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OTTAWA — Missed opportunities and a few bad breaks cost the Ottawa boys basketball team as it opened the season with a 43-41 loss to Pontiac in the Dean Riley Shootin’ the Rock Tournament.
In the fourth quarter, the Pirates used a 13-2 run behind 4-of-4 from the foul line and a 3-pointer from the corner by Nick Harsted to take a 41-37 lead.
Ottawa then stole the ball and Chase Hill headed up the floor, but after contact, was ruled to have stepped out of bounds.
Moments later, Hill and the Pirates regained possession, but couldn’t extend their lead as Hill’s shot was offline and the Indians rebounded.
With 13 seconds left, Ottawa was the whistled for a foul, and as the teams gathered for a timeout, a technical was called on Ottawa’s John Carroll.
Neil Lambert hit 1-of-2 free throws for Pontiac to tie the game at 41-41.
After Pontiac got the ball back following the technical shots, Trent Smith stepped just inside the arc and hit a long jumper to give the Indians a 43-41 lead with 1.3 seconds left.
As the Pirates were trying to inbound the ball, Pontiac was called for a foul, sending Harsted to the free throw line needing both tosses to tie the game and force overtime.
Harsted missed the first and timeout was called by the Pirates.
Harsted went for the intentional miss and it worked as J.D. Bryant got the rebound. Bryant went for a game-tying layup with contact but no foul was called, ending the game in favor of the Indians.
The Pirates game out firing away to start the game to the tune of a 7-0 lead behind two Hill layups and a 3-pointer from Bryant.
Pontiac ended the quarter on a 9-0 run of its own to take a 9-7 lead into the second quarter. Turnovers and shooting woes continued in the quarter which helped then Pontiac take a 21-19 lead at the break.
“All night long (Pontiac) did a nice job of penetrating the lane,” Pirate coach Mark Cooper said. “(Lambert) got a lot of looks off fast breaks and loose balls and penetrating the lane, and he hurt us.”
Carroll and Hill led the Pirates with 14 points apiece, while Carroll also had a game-high 10 rebounds.
“We missed a lot of easy shots, especially in the first half,” Cooper said. “We have to take advantage of those shots when we do get ahold of them.”