The Starkville Christian School Cougars could have given up to the pressure when the visiting Immanuel Christian Rams came back from a huge deficit to tie Thursday night's game.
However, the Cougars had worked too hard to establish a lead to let the Rams leave Starkville with a victory.
Caleb Jordan hit four free throws down the stretch as Starkville Christian held on for a 69-65 win at home.
After Immanuel worked a tie with 35 seconds, Jordan made the first two free throws for the Cougars, then he hit two more when a technical foul was called on the Rams after a steal by Starkville Christian's Russell Davis.
"I was proud of the effort and every guy contributed," Starkville Christian School boys coach Alex Thompson said. "We came out ready and played hard from beginning to the end."
The Cougars went on a 14-0 run to end the first quarter and the start of the second to break open a close game.
With SCS leading 12-11 late in the first quarter, Chris Riddle scored a basket to start the run. Jesse Little delivered the next points as the Cougars took a 16-11 advantage at the end of the first quarter.
A putback by Little to open the second quarter continued the strong surge for SCS. Benjamin Jamerson scored six points in the second quarter for the Cougars as they increased the margin to 32-18 at halftime.
Davis led SCS with 22 points and pulled down eight rebounds. Jordan had a double-double with 21 points and 13 rebounds.
The Cougars improved their record to 15-3.
Immanuel won the junior varsity boys game 39-19. Pitcher Rendon had seven points for SCS, while Austin Kibler was next in the scoring column with five points.
Immanuel Christian 42,
Starkville Christian 21
The Lady Cougars started the game strong by scoring the first five points, but couldn't sustain that momentum.
After Starkville Christian's opening run, Immanuel scored the next seven points to take a 7-5 lead after the first quarter.
A Jazlyn Douglas free throw closed the gap to 7-6, but the Lady Cougars couldn't prevent the Lady Rams from stretching their advantage from that point. Immanuel increased the margin to 23-10 at halftime.
"I was proud of our defense," SCS girls coach Luke Buckner said. "We just couldn't make any shots on the offensive end."
Douglas had seven points to lead Starkville Christian.
In the junior varsity girls outing, Immanuel won in overtime 28-26. Heather Koehn led the Lady Cougars with 11 points.
The Starkville Christian teams are back at home Monday when it plays Kemper Academy. It will be senior night at the home of the Cougars.