GRANVILLE - The Marcus-Meriden-Cleghorn boys watched in desperation as 47-37 lead disappeared in the fourth quarter, but battled to hang in there long enough to escape with a tense 50-49 War Eagle Conference win over Granville Spalding here Tuesday night.
The Eagles scored no field goals in the final eight minutes and relied on a 3-13 effort from the free throw line in the final frame to notch the victory, as Spalding scored 12 points in the last quarter.
John Hoefling, still recovering from a foot injury from football, Jesse Kunzweiler, and Zach Specht each tallied 11 points to lead the eagles of coach Pat Bird.
MMC netted 17-53 field goals for 32 percent, and meshed 12-30 free throws. The Eagles were 4-14 from the three-point line, and Spalding was 0-7.
Tyler Prunty led MMC on the boards with eight, while John Hoefling and Dylan Spieler grabbed six each, and Zach Specht five.
"We took a 10-point lead into the fourth quarter and didn't show as much patience on offense as we should have with a lead," said coach Bird. "We did get several good looks at the basket in the final frame, but the ball just did not fall. They scrapped their way back into the game and it became a real nail biter.
"On the final quarter we wcored no field goals and made 3-13 free throws. Fortunately, they missed their fair share of free throws.
"Jesse and John showed good leadership tonight. John still hasn;t recovered from a football injury, but he gutted it out and played some solid defense for us. We got a key defensive stop in the closing seconds to seal the game."
The 1-2 Eagles host Storm Lake St. Mary's tonight.