BERNE—Thirty-nine for Adams Central meant 100 for Aaron McClure.
In the opening game of the South Adams 2A sectional on Tuesday, the Flying Jets became the Grinding Jets as they played down to the much more deliberate, defensive-oriented style of Churubusco and pulled out a 39-34 victory.
The win not only propelled the Jets into Friday's semi-final contest against the hosting Starfires, but also gave AC head coach McClure the 100th W of an 11-year career at his alma mater.
The game was knotted at 30 when Central's Maverick Baumer hit what McClure called the most important shot of the night: a three over 6-7 Eagle Tyler Arrowsmith with 2:36 on the clock.
AC's Dalton Combs, taking a fine feed from Kyle Fawcett, bottomed a layup at 1:26 for a 35-30 lead, but the gritty Eagles came back within three twice: on free throws by Dylan Jones at 28.3 seconds to make it 35-32 and, after a pair of FTs by the Jets' Keaton Fiechter at 21.5, two foul shots by the Eagles' Josh LeFever at 15.8 to make it 37-34.
Churubusco's Austin Goepfrich missed a three in the last 10 seconds, then Baumer rebounded at six seconds and was fouled at three seconds. His two FTs ended the scoring and gave him a game-high 10 points, tying Jones.
"They made us earn it!" said McClure, noting that he "did not want to let them set the tempo, but they did," as Churubusco showed great patience and defended the perimeter well to disrupt AC's usually good three-point attack. The Jets made only three of 10 trey tries.