By Doug Roorbach
For The Herald Bulletin
PENDLETON, Ind. —
Pendleton Heights fell behind Westfield 15-4 in the first quarter, rallied to take the lead in the fourth quarter, but faltered at the end and lost, 46-44.
“We’re not doing the things that we need to do,” said Pendleton Heights boys basketball coach Brian Hahn, “We’re turning the ball over too much. We’re giving up offensive rebounds, and we’re just not making enough tough plays.”
It was a game of two tempos, the first half played at a furious pace much to Westfield’s liking and the second in a more moderate pace in which Pendleton Heights thrived. The Shamrocks led 27-17 at the half, on the strength of 13 points from AJ Lawton.
Lawton could manage only three more in the second half, though, and Brogan Gary caught fire for the Arabians. Gary had a game-high 27 points, 17 of them in the second half, including four of his six 3-pointers.
“Brogan made some big shots,” said Hahn. “Without him we’re not even in the game.”
Gary hit three in a row near the end of the third quarter as Pendleton Heights drew even, 33-33, but Westfield responded with six offensive rebounds in two possessions, cashing in with two free-throws and a put-back basket to lead 37-33 at the end of the third.
Then the home team went cold, going scoreless for the first four minutes of the fourth quarter. Pendleton Heights wasn’t much better, but the Arabians did score twice, taking the lead with just over five minutes left, 39-38, on Gary’s final 3-pointer.
The teams traded the lead for the next four minutes until Westfield made a pair of free throws with 52 seconds left to take a 46-43 lead. After the Arabians made a free throw and Westfield missed the front end of a one-and-one, Pendleton Heights had a chance to win it.
An inbounds play from the baseline freed up Gary for a 3-pointer from the corner, but it bounced off the back of the rim.
“We had two options there (on the inbounds pass), said Hahn, “and they took away one and left us that one, and it just didn’t go down.”