A valiant comeback bid by New Hope in the second half fell short of overcoming a two-point second quarter on Tuesday in a 70-65 loss to host Patriot Prep.
The night started well for the Statesmen behind the hot shooting of senior guard Clayton Rhyne.
Rhyne knocked down five field goals, including a trio of three-pointers, and also connected on a pair of free throws to finish the quarter with 15 points. Lane Bruning chipped in five points to help the Statesmen take an early 20-10 lead.
New Hope (11-6) was checked to just a Rhyne basket during the second quarter, as Patriot Prep (13-5) completely flipped the script with a 26-2 run to go into halftime with a commanding 36-22 advantage.
“We did not score for the final six minutes of the quarter and Patriot Prep outscored us 23-0,” New Hope coach Shane Roese said. “It was the combination of a few things — a few turnovers, a few bad, undisciplined possessions and they were able to get on a run.
“We tried to call a couple of timeouts to slow their momentum, but we just never regained our composure.”
The Statesmen started the road back in the third quarter, sparked by their defensive pressure, to close their deficit down to 50-41.
“At halftime, we talked about when things go sideways you tend to quit playing as one and everyone tries to do too much individually,” Roese said. “If you are going to win, you need to play as one.
“We came out with a different mindset in the third quarter, starting defensively with Andrew Swank, Adam Rink and Hunter Cavanaugh turning up the ball pressure and that got us going.”
Bruning led the way on the other end of the court, canning four field goals, including connecting on a pair of triples, to finish the period with 10 points.
New Hope continued to cut into the Patriot Prep advantage in the final eight minutes. A drive to the basket from Rhyne made it a five-point game with 2:30 left and Hunter Cavanaugh knocked down a three-pointer to cut the Patriot Prep lead to just 62-60 with two minutes remaining.
After a basket by Patriot Prep, Rhyne knocked down a three-pointer with 40 seconds remaining to cut the Eagles’ lead to 64-63.
A pair of free throws from Rhyne again made it a one-point game but, unfortunately for the Statesmen, that’s as close as they would come.
Patriot Prep scored the final four points, all at the free throw line, to hold on for a 70-65 win.
“I was proud of the grit we showed in the second half, on the road and after getting down 14 after Patriot Prep’s 23-0 run,” Roese said. “We rallied and gave ourselves a chance to win, even though we fell a play or two short in the end. That’s heart!
“But it goes back to what we’ve been talking about that against a good team you have to play 32 minutes, because 26 is not going to cut it.”
Rhyne scored 11 points during the fourth and Bruning knocked down three bonus balls to add nine points.
Chris Stokes was one of four Eagles to reach double figures with 21 points and Keith Prysock tossed in 15.
Rhyne led all scorers with 33 points and Bruning added 24 for the Statesmen, who travel to Northmor on Friday and then host Vinton County on Saturday inside the Ohio Christian Maxwell Center.
“Lane had a breakout night shooting the basketball,” Roese praised. “He got hot, and we kept feeding him. Both Clayton and Lane were on, and our guys were unselfish with the basketball.”
Patriot Prep 70,
New Hope 65
NEW HOPE— Hunter Cavanaugh 2-0-5, Andrew Swank 1-1-3, Clayton Rhyne 12-4-33, Lane Bruning 9-0-24. Three-point goals — Bruning (6), Rhyne (5) and Swank. Total — 24 5-7 65.
PATRIOT PREP — Darius Butcher 6-0-14, Chris Stokes 8-5-21, Dominic Sammons 4-0-9, Keith Prysock 6-3-15, Cameron Thomas 4-3-11. Three-point goals — Butcher (2) and Sammons. Total — 28 11-18 70.
Quarter scores 1 2 3 4 F
New Hope 20 2 19 24 65
Patriot Prep 10 26 14 20 70