Road games against league competition are always difficult, which means it’s nice to have a go-to guy on your side.
Erik Brewer is that player for Cimarron-Memorial’s boys basketball team.
Brewer had 31 points and five blocked shots Friday to help the visiting Spartans hold off Cheyenne, 68-62.
“The boys have started to give him (Brewer) the nickname ‘Mr. Clutch,’ and he is,” Cimarron coach Ryan Fretz said. “Scoring, rebounding, working hard in practice — he accepts the challenges. The guys look up to him and they want to work just like he does. He’s huge to us and his teammates know it, too. He leads by example.”
Cimarron (12-9, 6-5 Northwest League) took control late in the fourth quarter in a game that had 11 lead changes and 12 ties.
Brewer was the answer on both sides of the ball as he provided key steals, blocks and defensive rebounds on one end, and momentum-killing buckets and clutch free-throw shooting on the other. He had 16 points in the fourth quarter, including a 4-for-4 effort from the foul line in the game’s final 15 seconds to seal the win.
“It’s a big win for us,” said Brewer, who finished 6-for-6 from the free-throw line. “I took whatever they gave me, but I think it was our defense and free throws that were key for us.”
The game was tied at 56 with 4:05 to play, but Brewer went on a personal 8-0 run over the next 2:18 with four layups, including a highlight-worthy spinning drive through heavy traffic.
Cheyenne (11-10, 4-7) answered with a late run, cutting its deficit to 64-62 with 29 seconds to play on six straight points by Khalid Banks.
But Brewer quickly stopped the momentum, knocking down two free throws to push the lead back to four. He then pulled down a defensive rebound off a fast-break miss, before converting two more free throws with seven seconds remaining for the game’s final margin.
Tyler Willinsky contributed nine points for the Spartans, who got nine rebounds from Deijon Spillers.
Banks finished with 21 points to lead Cheyenne, which got 11 points from Jamal Peterson.