YATES CENTER – Grabbing an offensive rebound in heavy traffic with only seconds remaining, junior Jacob Meigs calmly banked in a five-foot jumper from the left of the lane as time expired, lifting the Altoona-Midway Jets to a thrilling 50-48 win over the Yates Center Wildcats here Tuesday night.
The exciting finish culminated a nip-and-tuck struggle throughout the night that featured 20-point performances from both sophomore William Stackhouse and Yates Center senior Cash Cummings.
In the preliminary girls’ matchup, Yates Center pulled away in the second half and posted a 38-19 victory.
The Jets (3-16) put up another brave fight against Yates Center, but ran out of gas in the second half as the Wildcats pulled away for the 38-19 victory.
“Once again we gave it our best shot, but came up short,” Altoona girls head coach Jessica Porter said. “We kept it close until halftime, but our shots just wouldn’t fall. Yates Center also enjoyed a big advantage in the rebounding department.”
The game was up for grabs in the first half. Yates Center managed just a narrow 5-4 lead after the opening eight minutes, and the Lady Jets found themselves trailing only 16-14 at halftime.
But, Yates Center outscored Altoona 12-5 in the third period to make it 28-19 entering the final period, where the Jets were outscored 10-0 down the stretch.
Four of the six Altoona cagers did manage to reach the scoring column. Emmalynn Pupanek paced the Jets with six points, Ava Hufford and Summer Raymond chipped in five points apiece, and Chantal Morales finished with three.
Pupanek also snatched 10 rebounds for AMHS, while Hufford, Raymond and Ava Tindle each recorded two steals.
Senior Callyn Miller fired in 15 points to lead Yates Center, while freshman teammate Kinley Morrison finished with 10.
“It was one of those games where you had to be there,” exclaimed a happy Altoona head coach Dave Vance. “Neither team held a lead of more than four points the entire night. It was a hotly-contested game.”
The game was tied 24-24 at halftime, 41-41 entering the final period, and 48-all when both teams had opportunities to win in the final minute of regulation. Following a timeout, the Jets inbounded the ball in the backcourt with 12 seconds left.
“We got a shot up about the four second mark, William Stackhouse rebounded but missed, then Jacob Meigs followed it up with a rebound and put back off the backboard as the buzzer sounded when the ball hit the floor after passing through the net,” Vance said. “It was a very hard-fought game by both teams and played with a lot of heart.”
The game’s two-leading scorers battled through the first three quarters, with Cummings pouring in 20 points and Stackhouse 18 to that point. In the final period, the Jets held Cummings scoreless and Stackhouse managed just one bucket, while Meigs took over by netting seven of his 13 points in the final eight minutes, including the game-winner.
“The fourth quarter was a low-scoring defensive battle by both teams,” Vance noted. “We started the game in a 2-3 matchup zone, but Cummings lit us up so we switched to man defense in the second and third quarters. We totally switched things up by playing a 1-3-1 in the final period. That seemed to do the trick as we were able to hold Cummings scoreless in the fourth quarter.”
Meigs scored seven of the Jets’ nine points in the final period, including 3-of-4 in clutch free throw situations after struggling from the line the rest of the night.
“He came up big for us when we needed him,” Vance said.
Meigs and Stackhouse also grabbed 13 and 10 rebounds, pacing the Jets with three assists and three steals each.
Altoona also got seven points from Kieran Foster, four points apiece from Blaine Collins and Andy Tiger, and two points from Chase Nalley. Collins and Tiger also pulled down five rebounds each.
Altoona-Midway (8-11) had dropped eight of their previous 10 games before getting back into the win column.
Altoona-Midway returns home on Friday to close out regular-season play hosting Jayhawk-Linn. It will be Parent’s Night at Milo Peterson Gymnasium.
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