No. 3 Lingleville was clinging to a one-point lead entering the fourth quarter of its tournament finale against host May Saturday night. But just as the Cardinals have time and again during the early portion of their season, they delivered when necessary.
Lingleville outscored May 16-9 in the fourth quarter to win 56-48 and claim the tournament championship. The Cardinals outscored their prior three foes in the event by an average of 15 points.
Robert VanKranenburg returned to form with 30 points, and senior Jayden Stoker stepped up in the clutch with all five of his points coming in the pivotal final stanza. Point guard Ruperto Huerta scored nine and Jayden Stoker five for the Cards. Bart VanKranenburg, Tim Griffin and Colbe Stoker added four each.
Lingleville entered the game averaging 74.8 points per game for the year, but had to rely on its defense to claim the title.
"We didn't move the ball well. Robert and Ruperto tried to take it to them every time they had a chance, but they had four guys waiting on them," said Lingleville head coach Kade Eckert. "We'd get to the lane, but then we'd end up putting up a tough shot."
Lingleville played the game on little rest, having finished a 77-55 thumping of Trent just more than an hour before facing May.
"That was tough, but it is what it is," said Eckert of facing a May team that had rested since its morning contest. "A lot of things could have gone different and we didn't play very well, but we beat a team that beat us last year, so we'll take it."
Lingleville had 10 scorers in the victory over Trent. Robert VanKranenburg led with 19 points, while Hendrick Huisman joined him in double figures with 12. Bart VanKranenburg added seven, Griffin six, Jayden Stoker four, Huerta three, Tucker Click three, Colbe Stoker two, Josh Alvarado two and Colton Carter two.
Lingleville had previously defeated De Leon 65-45 and Early 73-62 on Friday of the round-robin event.
The Cards traveled to Tuscola Monday afternoon to face Garden City at Jim Ned High School. See the Wednesday edition of the E-T for coverage.