Kai Morgan scored 22 points to lead John Curtis to a 69-62 win over Country Day in a nondistrict game Saturday night in River Ridge.
The Cajuns led most of the tightly contested first half. Curtis (11-12) took its first lead of the game at 22-21 at the 6:58 mark in the second quarter.
Country Day (20-8) immediately took it back on a 3-pointer by Romin Williams, who scored a game-high 27 points. They went back and forth the rest of the second period before Curtis went into halftime with a 33-32 lead.
Morgan led all scorers with 10 first-half points. Blake Amann led Country Day with nine points — all on 3-pointers — and Michael Corchiani had eight at the half.
“That was the definition of a great team win,” Morgan said. “Everybody did their part and pulled together. They bought in, and that’s what needed to happen for a great win tonight.”
The Patriots tightened up defensively in the third quarter and bogged down the Cajuns offense. Country Day had just five points — all from the foul line — in the entire third quarter.
While Curtis had its own struggles, the Patriots were able to knock down more shots and stretch their lead to eight points at the 2:12 mark, and then to 12 (49-37) heading into the fourth.
Curtis coach Michael Krajcer credited his defense with locking down the Cajuns.
“We live and die with defense,” Krajcer said. “Our defense leads to our offense.”
Country Day’s offense came alive in the fourth quarter and the Cajuns were able to cut the Patriots’ 12-point lead to three with just less than two minutes left. But Curtis was able to grab some key defensive rebounds and knock down critical free throws in the waning moments to sink the comeback attempt.
Krajcer said the margin could have been greater had the Patriots converted at the free-throw line.
“We still have to shoot better free throws,” Krajcer said. “We missed five too many. We make those five, it’s a 10-point game.”
Curtis will play its next game against Shaw on Tuesday. Country Day will play St. Charles Catholic, also Tuesday.