the floor.

“We just have games where we don’t shoot the basketball well, and we’ve gotta figure that out,” Coach Paul said. “And, we’re kind of running out of time to figure that out.”

Whitko will host Manchester Tuesday in a Three Rivers Conference matchup.



WHITKO 60,

CHURUBUSCO 55

W    16    18    10    16    –    60

C    4    19    15    17    –    55

Whitko – Brett Sickafoose 5-10 6-6 19, Clayton Ebbinghouse 1-5 0-0 3, Drake Lewis 1-3 1-2 3, Micah Cokl 3-8 0-0 9, Devin Blaine 0-0 0-0 0, William Rickerd 3-5 1-1 8, Spencer Sroufe 9-17 0-2 18, Totals 22-48 8-11 60.

Churubusco – Eli Foote 0-2 0-0 0, Jackson Paul 5-16 2-3 13, Gage Kelly 6-15 1-1 17, Luke McClure 0-3 0-0 0, Dustin Barkley 0-1 0-0 0, Jake Fulk 1-4 0-0 3, Mason Garland 2-10 1-2 5, Brayton Bonar 7-10 3-3 17, Totals 21-61 7-9 55.

Three-pointers – Whitko 8 (Sickafoose 3, Cokl 3, Ebbinghouse 1, Rickerd 1), Churubusco 6 (Kelly 4, Fulk 1, Paul 1); Rebounding – Whitko 35 (Sroufe 9), Churubusco 34 (Paul 8); Turnovers – Whitko 9, Churubusco 6; Fouls – Whitko 15, Churubusco 15; Fouled out – none; Records: Whitko 11-9, Churubusco 10-11.

JV – WHITKO 59,

CHURUBUSCO 41

Whitko – Keith Miller 26, Andrew Swartz 18, Cameron Sapp 7, Kylar Bryant 6, Slater Craig 2.