BLUE HILL — The Sandy Creek basketball programs have long had a tradition for stifling man-to-man defenses. But Cougar boys basketball coach Matt Swartzendruber also likes to have the available option of turning to a zone defense on rare occasions.
Thursday night was one of those occasions.
Trailing 28-23 at halftime to Blue Hill, the Cougars came out in the third quarter in a zone defense and rallied to post a 51-37 victory over the Bobcats (4-9).
Thursday's margin of victory was the largest of the previous six meetings between the two teams. Just nine points separated the two teams in the previous five matchups prior to Thursday's game.
"We warned the kids before the game that Blue Hill would be ready to play," Swartzendruber said. "They've got a good group of athletes and this always seems like a hard place for us to play."
Sandy Creek (9-5) outscored the Bobcats 9-2 in the third quarter — taking its first lead of the night following a traditional three-point play from Mitch Hinrichs that tied the game 28-all with 5:24 left in the third. Then Caleb Schlick scored on an offensive putback with 3:26 remaining in the third as the Cougars took their first lead of the night.