North Pole and Cordova turned their basketball game into a track meet in their final appearance at the Princess Cruises Capital City Classic on Monday. The Patriots emerged with a 56-45 win over the Wolverines.
Senior Lance Wright scored six of the Patriots’ nine first-quarter points in a 12-foul stanza to lead by two.
North Pole used a 9-2 run to open the second quarter, forced four Cordova turnovers and led 28-16 at the break.
Cordova went on a 9-3 run to start the third quarter and closed to three points, 28-25, with 4:40 remaining as the Wolverines’ Billy Perry found the basket twice.
North Pole responded with a 12-2 run of its own for a 40-27 lead behind Trevor Sandbo’s two buckets and a free throw.
Cordova sophomore Cooper Jewell hit back-to-back buckets and Austin Brandt hit a short jumper and Eli Beedle scored inside to close to 40-36 with 17 seconds remaining in the period. A last-second shot by Brandt rimmed out to close the third quarter.
Beedle drew his fourth personal foul to start the fourth quarter, and the Wolverines went to an undersized but pressing lineup. The Wolverines would miss six of their first seven free throws in the period while the Patriots went up 47-36.
Beedle reentered the game and drew his fifth foul with 4:07 remaining and the Patriots went to work inside with baskets by Garrett Sommer and Khalil Steward.
North Pole was sent to the free throw line 12 times in the last two minutes of play, hitting just four and keeping the door open for the Wolverines but Cordova threw the ball away twice down the stretch.
Steward led North Pole with 17 points, Lance Wright 14, Nate Monteith six, Ryan DeLaurie and Trevor Sandbo five apiece, Sommer three, and Deaundre Campbell, Jordan Schuster and Simi Skipps two each.
Cooper Jewell led Cordova with 11 points. Austin Brandt and Perry had eight apiece, Spenser Plant and Beedle six each, and Zach Songer and Andrew Muma three each.
The Patriots hit 15-40 at the free throw line; the Wolverines went 7-22.