KENESAW — It was evident that the matchup between the Class D-1 No. 5 Kenesaw boys basketball team and Class D-2 No. 3 Giltner was going to be an intense game when Hornet coach Matt Drew was hit with a technical foul just 2 1/2 minutes into the game.
Both schools squared off in a highly anticipated contest during the football season. And with the two basketball teams having one loss combined, Tuesday’s game was another exciting mid-season showdown.
Giltner went into the fourth quarter with a nine-point deficit and trimmed the lead to three points with less than three minutes remaining in the game. But Kenesaw’s free-throw shooting closed the door on a Hornet comeback, and the Blue Devils took the game 52-44 in front of a rowdy home crowd.
Kenesaw head coach Jack Einrem said closing out the game was “nerve-racking.”
“That’s a good basketball team,” Einrem said. “They’re well-coached, they’re a bunch of athletes; they just didn’t shoot well at times tonight. I would like to think that our defense had a little something to do with that. To close out against a team like that, with all of that experience and state champions and stuff, it’s good for our kids.
“I think we learned something about ourselves tonight — that we can compete with the big dogs if we need to.”