Charles Ruise Jr.'s double-double (12 points and 12 rebounds) and an almost perfect night behind the three-point line for Jesse Gardner (6-7) helped the BCHS Wildcats defeat the visiting Bishop Kenny Crusaders 57-42 on January 24.
The 15-point victory gives the Cats the No. 1 seed in the District 3-5A tournament and extended their winning streak to 10 consecutive games, but it wasn't the cake walk the final score makes it appear.
Bishop Kenny led the Wildcats by one at halftime in a tight defensive game as Gardner scored nine of his game-high 22 points in the second quarter to keep Baker County alive.
The Cats pounced all over the Crusaders in the third quarter on both sides of the ball. Their defense allowed just two points, which allowed the offense to catch fire and give them a 10-point lead entering the fourth quarter.
Baker County's defense had an answer for everything the Crusaders tried throwing at them in the fourth quarter as they allowed the visiting team to make only two of their 11 three-point attempts in the final frame. The defensive effort and successful quarter at the free-throw line (8-11) never let the Crusaders back in the game.
The Wildcats will travel to play the Baldwin Indians on January 25.