Both the sixth- and seventh-grade Hoosiers and the Yellow Jackets took to the East Lawrence Center court unaware of who would take home their final victory of the season. After a closely contested game it was the Yellow Jackets who gained the upper hand with the help of a free throw and walked away victorious, 30-27.
Melissa Stewart, Yellow Jackets assistant coach, said the team was well rewarded with the win after putting in some hard work.
"I'm really proud of our kids because we played really hard," Stewart said. "They gave this game their all."
The Hoosiers grabbed the game-opening bucket. The Yellow Jackets fought back with a layup to tie the two teams. Justin Robertson sunk in a layup for the Hoosiers and then banked one in from the side to give his team four points.
The Hoosiers' trio of baskets wasn't enough to give them a larger lead on their opponents. After a first missed attempt, Chris Gatson drove a steal from the Hoosiers into a rebound bucket. The Yellow Jackets coupled Gatson's basket with three more to close out the first quarter with a 10-6 lead.
The Hoosiers realized their four-point deficit and fought hard in the second quarter for the edge. Nathan Davis put the pressure on the Yellow Jackets' defense and Robertson hit his mark.
Gatson pressured Davis and the Hoosiers right back with a steal. Gatson's obvious height advantage afforded him two consequtive baskets. A final two-pointer from Jonathan Gragg tipped the team's point score up to 16 points while the Hoosiers finished just below with 12.
Yellow Jacket Jawuan Rouser attributed the two teams' close scores to a weakness in turnovers.
"I think we played well but we could have done better on our turnovers," Rouser said.
The third quarter brought the Yellow Jackets a chance to improve their turnovers and a chance to gain the edge. Gragg sunk in a two-pointer from the side, and Calloway Schmidt followed his example with the final bucket of the third quarte,r sinking the shot with 30 seconds left on the clock.
The Hoosiers tried to keep up with three buckets including a solid shot from Robertson, but fell five points behind as the third quarter ended, 23-18.
The Hoosiers got a chance to close the gap in the last quarter. A steal from Nathan Davis and the assist into the hands of Robertson produced two more points. Another bucket from Davis and a free throw, and the Hoosiers found themselves just a basket behind the Yellow Jackets. The Yellow Jackets increased their point tally in the fourth with four buckets.
With seconds left on the clock and the Yellow Jackets with the two-point edge, the Hoosiers just needed a three-point bucket to secure the victory. Michael Tamerius stepped up for the Hoosiers in an attempt for a three-pointer, but the shot fell just short of the rim. A foul sent Tim Turner to the free-throw line for the Yellow Jackets. Turner sunk his first shot and missed the second to still allow the Hoosiers the last-second opportunity. The Yellow Jackets held their three-point advantage and ended their season on a high note.
After the game Yellow Jackets players said the victory was just icing on the cake of an already worthwhile season.
"I thought the season was a lot of fun," Rouser said. "This was my first year and I'll definitely be coming back next year because I liked it so much."