The first half of Senior Night wasn't going as planned for Cimarron-Memorial's J.C. Broussard and his six senior basketball teammates on Tuesday.
But Broussard helped make sure the second half would be one to remember.
Broussard had four points, three rebounds, six assists and two steals in the third quarter to spark a Cimarron rally, and the Spartans went on to defeat visiting Bonanza 70-50 to clinch a berth in the Sunset Region playoffs.
"We started off slow because it was Senior Night, and we were a little hyped up, so we were out of breath in the first half," Broussard said. "So the second half, we just wanted to play our regular game, play with a lot of energy."
The Spartans (11-12, 4-5 Southwest League) showed that energy, especially on defense. Cimarron trailed 30-24 at the half but held the Bengals scoreless for the first 5:35 of the third quarter before Rio Justice Chandler hit a free throw to cut the Cimarron lead to 41-31.
Bonanza (6-18, 2-7) was 1-for-12 from the field with six turnovers in the third quarter.
"We decided to just go with a straight half-court, man-to-man defense and lock them up, and the boys did it," Spartans coach Ryan Fretz said. "They stepped up. When you hold a team to four points in a quarter, you've got to be happy."
Broussard keyed the surge. He finished with 13 points, 13 assists, seven rebounds, four steals and a blocked shot.
"He's a step-up player," Fretz said. "He took responsibility for the first half. He goes, 'Coach, it's my fault for not getting the team into it.' And he goes, 'I've got it this half.' "
He certainly did, especially setting up open teammates. Broussard had nine assists in the second half and all four of his steals after halftime.
Tyler Willinsky added 12 points, nine rebounds and two blocked shots for Cimarron. Joe McKellar scored 12 and Amani Gill 10 for the Spartans.
Chandler led Bonanza with 16 points and six rebounds.
Contact prep sports editor Damon Seiters at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-380-4587. Follow @DamonSeiters on Twitter.