A 9-1 spurt in the final minutes lifted host Perry to a 61-56 win over Carroll in a thrilling boys cage battle Friday.
Perry (12-4, 8-2) kept their hopes for a Raccoon River Conference title intact by responding to a 19-0 Carroll run early in the third quarter with a 19-4 surge of their own, eventually drawing even with the Tigers (11-4, 6-4) at 49-all.
Perry held a 28-24 halftime lead over Carroll, but the Tigers exploded for a 19-0 run as the hosts fell apart defensively and could not find the bottom of the basket on the offensive end. A Scott James basket with 1:19 left in the period provided the first points of the second half for Perry, with a floating tip-in from James just before the horn bringing the Jays to within 45-38.
Junior reserve Ryan Rathje buried a 3-pointer from the corner to cap a 19-4 Bluejay run and give Perry a brief 52-49 lead, but Eli Cleveland and Addison Ross lifted Carroll back to a 55-52 lead.
Shammond Ivory sank his third three-pointer of the fourth quarter after a made free throw to knot the score at 55-all.
An Ivory basket and free throws from the junior and from senior guard Will Whiton during the final 90 seconds helped secure the win and give Perry a rare sweep of Carroll.
Perry finished 9-of-13 at the foul line while Carroll doomed themselves by connecting on just 13-of-31 (42 percent), a frigid effort that included misses on the first eight of their 19 second-half attempts.
Cleveland led the guests with 19 points and 13 rebounds, with Ross adding 18 points while grabbing 11 boards.
Ivory paced Perry with 19 points — 15 of them coming in the 23-point Bluejay fourth quarter.
Whiton had 16 points, seven assists and two steals, with Rathje connecting for eight points while James had seven points and a team-best 13 rebounds.
Six points from Blake Lansing, three from Alex Long and two from Kyle Nevitt completed the Perry scoring ledger.
The Bluejays received a present of sorts when Boone (5-9, 4-6) shocked league leader Bondurant-Farrar (11-5, 8-2), 56-51 Friday. B-F defeated visiting Perry, 89-81, Jan. 13; setting the stage for a probable RRC title showdown Feb. 10 in Perry.
Perry returns to action Tuesday when they host ADM before continuing RRC play with a trip to Winterset Feb. 6.