Missing six free-throws in the final minute, Seaside gave Bend a second and third chance.
But Noah Miller’s 3-pointer at the buzzer bounced off the rim and the Lava Bears lost 61-59 Friday night at home in the second round of the Oregon Holiday Hoopfest.
“We put ourselves in position to win and tie the game,” Bend coach Scott Baker said. “I thought in the last two minutes of the game we did everything we needed to give ourselves an opportunity. We’ve just got to make plays when it’s time to make plays.”
After trailing by three points at halftime, the Lava Bears opened the third quarter on a 5-0 run, capped off by a no-look pass from Bryan Brown to Brian Warinner, who finished under the rim, to give Bend a 34-32 lead.
A putback and 3-pointer by Justin Kerr stretched the Lava Bears’ lead to five points.
Bend held on to a 45-41 lead to start the fourth quarter but Seaside’s Ryan Hague knocked down a 3-pointer to put the Seagulls on top 46-45 with 6:19 remaining. Hague made another 3-pointer to stretch Seaside’s lead to six points with 3:38 left to play.
“No. 4 (Hague) in the second half came alive and shot the ball well,” Baker said. “They weren’t easy shots and he knocked them down.”
After the Seagulls missed two free-throws with 39 seconds to go, Brown scored in the paint to get Bend within a point at 59-58.
When Seaside went 1-for-2 from the free-throw line, Kerr, who led Bend with 16 points, pulled down the rebound on the miss. With a chance to tie, Kerr then went to the line with 5.5 seconds to go. But Kerr also went 1-for-2, making the second after missing the first.
Forced to foul, Bend sent Seaside back to the free-throw line, where the Seagulls made the first but missed the second, giving Miller and the Lava Bears one last shot.
“I know they’re upset about the last couple of plays but there are little pieces throughout the game that we’ve got to clean up as we head into league play,” Baker said.
Warinner finished with 13 points and Brown added 12 in the loss.
Bend (5-3) closes out the Hoopfest Saturday against Timberline, Idaho.
“Tomorrow we’re going to work on being mentally tough and physically tough and finishing these tough three games,” Baker said.
Seaside (8-2), the reigning 4A state champions, will play Thurston in the finals of the Mountain Division.
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