Frantic rally from Bluejays in final two minutes comes up short

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Perry's Drew Levan fires a shot from the corner at Carlisle Friday.

CARLISLE — Under most circumstances, a team that outscores their opponent 15-4 in the final two minutes of a basketball team is more often than not the victor.

However, Friday was not a normal circumstance, and the fact that Perry’s run began with the team facing a 75-60 deficit meant only that Carlisle was able to hang on for dear life and a 79-75 win in Racoon River Conference action.

Carlisle had small but important leads throughout the game, allowing the Wildcats (7-4, 7-1) to, for the most part, play at their pace. Perry (4-11, 2-6) faced deficits of 21-15 after one quarter and of 46-35 at the half, but the Jays were able to close to withing 54-53 before entering the fourth quarter looking at a 62-55 hole.

Jacob Huffman looks over the Carlisle defense for Perry.

The Perry offense went sideways at exactly the wrong moment, with the team putting only five points on the board in six minutes while the home team added 13 to their total, thereby setting the score at 75-60 with two minutes remaining.

Connor Nielsen and Tanner Duffy began landing 3-pointers and Rashon Ivory scored repeatedly on drives down the lane and suddenly a wave began to build. Perry closed to within 77-69 but could not finish off the rally.

Carlisle had an unfathomable edge at free throw line in the second half that all but dictated the final outcome. The hosts toed the stripe 16 times, sinking 11 while Perry did not attempt a single free throw after the intermission. Carlisle finished 18-of-26 for the game at the foul line, with Perry 10-of-11 (Ivory 5-of-6 and Nielsen 5-of-5, all in the first half).

The hosts made five 3-pointers in the game, all in the first two quarters. Six of Perry’s seven treys came in the final two frames, with Nielsen sinking three, Duffy two, and Drew Levan one after the break. Nielsen had one 3-pointer in the first half.

Ivory finished with 31 points and Nielsen with 17. Levan tallied 11 points and Duffy 10, with six points from Mark Campos concluding the Perry scoring sheet.

Collin Lister went off for 32 points for the hosts, with Cole Henderson adding 21 points and Tommy Donavan 13. Max Goodhue’s seven points and four points from Trenton Beck and two from Nolan Brunson capped Carlisle’s scoring.

Perry travels to Carroll for a RRC set Tuesday before staying in conference Friday when they host ADM.

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