Nathan Calapa scored 20 points versus Kent Roosevelt Tuesday, but it was his assist with just over a minute remaining that sealed the issue for his Crestwood Red Devils.
After squandering nearly all of a 16-point, fourth-quarter lead, Calapa flung a 30-foot pass to a wide-open Ed Leventry under the basket for an easy layup that gave the Red Devils a 55-50 lead.
That play deflated the hopes of the Rough Riders, and the visiting Red Devils went on to prevail 62-54 in a non-league boys basketball game.
Trailing 47-31 with five minutes left in the game, the Rough Riders (2-15) unleashed a barrage of 3-pointers _ three during a 40-second span _ that helped them draw within 53-50 on Chris Banks' layup with 1:52 showing.
Shortly thereafter, Roosevelt got possession again with a chance to pull within one or perhaps tie with a 3, but a short attempt in the lane missed the mark.
The ball eventually wound up in Calapa's hands, and the 6-foot-7 forward dribbled around and between the flailing hands of two or three Roosevelt defenders near midcourt and hit Leventry.
"We became a little bit complacent and they were able to drain a few 3s," said Crestwood coach Josh Jakacki. "But like all good teams do, they found a way to hold on and win.
"I can't say enough about Nate Calapa, he carried us offensively. He got a silent 20, his average."
Leventry and Jarrod Kohl each scored 10 points for the Red Devils (13-4), who clung to a 26-24 lead at the half but expanded it to 41-31 after three.
Kent Roosevelt, which hit 9-of-22 from 3-point range (41 percent), shot just 12-of-33 (36 percent) from everywhere else. The Rough Riders' 3-of-14 (21 percent) effort in the third stanza hurt the most.
"We were very pleased at halftime. We thought we had some good looks in the first half and missed some bunnies," said Roosevelt coach Tom Larkin. "But the third quarter really was the turning point of the game. There was one point where we had four straight possessions where we got a shot in the paint and we missed all of them."
Banks and Colin Gentry led the Rough Riders with 11 points each. Spencer Payne added 10.
Crestwood 62, Kent Roosevelt 54
(At Kent Roosevelt)
CRESTWOOD (62) _ Dan Podojil 2 2-4 6; Ed Leventry 3 4-6 10; Jarrod Kohl 3 4-8 10; Tim Kyer 3 0-0 6; Nathan Calapa 5 7-8 20; Nick Pero 0 4-4 4; Jason Carlton 0 3-4 3; Mike Podojil 1 1-2 3. Totals 17 25-36 62.
KENT ROOSEVELT (54) _ Omar Burns 2 0-0 5; Nick Yoder 1 0-0 3; Sylvester Upshaw 0 0-2 0; Robbie Wright 2 0-0 4; Spencer Payne 4 0-0 10; Colin Gentry 4 0-0 11; Chris Banks 4 2-2 11; Michael Clark 1 0-0 3; Mitch Hutchison 1 1-2 3; Alex Paoloni 2 0-0 4. Totals 21 3-6 54.
Three-Point Goals _ Crestwood (3): Calapa 3. Kent Roosevelt (9): Gentry 3, Payne 2, Banks 1, Clark 1, Burns 1, Yoder 1.
Total Rebounds _ Crestwood, 36-17
Total Fouls _ Kent Roosevelt, 23-6
JV Score _ Crestwood, 54-39. Leading Scorers: (C) Jesse Wallace, 15 points; (KR) Laredo Gray, 13 points.