HUNTINGTON – Grace’s men’s basketball team came up just shy in a comeback at Huntington on Tuesday.
The Lancers, who trailed by 18 with 9:06 left to play, rallied to within three before losing 88-80.
Grace had its three-game winning streak snapped in Crossroads League play, suffering primarily from a rough first five minutes on Tuesday.
The Lancers (10-15, 3-10 CL) fell behind early in the game and struggled to catch up. The Foresters could not have started the game better, opening the game on an 18-0 run to stun the Lancers.
Huntington scored on eight of its first nine possessions before Grace finally got on the scoreboard thanks to Braxton Linville.
Grace still trailed by 20 midway through the half, but the Lancers did their best to chop into the Foresters’ lead. Grace managed to trim the deficit down to 13 but remained behind 50-35 at halftime.
The Foresters shot a blistering 60 percent from the floor before halftime compared to 42 percent for Grace; the Lancers were also just 1-of-9 from beyond the arc.
Matt Jennings was a lone bright spot offensively in the half, scoring 12 of the team’s points.
Three times in the early stages of the second half, Huntington’s lead dwindled down to 10 points. The Foresters refused to let Grace get closer, however, and eventually built their cushion up to 74-56 with nine minutes to play.
It took the Lancers only four minutes to cut that deficit in half. Jaret Sons hit two 3-pointers, and Stephen Halstead made another as Grace trailed by nine.
Two minutes later, Grace went on another run which nearly won the game. Linville scored four points, Halstead hit a triple, and Charlie Warner converted a fastbreak layup with 1:33 remaining to make the score 83-80.
Huntington was forced to call timeout but turned the ball over on its ensuing possession. Grace had its shot blocked on the next play, and the Foresters responded with a timely 3-pointer to extend their lead to six. The Lancers missed on a pair of treys in the final seconds, and Huntington iced the win from the free throw line.
Jennings’s 16 points led the Lancers, and Linville had a double-double with 10 points, 10 assists and 6 rebounds.
Sons scored 15 points on 3-of-7 shooting from beyond the arc to go along with seven rebounds and two blocks, and Logan Godfrey had 10 points. Halstead (8 points), Warner (7) and Martin Schiele (6) each provided a scoring spark off the bench. Warner also blocked four shots.
The Lancers will turn their focus to archrival Bethel. Grace hosts Bethel on Saturday at 3 p.m., directly after the women’s game at the Manahan Orthopaedic Capital Center.