By Jeff Webster
BOONE — Perry entered Monday’s boys cage match with Boone knowing that Raccoon River Conference rival Carroll had defeated Winterset Friday to finish 10-4 in conference play.
Owners of a 10-3 mark, the Bluejays would have finished as champions with the Tigers had they lost Monday, despite Perry sweeping Carroll in the regular season.
A strong third quarter by the Jays assured there would be no “sharing” of a title, as a 59-47 win guaranteed that only Perry would hang a 2014-15 RRC Champions banner in their gym.
Perry (15-5, 11-3) had easily dispatched Boone (6-12, 5-9) in their first meeting, winning by a 71-45 margin. To their credit, the Toreadors were determined not to be such simple prey in the rematch and were within a point, at 30-29, at the intermission.
The Jays were hampered by foul trouble in the first half, with Shammond Ivory and Kyle Nevitt both drawing three quick fouls. Ivory spent most of the first half on the bench after drawing one of five offensive fouls whistled against the guests in the contest.
Balanced scoring from both teams kept the score close, as nine Jays and eight Toreadors accounted for first-half points.
Perry’s defense slowly began to take a toll on the hosts, with Will Whiton leading the way with a splendid effort that accounted for an unofficial five thefts in the third quarter alone.
His thievery helped Perry pull away to a 51-42 lead entering the final frame. Ahead by eight with 2:35 to play, the Jays showed outstanding ball movement in staying a half-step ahead of the pursuing defenders as the Toreadors simply could not catch a player with the ball in their hands in order to commit a foul.
Whiton and Ivory hit free throws down the stretch to help secure the win and give Perry their first RRC crown since 2003.
Sixteen points from Whiton led Perry, with Ivory adding 11 points, Blake Lansing seven and Scott James six. Nevitt and Ryan Rathje had five points apiece, with four points from Jacob Clark, three from Zach Roberts and two from Jack Brosnahan finalizing the PHS scoring ledger.
Tanner Schminke and Ethan Lewis led Boone with nine points each while Jake Johnson added eight points.
Perry concludes their regular season tonight (Feb. 17) with a non-conference visit to Saydel. A freshman game will start the 9/JV/V set at 4:30 p.m,
The Bluejays and Toreadors will meet in the first round of the playoffs Monday at Gilbert, with the tip scheduled for 6:30 p.m.