BENTON, Mo. -- With his team up by three points and less than 30 seconds left in the game, it looked as though Chaffee's Jason Cicardi was going to have to do something he'd done few times in the game. And at the worst possible time.
He was going to have to let Scott City's Zach Cotner score.
"I figured he would score over me," Cicardi said. "I put my hands up to let him score.
"And then the ball was slapped halfway across the court."
Cicardi had failed to notice the same thing Cotner had -- that Jordan Yahn was behind them.
Yahn reached over Cotner and emphatically swatted away the ball as Cotner went up to score.
"I was pretty pumped whenever I did it," Yahn said. "[Justin] Modglin passed it in and I turned around and he was standing right there and he wasn't even paying attention, so I went up and threw it."
Scott City failed to score again, and Chaffee claimed third place at the Scott-Mississippi Conference tournament with a 52-47 win over its rival at Kelly High School.
The rivals split two prior meetings this season. Scott City defeated Chaffee by 24 points in the most recent meeting Jan. 7 behind a career-high 28-point performance from Cotner.
This time around Cicardi -- the Red Devils' best defender at 5 foot 11 -- was given the task of guarding the 6-1 Cotner.
"You have to take away something, and we were going to take away Cotner from in the paint with Cicardi," Chaffee coach Josh Govreau said. "Most of their points came from the 3-point line. We were able to rebound a lot better and keep them out of the paint."
Cicardi did not score a point in the game, but Cotner scored just seven, all of which came after halftime.
"The first couple we had our best defender on [Landon] Robert, which it's hit or miss with Robert or Cotner who you're going to put him on, but we put Cicardi on Cotner this time," Govreau said. "I don't know how many he finished with, but it wasn't the 24 or 28 he had last time."
Junior Landon Robert the Rams, who shot just 33 percent from the field, led Scott City with seven 3-point makes and 23 points.
"If we didn't make the 3s we made, we wouldn't have even been in the game," Scott City coach Mark Dannenmueller said. "We got lucky. We got nothing from inside the paint. We got nothing down around the basket. You're not going to win very many games if you can't make shots in the paint."
Scott City made just two of its 10 first-quarter shots while Chaffee made its first five to jump out to a 12-2 lead.
"From 2-point range at halftime, we were 2 for 15, so, I mean, you're not going to win very many games when you shoot that from 2," Dannenmueller said.
Chaffee led 28-21 at halftime but never led by more than eight points or trailed in a close second half.
"We kept cutting it to two so many times and instead of us being able to get a big stop and come down and hit a shot, we just couldn't do anything," Dannenmueller said.
The Red Devils went 3 of 7 from the free-throw line in the final two minutes, but Yahn's block and a steal from Cicardi on Scott City's next possession was enough to seal the victory.
"We definitely didn't close it out with free throws," Govreau said. "But I told Jordan after the game he didn't score a bunch of points tonight, but he had a bunch of huge rebounds and that huge block there at the end -- little things like that add up to win games like this. It's not just someone going out and scoring all the points. It takes a full team effort and plays like that to get these wins."
SCOTT CITY (47) -- Landon Robert 23, Jesse Sanders 7, Hunter Cox 4, Zach Cotner 7, Ryan Brock 2. FG 14, F 17, FT 7-8. (3-pointers: Robert 7, Sanders 1. Fouled out: none)
CHAFFEE (52) -- Alex Crowe 14, Mike Rutherford 10, Zach Dannenmueller 9, Jordan Yahn 4, Alex Davie 2, Andrew Terhune 15. FG 20, F 10, FT 9-17. (3-pointers: Crowe 2, Rutherford 1. Fouled out: none)