The Hills-Beaver Creek boys’ basketball team played a thrilling game to open the 2012-13 season against Pipestone Friday in Hills.
Unfortunately for the Patriots, they fell four points short when the game was complete.
In a contest in which the biggest lead either team sported was six points, the visiting Arrows outscored H-BC 9-5 in the final 2:26 to secure a 78-74 victory.
Both teams sported leads in the early stages of the game before the Arrows went on a 7-0 run to open a 14-8 advantage at the 10:47 mark of the first half.
H-BC countered with an 11-4 surge ending with a field goal from Jeff Sandbulte to move in front 19-18 at 7:44.
The Patriots increased their lead to six points (36-30) when Sandbulte converted a lay up with 2:21 remaining, but the Arrows rallied to knot the score at 39 before scoring the final two points of the half to lead 41-39 at the break.
Pipestone sported a pair of five-point leads (44-39 and 54-49) in the first six minutes of the second half, but H-BC rallied to move in front 59-56 when Dylan Gehrke canned a three-point shot near the 10-minute mark.
The Arrows answered the challenge by mounting a 13-5 run to regain a five-point lead (69-64) with 3:38 left to play.
The Patriots knotted the score at 69 when Sandbulte scored in the paint with 2:26 remaining.
Pipestone, however, scored the next three points and sank six free throws in the game’s final 20 seconds to seal a four-point win.
Gehrke led H-BC with 29 points and two steals, while Sandbulte chipped in 22 points and seven rebounds.
Carey Taubert collected nine caroms and Braden Ellingson passed for four assists for the 0-1 Patriots.
Gehrke 9 2 5-9 29, Ellingson 0 1 0-0 3, Tilstra 0 0 0-0 0, Wagenaar 1 2 0-0 8, Sandbulte 7 1 5-8 22, Holthaus 0 0 0-0 0, Kerkhove-Brandt 0 0 0-0 0, Taubert 3 0 2-3 8, Gallagher 2 0 0-0 4.
H-BC: 28 made field goals, 12 of 20 free throws (60 percent), 33 rebounds.