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Caldwell wins wild one over Waterford

Waterford's Braden Miller defends against Caldwell's Bede Lori during the Redskins' 61-55 victory Saturday night inside Harry Cooper Annex. Lori made all 10 of his free throws and finished with 23 points.

WATERFORD — When a basketball team plays Caldwell they know what’s coming.

That didn’t turn out to be of any help for Waterford here Saturday night inside Harry Cooper Annex as the visiting Redskins got a game-high 27 points from Jett Lori along with 23 more from Bede Lori en route to a 61-55 victory.

“I said all along the Lori boys are unbelievable,” stated Wildcat boss Tom Simms, whose club went 18 of 28 from the charity stripe and were led by Holden Dailey’s 21-point, game-high 12-rebound double double. “They just proved it tonight, 50 points of their 61. I mean they are outstanding players.”

A putback by Waylon Clark with 1:51 left in the third gave Caldwell (9-5) its biggest lead of the affair at 48-38. However, Dailey tallied two buckets thanks to assists by Luke Teters and Braden Miller to make it a six-point deficit entering the fourth.

Bede Lori, who went 10 of 10 from the foul line, swished in a 17-foot jumper to open the fourth, but Dailey made a pair of free throws and then converted a three-point play to make it 50-47.

Jacob Huffman, who joined Teters and Jarrett Armstrong with eight counters, then made a 7-foot baseline tear drop at the 5:15 mark as the hosts still trailed by three, 52-49.

Bede Lori’s two foul shots 21 seconds later pushed the lead to five, but neither team scored again until Huffman made a free throw with 60 seconds to go.

“I turned around and I said we sat here too long (a span of 3:54) and this isn’t good so we need to get off it and we finally got off it,” added Simms, whose club couldn’t get it back to a one possession game.

Caldwell head man Clint Crane was more than pleased to escape with the win.

“Tough place to play, obviously, physical game,” he said. “We were in some foul trouble. We lost a kid (Braxton Dudley) earlier in the week that was a starter for us, actually, which took us to a seven instead of an eight-man rotation. I was pretty happy with how we managed to play through the foul trouble.

“Normally, Matt Kowalsky (five points) is a huge part of what we do on both ends of the court and he didn’t play very many minutes tonight and he fouled out (with 4:46 remaining) so we got big contributions from some of those guys off the bench.”

Miller’s made foul shot with a minute left in the first, which came right after Huffman picked up his second foul, had the hosts trailing by just one at 14-13. However, the Redskins scored the final six points of the frame to get some breathing room. Waylon Clark, who had four points and five second-half boards, had a steal and a layup and Jett Lori capped it with a 19-foot buzzer-beater.

Dailey and Teters each had a three-point play in the second, but Lucas King grabbed a defensive rebound and raced to the other end where he converted a short bucket in the paint before the horn to give the Redskins a 33-29 halftime lead.

Jett Lori followed up his 15-point effort in the first half with three consecutive 3s in the third. Wade Smith, who had six counters, scored inside to open the third, but Waterford never got any closer. Kowalsky followed that hoop with a dunk that ignited a 13-7 run.

“This is where you grow and where you learn from it,” added coach Simms, whose team shot 37% (17 of 46) and played without the services of Jude Huffman.

“We get another shot at them next week. We’ll go right at them, but we got to deal with Southern on Tuesday. We got two games before we deal with Caldwell.”

The Redskins will attempt to earn a season split on Tuesday at Fort Frye.

“Nothing easy about it and it’s the toughest place we play is at Fort and we typically play well there for whatever reason,” coach Cline said. “You have to, especially this year, because they are as good as anybody around but if we are focused and locked in and play our game we have an opportunity to win. We have a pretty good solid group of kids this year.”

Contact Jay Bennett at jbennett@newsandsentinel.com

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