With its star player in foul trouble and its killer instinct dulled by overconfidence, the Renaissance Academy boys' basketball team nearly saw a win in the Nogales Tournament championship game go up in smoke Thursday night.
Fortunately for the Wildcats, Marquise Mosley was dialed in late in the fourth quarter, where he hit three crucial three-pointers inside the final two minutes to keep charging Savanna at bay and preserve a 47-42 win.
"He hit some big shots, I mean big," Wildcats Coach Sid Cooke said of Mosley, who finished with 12 points. "He got it done. Every time they scored, he answered with a three."
Mosely's takeover began as the Rebels had cut the Wildcats' lead down to 36-34 with 2:00 to go and his final bomb came with 1:12 left in the game as Renaissance clung to a 42-38 lead. Savanna (10-2) answered with one more basket to pull back within 45-40 before a couple of free throws sealed the game for Renaissance (12-2).
In the first quarter, a tight finish seemed unlikely at best, as the Wildcats roared out to a 14-2 lead. That margin was down to 26-22 at halftime and things got dicier when Jessy Cantinol, who led the Wildcats with 18 points and claimed tournament most valuable player honors, picked up his fourth foul midway through the third quarter.
Cooke said his team got complacent after leading big early and aided the Rebels in climbing back into the game.
"They are a good team, very good," Cooke said of the Rebels. "They made a run. It was a real spotty game, we didn't play well. [We committed] lots of turnovers, we let them back in the game."
Renaissance's Gerrick Uneau, who also made the all-tournament team, had nine rebounds and five blocks.