ARGOS — The Argos Dragons lost a close one to the Manchester Squires at Phil Weybright Gymnasium Tuesday, 58-56.
The Dragons started the game in a 6-0 hole, getting beat on some backdoor cuts, but managed to keep the game close in the first quarter, only trailing 14-11.
Manchester started the second quarter on a tear, going on an 11-3 run, taking away any sort of energy the Dragons had. The Squires maintained that lead through much of the second quarter, but Argos was able to score the final four points in the half, closing the gap to 31-23.
During halftime, Argos coach Doug Snyder talked to his team about their lack of energy in the first half.
“I was disappointed how we didn’t have enough enthusiasm or energy to play the game,” he said. “It was our last home game and an opportunity to win a ball game. We were flat and our focus wasn’t there.”
The pep talk worked as Argos came out in the second half on a 7-2 run to close the gap to three, but then the Dragons’ energy left them again, and Manchester was able to extend its lead back out to eight at the end of the quarter, 43-35.
The lead stayed about the same until the 3:49 mark in the fourth quarter when Argos came out of a time out and was able to go on a run, scoring seven unanswered points in the next 2:49 of game time. From there, Manchester was able to go 6 of 8 from the line and close out the game, with Argos hitting a buzzer-beating three to put the margin of loss at two.
As Coach Snyder pointed out, a little more effort in the first half, and this was a winnable game.
“We did a great job coming out in the third quarter and got ourselves back in it, but then we allowed some offensive rebounds and some put backs and a couple of free throws and that took the air out of us,” said Snyder. “The second time we came back in the fourth quarter, we missed a couple of shots that were right there and a few that went in and out. I give the kids credit for getting us back in it. If we had more enthusiasm in the first half we would have been in better position in the second half.”
With the loss, Argos drops to 5-15 to close out the regular season while Manchester improves to 6-13 on the season with the win.
• MANCHESTER 58, ARGOS 56
Score by Quarters
Manchester: 14 31 43 58
Argos: 11 23 35 56
MANCHESTER (58): Clayton Petrie 16 Claudel Dickantone 14, Lucan Schilling 9, Neil Underwood 7, Chase Fierstos 6, Derek Flack 4, Braydon Sewell 2, Phoenix Goad 0, Branden Scott 0; Totals: 22 12-19 58
ARGOS (56): Dominic Cataldo 20, Taylor Ogle 15, Max Bailey 8, Ricky Rice 6, Casey Johnson 5, J.J. Norris 2, Ben Carter 0, Brian Snyder 0, Alex Blum 0, Derek Smith 0; Totals: 18 14-16 56
3-pointers: Manchester 2 (Dickantone, Flack), Argos 6 (Cataldo 3, Bailey 2, Johnson); Rebounds: Manchester 17 (Underwood 6, Dickantone 4, Schilling 4), Argos 18 (Cataldo 4, Norris 4, Ogle 3); Assists: Manchester 14 (Underwood 3, Fierstos 3) Argos 10 (Ogle 5, Snyder 3); Steals: Manchester 6 (Fierstos 2), Argos 7 (Ogle 3, Cataldo 2); Turnovers: Manchester 13, Argos 15; Fouls (fouled out): Manchester 18 (none) Argos 14 (none).
Records: Manchester 6-13 Argos 5-15