By Bill Bray
FREMONT– The Little Giants (5-7) took on the NLL Cardinal Division’s leading Sylvania Southview (7-2) and survived a second half Cougars run to prevail 66-60.
Thanks to Makai Lee’s hot hand in the first eight minutes of play, which included three 3-point makes, Ross broke out to a 21-10 lead to open the contest.
Dontrell Heard took over where Lee left off in the second quarter of play. The junior guard connected for seven points to lead Fremont to a 43-28 lead at the break.
The league’s leading scorer, Micah Bays, who finished with 23 points, helped to propel the Cougars back into the contest by the time the third period ended. The Cougars clawed their way back to within two points as Fremont’s 15-point lead shrunk to a 51-49 lead.
In this one the fourth quarter would tell the story. Could Ross hold on for the upset victory? Not being a strong second half team, that was the question on the fans minds as the final quarter began. “We have had our share of adversity,” coach John Cahill began explaining the uncommon second half surge by his team. “We came in early today and just talked about how we were picked to finish fifth or sixth in the league and Southview was picked to win it. But we have worked very hard during the spring, summer and fall and we have worked hard in practice. We knew at some point things were going to begin to click and the hard work would begin to pay off.”
Enter Makai Lee who was not to be denied. The junior point guard leader took the matters into his own hands as he poured in 12 fourth-quarter points to awaken a Fremont offense that was held to just eight points during third quarter action. “Kai was on fire tonight. After being hit with fouls, he sat most of the second quarter. He had some nice rebounds and assists, and he made the big shots when he needed to,” Cahill said. Lee ended with a season high 25 points to out score Southview’s league leader by two points.
Cahill is hoping his team is going to have another good outing against the second rated team in the state when the undefeated Findlay Trojans and the Buckeye Division’s leading scorer, Will Cordonnier (20.6 points) comes to the “Purple Pit” Friday night.