ATTICA — For the first 10 minutes, Fountain Central appeared to be destined for cutting down the nets at the Bi-County tournament. But then the Mustangs went cold, and Seeger did just enough to win 47-44 in the championship game.
Fountain Central (5-2) made 9 of its first 15 shots and led 26-9 with 6:06 left in the first half. Will Harmon buried a pair of early 3-pointers and had 12 quick points, but then the Mustangs went silent.
No more field goals in the first half and the lead shrunk to 28-20 at the break. After closing the first half on an 8-0 run, Seeger’s scoring spree spanned to 17-0 — giving the Patriots (3-3) their first lead at 29-28 with 4:32 left in the third period on a Kolton Pearson basket.
At the other end Carter Merryman finally ended a 10-minute field goal drought for the Mustangs to put them back ahead 30-29, before Harmon nailed a triple and Carson Eberly added a second chance basket to push Fountain Central in front 37-34 midway through the fourth quarter.
Owen Snedeker had other ideas for his Patriots though. Snedeker was a perfect 3-of-3 from the field in the quarter as he scored 13 of his game-high 24 points in the second half. His back-to-back buckets made it 42-37 Seeger with 2:36 to play.
“The real difference in the game was they have a guy in Snedeker, who you can basically put the ball in his hands and say ‘get me a bucket,’” Fountain Central coach Phil Shabi said. “The length and the ability to shoot over guys, and we are missing that from our lineup. Our lineup is ball movement and has to be creating opportunities for each other.”
Down the stretch Seeger missed a pair of 1-and-1 free throw opportunities and Harmon made a 3-pointer in the final 10 seconds, but the Mustangs were unable to get a key bucket or rebound when it mattered most. Harmon, just a freshman, led the Mustangs with 22 points, while Eberly added seven.
Fountain Central was just 14-of-49 from the field for the game, making just 6-of-29 from beyond the arc.
“They didn’t throw anything at us that we weren’t aware of,” Shabi said of the Patriots’ defense. “We knew the zone would be there and they kind of went to that. We had a hard time getting looks and knocking down looks. Just an absence of guys knocking down shots. Our field goal shooting tonight was poor.”
Fountain Central is at Sheridan next Saturday.