DECATUR — A shot to tie the game at the buzzer rimmed out and the University High School basketball team dropped a 65-63 Central State Eight Conference decision to Decatur MacArthur on Tuesday night.
MacArthur's defense helped spark a 10-0 run to put the Generals on top after one quarter, 17-8, before U High pulled to within 29-25 at halftime and narrowed the deficit to three points heading into the final period.
"In the fourth quarter, we turned up the pressure and forced them into some turnovers," said U High coach Andrew McDowell. "We're never out of it. We always find a way to claw our way back in. Tonight we just fell short."
Alex Wood led the Pioneers with 18 points. Nate Torres chipped in 17. Joe Brown and Drew Wollenschlager also reached double figures for U High with 10 points each.
"We gave up too many points in the paint, in the third quarter specifically," McDowell said. "Their first five or six baskets were in the paint. That's when it got from a two-point halftime deficit to 10."
McDowell was still pleased with the Pioneers' pluck in battling back.
"I was really happy when we had to turn up pressure, we forced a few turnovers and got the ball back in our hands with an opportunity to tie it up," he said.
The Pioneers fell to 3-3 with the loss, which also evened their Central State Eight mark at 1-1. MacArthur improved to 4-2 and 1-1.