CHOUTEAU – Leave it to a senior for Chouteau on Senior Night, to seal a come-from-behind win for the Wildcats.
Senior Jason Couch hit two clutch free throws with one tenth of a second left in the game to cap a comeback win over county rival Salina on Tuesday night, 62-60.
Salina led by as many as 10 points in the first half, but Chouteau never gave up. The win was Chouteau’s eighth in a row.
Jordon Shive of Chouteau led all scorers with 21 points, while Cale Backward led Salina with 19 points.
Salina got off to a hot start, opening the game on a 7-0 run. Chouteau had no answer for Backward, who scored 8 points in the first quarter. Couch hit a layup at the buzzer to end the first quarter, and to cut the Salina lead to five 19-14.
Salina increased their back to 7 by halftime, but in the third quarter, the momentum began to shift towards Chouteau. Jordan Shive hit a layup with just 20 seconds to go in the third, getting Chouteau to within two, 47-45, setting up an epic fourth quarter.
Chouteau sophomore Arlis Alsip stole a pass at half court, but missed his shot. However, Shive was there with the board and put back, pulling Chouteau to within one, 54-53 with 3:07 remaining.
Chouteau had their first lead of the game, when Alsip drained a trey with 2:24 left in the game, putting Chouteau up 56-54. However, just a minute later, Salina’s Colton Burgess was fouled by Chouteau’s Isaac Carter. Burgess made the shot and the free throw, giving Salina a 57-56 lead.
Chouteau was up 58-57 with 29 seconds left, when Salina fouled Couch. Couch made both free throws, putting Chouteau up 60-57. Salina answered right back. Backward was fouled attempting a three, sending Backward to the charity stripe. Backward and his ice water veins made all three shots, tying the game at 60.
Chouteau brought the ball up the floor, but the ball was kicked out by Salina, just in front of the Chouteau bench. Chouteau called a timeout to set up a final shot with just 2.4 seconds remaining. Chouteau inbounded the ball to Couch, who made a move to the basket, and was fouled while in the act of shooting, with just one tenth of a second left. Couch made both free throws, securing the win for Chouteau.
During the entire game, Chouteau only led for a total of less than two minutes.
Chouteau will host district play Saturday night at the old C-Block. Chouteau will play the winner of the Yale-Colcord game on Saturday at 8 p.m. Salina will open district play on the road at Keys on Saturday night.
CHOUTEAU 62, SALINA 60
Salina 19 20 8 13 — 60
Chouteau 14 18 13 17 — 62
Salina – Ca. Backward 19, Burgess 14, Cowan 10, Wade 9, Underwood 6, Johnson 2
Chouteau – Shive 21, Alsip 13, Couch 10, Brannon 8, Carter 8, Bendure 2