By George Hollier
PRAIRIE RONDE - North Central coach Butch Fontenot says his team "finally put one together" to defeat Beau Chene 59-54 in game 10 of the Northwest Holiday Tournament on Tuesday.
"We needed this win very badly," Fontenot said after North Central (10-7) rallied to claim the victory.
"Our kids played really hard," Fontenot remarked, "but I think we made it hard by benching my big guys in the second half."
Beau Chene (5-10) took a 32-26 lead into the dressing room at halftime, but when the teams emerged North Central began to slowly cut into the Gator lead. The Hurricanes closed in on the lead several times, but each time the Gators found a way to recover until three and a half minutes remained.
Errick Coleman hit three free throws to tie the game at 51, then hit a 3-pointer with 1:29 left, and a hoop and harm to regain the lead for good with 44 ticks remaining.
Coleman, who scored 16 of North Central's final 18 points, finished the contest with 30 points, a career high.
"Attitude determines altitude," Fontenot stated. "I'm proud of the way our kids hung in there. Coleman played a great game."
For Beau Chene, which absorbed a second heartbreaking loss in as many days, it is time to put the tournament behind them and get ready for district play said Gator coach Ron Thomas.
"Another tough loss, definitely," Thomas commented. "We let another one slip away from us. We had a ten point lead, I tried to get the guys to slow it down and spread it out but they just wouldn't do it."
Still, Thomas was proud of his team. "We played our hearts out, but just fell short at the end," he said.