MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The Huntingdon men's basketball team started strong on Saturday but came up short in the final minutes.
The Hawks led for the first 35 minutes of the game before LaGrange took control for an 81-72 win. LaGrange outscored the Hawks 15-5 in the final four minutes.
"We had great effort, a great plan and great execution, until the final four or five minutes," Huntingdon head coach Mike Pugh said. "But we made some crucial mistakes in the final minutes. We started turning the ball over and we went from having a five-point lead to being down by five in less than three minutes. You can't turn the ball over like that against a good team and win.
"We need to build off of the way we played for the first 35 minutes and be able to finish stronger."
A Huntingdon turnover and a Kyron Anderson layup gave LaGrange a 68-67 lead with 3:59 to play. The turnover was the first of three for the Hawks on five straight possessions. LaGrange maintained at least a five-point lead during the final two minutes.
Huntingdon's Jeremiah Thomas recorded a double-double in the first half with 13 points and 11 rebounds. He finished the game with 18 points, 13 rebounds, four blocked shots, four steals and three assists. Austin Hill and Courtnee Edgar also scored 18 points apiece and Ryan Petty added 10 points.
Hill was 5-for-8 from 3-point range and pulled down seven rebounds. Edgar and Petty each added four assists.
Huntingdon (1-4) opened the game with an 8-0 run, led by as many as 13 points in the first half and led 36-30 at the half. LaGrange (5-1) cut the Hawks' lead to two, 38-36, in the first four minutes of the second half. But Huntingdon maintained the lead until the final minutes.
Huntingdon plays at Methodist at noon on Dec. 8.