BLOOMINGTON — The Springfield Lanphier High School basketball team broke Bloomington's three-quarter court press just enough to break the Purple Raiders' hearts with a 62-59 victory on Saturday.
The Lions' defense came up big the final 3.8 seconds, denying the first and second scoring options of BHS, which had to settle for a fade-away 3-pointer from 30 feet by Illijah Donnelly, who failed to draw iron.
The outcome in a bruising, sprint relay of a game dropped the Raiders to 6-11 while Lanphier improved to 8-7.
"Our last option was right at the basket hoping to get a foul (for a three-point play), but we ran out of time," said BHS coach Micheal Mosley. "We needed a 3, and Deion (Thompson) couldn't come off (a screen) clean and Illijah wasn't really clean."
The BHS press didn't clean up either, only producing 14 turnovers including just five in the second half. Speedy Lanphier guards Xavier Bishop and Yaakema Rose usually went where they wanted to and thus got to go home with 20 and 16 points, respectively.
"We know they are a team that likes to press," said Lanphier coach Blake Turner. "We wanted to break their pressure and get good shots. I thought we did a good job of that at times."
The Lions shot 46 percent from the field compared to 45 percent for the hosts.
Charles Payton led BHS with 18 points and Thompson added 12. Ten of Payton's points came at the line where BHS finished 22 of 33 compared to Lanphier's 14 of 27.
Bishop's two free throws with 25.4 seconds left ended the scoring. A 3-point try by Jalen Euman of BHS with 14 seconds left missed as did Jordan McGill's putback attempt.
After the sophomore Rose missed two free throws with :12.0 left, Payton got the last of his nine rebounds to give BHS a chance to tie. The 6-foot-6 sophomore had two alley-oop dunks to go with two blocks.
"I told him after the game that I'm a big fan of his game," Turner said. "He's got a huge future ahead of him. He's definitely a Division I kid."
Mosley said BHS wanted Payton to touch the ball more often.
"He drew so much attention we had other options at the basket," Mosley said. "And then we just missed a lot of easy shots."
Getting a lead was never easy as BHS and Lanphier were tied at 13 after one quarter. The Raiders led at halftime, 30-29, but trailed, 48-42, after three periods.
A rebound basket by Payton pulled BHS within 56-55 with 3:11 left. Two Bishop free throws and a 10-foot jumper by Derick Briscoe put Lanphier up, 60-55, with 1:42 showing. The Raiders made 4 of 6 free throws to get within 60-59 with 1:04 to go, but got no closer.
BHS hurt its cause with 19 turnovers, but did manage a 36-22 advantage on the boards.