LEWISBURG — Tri-County North ended a 14-game skid by upending Cross County Conference foe Bradford, 53-51, on Friday, Feb. 5, before falling 43-30 to National Trail on Saturday, Feb. 6.
Against Bradford, North started the game out strong, draining three 3-pointers in the first quarter and jumping out to a 15-3 lead. Kurt Brinson led the second-quarter charge when he posted 12 points in the frame and took a 29-13 lead into the half.
But Bradford outscored North 17-11 in the third and 21-13 in the fourth to pull within striking distance of the Panthers.
“The fourth quarter got tight, but I don’t think it ever got down to a one-possession game until their final bucket as time ran out,” said North head coach Dale Spitler. “Zach Edgin hit some big free throws, going 7-8, in the final few minutes and we were able to hold on.”
Brinson led the team with 22 points and 10 rebounds while Edgin added 11 points, six assists and three steals and Garrett Woodyard chipped in 10 points on the night.
On Saturday, the Panthers hosted Trail in a rematch from earlier in the season. This time around though, Trail remained in control for most of the game and didn’t allow last-second heroics from North to foil their win.
“This game we really struggled offensively and had a hard time getting shots to fall, and were down 12-7 after one and 22-16 at half,” said Spitler. “National trail has really improved since the last time we played them and i have to give them credit, especially defensively.”
Trail outscored North 15-5 in the third and pushed the lead to 37-26 after three. The Panthers were never able to get a comeback in the works and allowed Trail to end their nine-game losing streak.
Both Brinson and Edgin posted nine points for North.
North ends their regular season with a match-up at Arcanum on Tuesday, Feb. 9 and will host Twin Valley South on Friday, Feb. 12 at 6 p.m.
In the post-season, the Panthers drew defending state champion Tri-Village in the opening round. They will face the Patriots on Saturday, Feb. 20 at 11 a.m. at Troy High School.
Reach Jeremy at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @jerskine_RH.