PITTSBURG — Eight points for Jeremiah Buche in the final minutes of the contest lifted the St. Mary’s-Colgan High School boys’ basketball team to a 70-62 win over Neosho on Friday inside SMC Fieldhouse.
What was once a one-point lead for the Panthers late in the fourth quarter swelled to a double-digits following a 10-2 run — which included six free throws by Buche — at the end of regulation.
Colgan fell behind by six after a slow start to the game, but a jumper and a pair of free throws by Matthew Lomshek sparked a 13-7 run for the Panthers to pull the score even at 13-all with under two minutes remaining in the opening quarter.
SMC went on to take a one-point advantage, following a bucket by Bradley Beykirch at the end of the first quarter and quickly expanded it to 27-19 on the strength of a 10-3 run to begin the second.
The Panthers went into the locker room at halftime up by nine, but an offense surge by the Wildcats in the third quarter led to a 44-44 tie.
Four consecutive points by Aaron Higginbotham to end the third quarter, followed by four more to begin the fourth, put SMC back in control and lifted them to a 58-52 lead.
The Wildcats trimmed the deficit to four with just under three minutes remaining in regulation, but couldn’t complete the comeback, as the Panthers closed out the win with a 10-4 run which included eight points — six from the charity stripe — by Buche.
Higginbotham led the Panthers in scoring with 20 points in the win and his teammate Buche notched 14 points.
— Jordan Buckamneer is the sports editor of the Pittsburg Morning Sun. E-mail him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @jbuckamneer.