KINGSLEY -- The Kingsley-Pierson boys nearly closed the gap against Spalding Catholic Friday but a rough fourth quarter left them down 65-46 at the final buzzer.
The Panthers (1-1) were down by 10 at halftime but were closing in on the Spartans by the end of the third period, cutting Spalding's lead to four points.
"In the third quarter we played really well. We boxed out and we were aggressive defensively," K-P coach Adam Rapp said.
K-P scored 15 points that quarter and held Spalding to nine.
Going into the fourth period, the Spartans led 44-40. It was as close as K-P got.
"We had a rough fourth quarter. We didn't do a good job of keeping our composure," Rapp said. "When there were five minutes left in the ballgame, they went on a 6-0 run. My point guard Colin Henrich picked up his fourth and fifth foul and was out of the game."
The Panthers couldn't hold on, and the Spartans burst forward with a 21-point final quarter, holding K-P to six points.
"Throughout the entire game the shots weren't falling for us," Rapp said. "On nights when that happens you've got to play good team defense and box out, and we did neither one of those -- except for the third quarter."
K-P gave up 18 offensive rebounds.
"You cannot give up 18 boards on the offensive end to any basketball team. That creates a minimum of 18 extra shots," Rapp said.
K-P also sent the Spartans to the line 31 times.
He said Spalding played well and the K-P team's defensive effort didn't match up to the Spartan's play.
"The credit is theirs for winning that ball game," Rapp said.
For K-P, senior Colin Henrich led with 21 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and four steals -- his second double-double for the season.
Senior Levi Mahrt added nine points and Jacob Harvey, a freshman, logged four blocked shots and 10 rebounds in the non-conference game.
The K-P coach said his team is young, and he's looking for the upper end of the group to step up and lead them this season.
"They will, and that starts today," Rapp said. "You have to be able to forget about wins and losses in that 24-hour period, move on and get better, and that's what we're going to do."
The team needs to focus on nailing down its defense and rebounds, he added.
"Doing those two things right, you're going to pick up a lot of wins," Rapp said. "Until we do that game in and game out, we're going to have some nights like this."
K-P next plays IKM-Manning for a non-conference matchup at Manning.