Central Missouri—Tabor got off to a strong start on defense, forcing misses on each of Central Missouri’s first four possessions.
Aaron Whitelaw gave the Jays a 2-0 lead 109 seconds into the game, but Central Missouri gained the lead for good 1:08 later, when Carvelle Taylor put in a 3-pointer off a pass from Josiah Miller.
Miller assisted on two more quick baskets, giving the hosts an 8-2 lead with 16:42 to play.
That lead mushroomed to 29-9 over the course of the next 8:54. With 7:48 left in the half, Whitelaw took a pass from Jared Hett and knocked down a jumper.
Tabor put together another set of four defensive stops, and Whitelaw notched a layup at 5:40 to mark the first time all evening that the Bluejays a pair of baskets without Central Missouri intervening with a score of their own.
Tabor crossed into double-digits when Kyle De Blonk drilled a 3-pointer with 4:04 to go, making it a 34-12 deficit.
The halftime score was 44-21, and 21 points was the closest Tabor could get.
The Bluejays put together one of their better sequences with just under 12:00 to go in the game. Whitelaw kicked off a 6-0 run, stripping the ball from Fred Dudley and throwing in a layup. After a stop, Zach Vanselow drew a shooting foul an d scored two free throws. Another stop led to a jumper by Thomas with 10:22 to go.
The run did stalled, and Central Missouri ran its lead to 51 points in the final minute.
De Blonk finished with 12 points on 3 for 7 from the floor and 2 for 3 from 3-point range.
Whitelaw scored 10 points and Orson Thomas caught 10 rebounds in the game.
Central Bible—After Jared Hett tied the game at 11-11 with a tip-in basket 6:27 into the game, Central Bible put together an 9-0 run. Tabor then made it a 17-20 deficit with 6-0 run, after which Central Bible scored 10 straight points on their way to carrying a 38-26 lead into intermission.
Tabor played a more determined game in the second half, controlling the paint and putting together an 11-4 spurt out of the gate.
Momentum swung in Tabor’s favor, and the Jays put together an 8-2 run that knotted the score at 55-all with 7:01 to go. The run began with Aaron Whitelaw burying a 3-pointer at 8:10 and ended with Whitelaw nailing another to knot the game.
Tabor led briefly twice down the stretch. After finishing off a pair of foul shots precipitated by a string of three straight offensive rebounds, Whitelaw converted a steal by Jared Hett into a fast break layup with an assist to Zach Vanselow at 5:07.
Whitelaw scored again at 3:54 and put the Bluejays in the driver’s seat for good with 37 seconds left.
Whitelaw and Orson Thomas combined to make 4 of 5 foul shots in the closing seconds to slam the door.
Whitelaw led all scorers with 23 points. Thomas scored 9, and Jordan Funk and Vanselow scored 8 points each.
Coming—Tabor (2-6) meets Bethany (2-5) at 8 p.m. Thursday in Hillsboro. The Bluejays visit McPherson (4-2) 7 p.m. Saturday.