PITTSBURG — A late rally by the St. Mary’s-Colgan High School boys’ basketball team came up short in the 51-45 loss to Carthage on Tuesday.
The Panthers held a one-point lead after the first quarter, but fell behind in the second and trailed by as many as 11 before bringing it back to two in the final minute of the contest.
“I felt like we played fairly well all night long,” SMC head coach Wayne Cichon said. “I thought Carthage played well too. Both teams were going at it and neither was wanting to give in. I think we, more or less, ran out of time rather than lost the game. I felt really good about what we did and where we scored from. We missed some easy ones, but that’s going to happen sometimes in any basketball game. Plus, I thought our defense was good. So, I thought we played a pretty good game all around. Credit Carthage because they did what they needed to do.”
Carthage jumped out in front 9-2 in the opening minutes of the first quarter, but the Panthers fought back to take the lead by scoring eight consecutive points, which included a 3-pointer by Whit Dungan.
The Tigers regained the lead by scoring the first seven points of the first half and went on to expand the lead to double digits at 35-24 with under three minutes remaining in the third quarter.
Colgan got back into the contest by out scoring Carthage 8-1 in the final two minutes of the third quarter, which was highlighted by a pair of 3-pointers from Jeremiah Buche and Andrew Lomshek.
Both teams were trading buckets in the early going of the fourth quarter until a 7-3 run — sparked by a 3-pointer from Jacob Dellasega — made it a one-possession ballgame at 47-45 with 34 seconds remaining in regulation.
The Tigers held on for the win by getting back on track with a layup in the final 20 seconds and nailed a pair of free throws at the end of the game to protect the lead.
Aaron Higginbotham was the leading scorer for SMC with 11 points and six assists.
The Panthers will pick back up at 4:30 p.m. on Jan. 9 when they travel to Miami, Okla.
— Jordan Buckamneer is the sports editor of the Pittsburg Morning Sun. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @jbuckamneer.