Cornerstone stumps Ellwood men

Published 9:52 pm Saturday, February 4, 2012

Michael Smith battles for position around the aggressive play of the Cornerstone defense. The Chargers eventually pulled away to take the 75-61 win. -- Robert Hudson

The Ellwood Eagles and the Cornerstone Chargers exchanged the lead often, but it was the Chargers who pulled away late, as they won 75-61 to capture the AISA Region 2 title at Ellwood on Saturday.

Eagles’ head basketball coach Steven Hendrieth said mental toughness was the deciding factor in the game.

“Lack of intensity—it kind of divided us a little bit,” Hendrieth said. “It’s about attitude. They wanted it a little more than us tonight.”

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The Eagles (17-7, 6-0) held a 47-45 lead late in the third quarter, but the Chargers surged back and took a 53-50 lead into the final quarter.

Cornerstone’s Chase Payne started the fourth quarter with a 3-pointer that put the Chargers’ lead at 56-50.

But Ellwood answered back with a three of its own from Trevious Sheppard to make it a 56-53 game with 6:37 left to play.

Ellwood’s Kachavious Blevins went one of two from the line to make it 56-54, but Cornerstone countered with a basket in the paint from Kendall Moore, making it 58-54 with 4:07 left.

Moore’s basket started the Chargers on a 9-0 run that put their lead in double digits with 2:56 remaining.

Free throws from B.J. Harris and a basket from Blevins helped the Eagles cut the lead to 67-59 with 2:04 left, but Cornerstone hit its free throws down the stretch to pull away.