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Milan advanced to their seventh straight championship contest going up against a new counterpart and to top that a new school, in their first year competition the North Missouri Knights, the number 5 seed. They had wins over Novenger and Putnam County, the number 1 seed. This squad appears for real.
This was as close as a Championship Game that could be. Multitude lead changes, rebounds and turnovers were fairly even. Tension, dama, exciting, well call officiating and plenty of crowd involvement to the wire.
With under 1 minute left in the game, neither squad led by more than 5 points. Very entertaining, great game to end a very long day of hoops. The sad part was knowing the 6 year reign of the Milan Wildcats as Champtions of the tourney was over. Take nothing away from the North Missouri Knights, they deserved to win.
Milan won the tip and scored the first four points as Ahmet connected on two short field goals. Jeremy had 1 assist. North Missouri number 10 went to work, popped a three and converted 2 free throws and the Knights first lead. The lead switched quickly as Ahmet found Nathan open and he canned a trey and a Milan 7 to 5 advantage. The Knights knotted the game at 7-7 before Ahmet put Milan back in front. The Knights scored before the first quarter buzzer to lead 9-10.
The Knights opened the second quarter as number 10, Cole Johnson and Levi Remole dropped in a deuce apiece, 14-9 Knights. Milan answered with 6 straight for 15-14 advantage. Ahmet hit a two, then electrified the Wildcat fans with an offensive rebound and put it back up. Jeremy followed with 2 free throws for the lead. Quickley, Cole and Levi answered for North Missouri and they led at intermission 19-15.
A cautious first half was about to do an about face after intermission. Nathan Keck hit a trey and Jeremy 1 of 2 charity tosses and the Wildcats tied the game 19-19. Lucas Reinsch put the Knights back in front but the Wildcats matched them as Ahmet assisted on a 3 by Nathan Keck 22-22. The teams traded buckets and the lead until Ahmet put back another offensive rebound and Jeremy completed a 2 plus 1 opportunity giving Milan a five point margin 33-28. Cole broke the string with a long trey but Jeremy converted 2 free throws for a 35-31 third quarter lead.
Cole hit a trey to open the fourth quarter, cutting the lead to one. Jeremy answered with 2 points for a 37-34 Wildcat lead. The Knights scored 7 straight to regain the lead 41 to 37 with 3:15 left in the contest. Tate Johnson had a 2 pointer, Levi a trey and Cole 2 points.
Ahmet stalled that rally making 1 of 2 free throws but Levi hit a deuce for a 5 point lead 43-38 at 1:53 left to play. With time running down, the Wildcats had to foul but had to give up fouls to reach the free throw stage. The Knights lead inched upward as a result of 8 for 10 free throw shooting down the stretch. Milan had to force some shots. The deficient grew to 9 points before Ahmet made a 3 pointer cutting the lead to 6 points, 49-43 with 6 seconds remaining. Cole Johnson finished off the scoring with two free throws 51-43
Ahmet led Milan with 22 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists.
Nathan Keck had 11 points, 6 rebounds, 2 steals.
Jeremy had 10 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 5 steals.
Jared had 5 rebounds, 1 steal.
Ethan had 4 rebounds, 2 assists.
North Missouri was led by Cole Johnson with 26 points, Tate Johnson had 9 points, Levi Remole had 9 points, Lucas Reinsch had 3 points, Clay Bond had 4 points and double-digit rebounds.