Spartans beat Cougars on Senior Night

In the third quarter of Friday’s home game, Exira-EHK boys head basketball coach Tony Santisteban called a timeout with his team leading 46-33. When play resumed, the Spartans went on a 14-2 run, which led to a dominant 67-41 victory over the CAM Cougars earning their 15th win of the season.

“We just need to understand where we’re at,” Santisteban said. “CAM has some good players. [Collin] Bower had some good post moves. [Ryan] Bower can shoot it from deep, he can do a little bit of everything. I’m just proud of my guys, and I couldn’t ask for much more from them.”

Before the game started, Senior Cash Emgarten got honored for scoring his 1,000th career point in a game earlier this season against ACGC.

“It felt great,” Emgarten said. “I’ve been working for that since my freshman year, and that’s a goal I’ve always had, so it feels really good to get it.”

Following Emgarten’s honor, seven Spartan seniors got honored including Emgarten, Jaiden Pettepier, Cole Brabham, Aiden Flathers, Jackson Radcliff, Jonas LaCanne, and Jameson Kilworth.

“I’m just going to miss playing with my friends,” Emgarten added. “We’ve been playing since 6th grade, and we’ve always played a lot together, and I’m going to miss practice.”

Junior Spartan Josh Nelson opened the game with the first bucket of the night, but Junior Cougar Chase Spieker answered back with a 3-point shot putting his team in front for the moment. Nelson got another bucket to put the Spartans right back in front. Buckets were exchanged by both teams until three consecutive shots were made by the Spartan offense including Radcliff, Emgarten, and Kilworth, putting the Spartans up 16-10.

Pettepier scored the final bucket of the quarter taking a 20-12 Spartan lead into the second quarter. When the second quarter began, the Spartans offense didn’t skip a beat continuing to drop shots from Nelson and a 3-pointer from Pettepier, followed by back-to-back mid range shots from Radcliff, taking a 35-22 point lead into halftime.

“Don’t let up, keep putting it on them, keep getting inside, and get the 50/50 balls,” Emgarten said.

Radcliff opened the third quarter with a layup, followed by a mid-range jumper from Nelson widening the Spartan lead. The Cougars found a way to answer with back-to-back shots from Bower and Spieker attempting to chip away at the Spartan lead. Kilworth added a shot soon after, which was followed up by a timeout from Santisteban.

When play resumed, the Spartans dominated on the offensive end of the floor including six consecutive shots from Radcliff, Kilworth, Nelson, Emgarten, Flathers, and a 3-pointer from Emgarten going on a 14-2 run, which took them into the fourth quarter.

The Cougars added a few more baskets on a layup from Bower and a free throw from Spieker, but the Spartans cruised to victory, their 5th in a row.

“We just needed to play Spartan basketball,” Emgarten said. “We knew if we got inside, got rebounds and were more physical than them, then we knew we’d have a great shot.”



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