The Howe Bulldogs couldn’t come up with a late basket as they dropped a 48-47 decision to the TomCats Dec. 20 in Tom Bean.
After a 3-point shot by Griffin Underwood had tied the score at 38-38 early in the fourth quarter, Howe took the lead on an inside bucket by John Jacob Talley.
However, the Bulldogs could not contain 6-4 forward Hunter Book nor Tom Bean point guard Logan LeDane as those two players accounted for the pivotal points down the stretch.
Howe (3-10,1-1) battled evenly with the Cats throughout the entire contest, but the biggest lead of the game came late in the third quarter as Tom Bean went up 38-33.
The game was tied six times in the first half as neither team could sustain any offensive momentum. Six points by Brice Harvey in the first half, all from inside the paint, keyed the early offense for Howe. Two baskets by Michael Kehrer, the second coming off a nice feed from Talley, made it a 13-12 game at the end of the first period with Tom Bean on top.
A 3-ball by Kehrer opened the second quarter scoring, and a rebound put-back by Harvey ended the frame with Howe in the lead, 26-25.
After a 3-pointer by Levi Mrozinski opened the third quarter scoring and stretched the Howe advantage to 29-25, the TomCats made their comeback run.
Book scored from down low to tie the game at 31-all, and after a Kehrer basket with just under two minutes left in the period the Bulldogs were blanked as Tom Bean built up that five-point cushion.
Two free throws by Talley preceded Underwood’s 3-pointer that tied the score at 38-38.
With just over two minutes left in the game, Harvey scored as he was fouled and his old-school three-point play deadlocked the game at 43-43.
Another basket by Book and two-of-two from the free-throw line by LeDane put the Bulldogs in a must-foul situation. LeDane made three-of-four to hold off the Howe rally.
A shot from just inside the free-throw line by Underwood, and Kehrer’s bucket at the final horn got the Bulldogs close but not close enough to force overtime.
After the holidays, the Bulldogs return to the court on Jan. 3 as they host Whitesboro.
Howe 12 14 7 14 — 47
Tom Bean 13 12 13 10 — 48
Howe: Michael Kehrer 15, Brice Harvey 13, John Jacob Talley 9, Griffin Underwood 5, Levi Mrozinksi 3, Easton Ross 2.