ROCHESTER — Perry senior guard Cory Dillon went 4-4 from the free throw line in the final minute of Saturday’s Section V Class C2 final to seal a 56-48 win for the Yellowjackets over Wheatland-Chili.
“It didn’t matter how much we were up, and how much we ended up winning by,” Perry head coach Dave Gillett said. “We played Perry basketball and our guys just never stopped playing.”
The Yellowjackets jumped out to an early lead and were up 36-18 at halftime. Perry shot 60% from the field in the first half and held Wheatland-Chili to just 6-21 shooting.
But the Wildcats came out of halftime with a better shooting touch. Wheatland-Chili senior forwards Howard McLendon and Andre’ Gulley both hit long three-pointers and contributed to outscoring the Yellowjackets 20-13 in the third quarter and cutting their deficit to just 11 going into the final quarter.
The Wildcats even managed to get as close as 51-46 midway through the fourth quarter behind a steal and fast-break layup by senior guard Justin Clark. But the lead built in the first half in part by Perry senior center and Tournament MVP Tyler Elliott, who finished with 17 points and 11 rebounds, combined with Dillon’s 14 points and 8 assists, proved to be too much for Wheatland-Chili to overcome. The four free throws by Dillon put Perry up by 10 with :40 to play and all but assured them of a sectional championship.
“I’m just proud that they can call me their coach, as I call them our players,” Gillett said.
Perry will play Bloomfield, the Section V Class C1 champs, on March 3rd at 7pm at Cal-Mum high school.
Photos credit of Michael R. Carney. For more of his work, go to www.mrcarneyphotography.smugmug.com