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BLOOMINGTON—A quick start and Brandon Cook’s 37 points helped Cannelton hold off Lighthouse Christian 77-73 in boys basketball Saturday.
The Bulldogs jumped to a 23-13 lead but were tied 34-34 at halftime after two of their starters got into foul trouble in the second quarter.
They built their lead back to double digits in the fourth quarter.
Then the Lions “were making a run at us and Elijah (Littles) made two short-corner jumpers from about 8 to 10 feet on consecutive possessions,” said Cannelton Coach Brian Garrett. “He can go full speed, stop, and go straight up (for a shot).”
Littles’ second such basket put the Bulldogs up 71-65. And they hit just enough free throws—6 of 12—the rest of the way to hold onto the lead.
Their struggles at the free-throw line throughout the game helped keep it close. They hit only 19 of 39 for 48.7 percent.
Cook hit 14 of 29 from the field but only 8 of 18 free throws.
He is third in the state in scoring average at 28.0 points per game, behind 33.4 points per game by J.C. Faubion of Indianapolis Lutheran and 28.9 per game by Trevon Bluett of Park Tudor.
Cook is hitting 61.2 percent of his free throws for the season. Just raising that to a modest 68.9 percent would put him in second place in the state scoring race.
The Lions were also cold at the free-throw line, hitting 14 of 32 for 43.8 percent.
The Lions outshot the Bulldogs from the field 48.3 percent to 41.2 percent. But Cannelton had a 37-32 rebound advantage and committed six fewer turnovers than the Lions.
Littles and Quinn Duke each finished with nine points to back Cook. Hunter Herzog grabbed 12 rebounds and Duke added seven.
Cook made seven steals and had four assists. Herzog had six assists and made four steals.
Johnny Ray led 3-9 Lighthouse with 18 points.
Cannelton, 6-8, will visit Medora Saturday at 5 p.m.