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RUSH SPRINGS —
Once again, the Central High Bronchos’ biggest opponent turned out to be the free throw line.
For the second straight game, poor shooting from the charity stripe cost the Bronchos a chance to win as five straight misses late in the fourth quarter gave the Apache Warriors third place in the Black Diamond Tournament by a score of 65-62.
“It was one of those games that was very frustrating as a coach to watch,” Central coach John Nease said. “I’m sure it was frustrating for the fans as well. It seemed like at times we were getting outworked, and the fundamentals started to leave us. I know there’s an element of being tired as well from back-to-back games. But, not being able to close a game and make free throws is something we need to address and fix.”
With the score 60-59 with 1:31 remaining in the fourth, Apache started committing fouls which sent the Bronchos to the free throw line with an opportunity to tie or take the lead.
Unfortunately, the bounces went outside of the rim and fell to the floor instead of through the nylon, five times in a row.
AHS was more than happy to take advantage as the Warriors finished 14-of-20 from the charity stripe, including making four straight with less than 30 seconds left in the fourth.
Central High finished 11-of-32 from the free throw line.
Apache led for the majority of the game, but the Bronchos made the Warriors earn the win the hard way.
Down 12-3 at one point in the first quarter, CHHS fought back and managed to make it 16-11 going into the second quarter.
Central High managed to take the lead for a brief moment at 25-24 with 1:26 remaining before halftime.
At the halftime break it was anyone’s game as Apache held a slim 28-27 advantage.
Coming out of the locker room, both teams put on an offensive show as they battled for control heading into the fourth.
With three quarters complete, it was all square at 48-48.
Leading the scoring for the Bronchos (8-4) was Dallin Ferrin with 20 points to go with four rebounds. Kevin Harris added 16 points while John Repp registered a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds.
Zarek Hickman scored eight points, while Connor Albiston put in two points along with a team-high five rebounds. Ian Hickman also scored two points.
Apache (8-5) was led by Grant Stanley with 20 points followed by B.J. Denton with 12 points. Toby Islom put in nine points on the day.
Central High will be in action Tuesday night on the road against Verden with tip-off set for 8 p.m.
“When it came to clutch time in this tournament we couldn’t perform,” Nease said. “This showed us that we have plenty to work on in preparation for the playoffs. I think the loss today is going to hit them pretty hard and sit with us for a while.”