“We’ve got guys that, right now, are living by the three, dying by the three,” Henton said. “In the first quarter we were 4-for-7 from the three. Then after that, we were 0-for-6 on the next six shots.
“It’s one of those things where we have definitely got to get our focus more on hitting a couple of threes and then getting to the basket, switching it up.”
The Tribe had no problem getting the ball inside as 6-7 senior Ethan Chitty scored 17 of his game-high 21 points in the second half. He also had nine rebounds. The move to the inside worked for Judah Christian, and Schlarman Academy realized too late that it, too, needed to take advantage of size down low.
“We just need to realize that if we’re not shooting it as well from the outside, we just need to start feeding our big men,” said Watson, who finished with a team-high 18 points. “Gannon (Hughes) is 6-4, Chris (Kuchefski) is 6-6. We just need to start pounding it in there, and we need to step up on charges on help defense because we were lacking there, too.”
Hughes finished the game with 10 points and nine boards, and Kuchefski had only five points but grabbed seven rebounds and had four blocks. His presence was felt under the basket, but he ultimately fouled out late in the fourth.
Watson also fouled out, and Simmons (10 points) and Hughes also each had four fouls.
Schlarman Academy took a lead at the beginning of the fourth quarter at 37-36, but the advantage was brief as Judah Christian earned its final lead of the contest with three minutes, 36 seconds to go.
“Once they gained momentum, we sort of lost faith and it was hard to get back into the game,” Kuchefski said. “Then they pulled away.”