Sutherland defeated Perkins County 48-43 on Tuesday in the first round of the South Platte Valley Association boys' basketball tournament.
Sutherland coach Dan Dyer said that he was expecting Tuesday's contest to go down to the wire just like the Sailors' previous matchup with Perkins County this season. But unlike that overtime loss, Sutherland was able to finish.
"We knew going in that it was going to go down to the last two possessions because that's the way it turned out at Grant," Dyer said.
The game was very tight and neither team got out to a sizeable lead in the first three quarters. The Sailors (5-7) won the first, second and third quarters each by just one point and they held a 35-32 lead going into the fourth.
With just over three minutes left, Sutherland got its biggest lead of the game at 41 when Kadin Copeland drove in for a layup to follow a basket by Brook Blomstedt.
The Sailors had success all game long penetrating on Perkins County (2-11) and that was the key, Dyer said.
"I think the biggest thing offensively, is that we attacked the basket," he said. "We knew we'd either score or get a foul call. It was big to get that kind of a lead."
From there, the game became a free throw shooting contest with both teams going back and forth to the line.
But the closest the Plainsmen were able to get was three points as Sutherland and Copeland in particular making their free throws down the stretch.
"We've been up and down with our free throws this season," Dyer said. "We've shot them well at times and it was big for us to get into the bonus."
Perkins County 10 12 10 11 - 43
Sutherland 11 13 11 13 - 48
Perkins County (43)-Chase Miyamoto 6, Matt Sestak 6, Tim Johnson 7, Christian White 8, Derek Sis 7, Zak Kurkowski 9
Sutherland (48)-Tyler Fear 7, Trey Rongisch 2, Kadin Copeland 20, Brook Blomstedt 8, Zach McMillan 8, Brandon Slack 3
Free Throws: PC 8-11, S 14-23; Three Point Goals: PC 1 (Johnson), S 2 (Fear, Copeland)