FARMINGTON – Cape Central drew an excessive number of fouls in the second half, and capitalized at the line to outlast Farmington for the second time this season.
Doreante’ Tucker and Chauncey Hughes scored 17 points each, and the Tigers continued their riveting postseason with a 60-46 triumph in a Class 4 state sectional contest.
Kinyon Hodges threw down a pivotal dunk just moments after a questionable whistle left Farmington without its starting point guard for the final 6:32 of the game.
Cape Central (26-3) converted 22-of-26 free throws, and closed with a 14-5 run while advancing to face St. Mary’s in the quarterfinal round Saturday at Jefferson College.
Farmington (25-3) trailed throughout a clash of state-ranked programs forced to meet early in the state playoff bracket based on geographic location.
The Knights carried a 13-game win streak with virtual home-court advantage at the nearby Civic Center, and responded several times when the opponent threatened to pull away.
Hughes sank a runner late in the third quarter to restore a 46-33 advantage, and Cape Central navigated the period without committing a turnover.
Farmington answered with an 8-0 spurt that began when center Cole Laurence swished a 3-pointer from an offensive rebound as time expired.
Sophomore Brant Gray netted a team-high 12 points, and connected from long range before teammate Cole Gerstenberger made it a five-point game with two free throws.
The foul disparity after halftime was 13-5 favoring the Tigers, but the most crucial call ended the varsity career of Bryce Sancegraw amid glancing contact in a loose-ball scramble.
Hughes made both resulting free throws, and Tucker set up Hodges for the momentous slam. Hodges then assisted a cutting Tucker off a steal for a clinching layup and 52-41 lead.
Hodges added 14 points for Cape Central. His remarkable catch of an 80-foot inbounds pass and instantaneous buzzer beater off the glass saved the season last week in a district overtime thriller against Notre Dame.
The Tigers then parlayed their success by bouncing top-ranked and previously perfect Sikeston from the postseason. They would not face that level of drama in the rematch with Farmington.
Tycen Gray equaled Laurence with 10 points, and will depart Farmington as the career scoring (1,757) and rebounding (1,043) leader before playing college football at Missouri Western.
Sancegraw chipped in seven points with three assists, and faces an upcoming decision regarding his future as a highly recruited soccer star. He ranks third all-time among Missouri high school players in goals.
The Knights hoped to extend a stellar basketball campaign that included four separate tournament titles and a conference championship a while longer, but could not overcome an opening 11-2 run.
Tucker finished a spin and left-handed finish in the lane before sinking a corner 3-pointer, and Hughes added a hanging bank shot after turning a steal into a transition layup.
Tycen Gray netted his lone field goal of the first half on a putback through contact, as Tucker shined in the primary defensive assignment.
Farmington battled back to within four on a long triple from Brant Gray. Sancegraw attacked the lane and dished to Isaiah Robinson to offset a previous 3-point play by Hodges and make the margin 21-17.
Hodges made a key steal and found Tucker ahead for a layup after the Knights had an opportunity to draw even closer, and Cape Central entered halftime ahead 27-22.
Farmington enjoyed a five-point possession in the third quarter when Tycen Gray scored while drawing a foul and hit and ensuing three as Gerstenberger grabbed the missed free throw.
The Knights were an exemplary 11-of-12 from the stripe overall, but watched the difference swell to 44-31 as Dorian Triplett capped a 13-4 push with his second baseline jumper off the Tigers’ bench.
Farmington will face a massive roster overhaul next season as seven seniors graduate. Only Brant Gray and sixth man Robinson have accrued regular varsity minutes.