After starting the season with 10 straight wins, Elkhart Memorial was finally upended Wednesday night by Mishawaka, 76 to 67.
The Chargers came into the game ranked sixth in the state and held the title of the area's last remaining unbeaten. Mishawaka boasted a modest 5-3 record, but confidence was high, coming off a win against undefeated Niles on Saturday.
On Wednesday, the Cavemen bolted out to a fast start, building a ten-point lead at one point in the second quarter by capitalizing off turnovers and knocking down jumpers.
"We shot really well," said Mishawaka Head Coach Ryan Watson. "I think our kids got a lot of hustle plays."
Even after going into the half down six, Memorial showed why they had no notches in the loss column. It took just minutes to cut the lead to two, thanks to greater ball-protection and aggressiveness.
But several questionable calls and some great passing by the Cavemen seemed to unravel Memorial's spirit, and any hope of a Charger comeback.
"I think we did a great job handling their pressure and we knocked down the free throws when we needed to," Watson explained.
After the game, the coach credited his players' poise for the upset victory.
"I don't know if it's intelligence by our kids, or if it's just their nature, but they seem to be very relaxed before every game, and I think it paid off tonight."
Despite the huge win, their mediocre record means the Cavemen must get right back to work.
"We don't have time to celebrate. We play a good Elkhart Central team right back here on Friday, and if we win that game, we guarantee ourselves to move into second place. So we've got to be ready to practice tomorrow."