The Bellevue Christian Vikings boys basketball team was clicking on all cylinders in the first quarter against the Cascade Christian Cougars in a West Central District III Class 1A loser-out playoff game.
The Vikings, who led the Cougars by 19-7 with one minute left in the first quarter, build a 19-10 lead after the first eight minutes of play.
The Cougars, who were playing man-to-man defense in the first period, unveiled a 1-3-1 zone to go along with a trapping defensive strategy in the final three quarters.
The plan payed dividends.
Cascade Christian outscored Bellevue Christian 52-37 in the final 24 minutes of play en route to a comeback 62-56 win on Feb. 11 against the Vikings to keep their season alive. Bellevue Christian finished the 2016-17 season with an overall record of 10-12.
“We were planning to go out and really get after them playing man-to-man (defense). Credit to them, they did a pretty good job of moving our defense around. We had to get out of our man defense,” Cascade Christian head coach Jerry Williams said. “We played pretty hard out of that (second quarter) with our 1-3-1, where we trapped a little bit and caused them some problems. It really helped us get back in the game and then kind of take control of it.”
Bellevue Christian head coach Brandon Kats, who subbed out his starters with just 0.3 seconds left on the clock, embraced each player as they left the floor while his eyes welled up with tears.
“It’s been a great year. It’s emotional. I got tears in my eyes. I’m proud of what they’ve done and the men that they are. It was a cool moment. I’m glad I got to take them out of the game and tell them that,” Kats said.
The Cougars faced the Vikings three times during the 2016-17 season and were victorious twice.
“It is always fun to play Bellevue Christian. Coach (Brandon) Kats does a great job preparing their team. One thing I always know is we’re going to get a hardcore effort every time we played. It happened again tonight. It was not an easy win,” Williams said. “He (Kats) get his guys ready to play.”