The Kingsley-Pierson boys basketball team fought hard in their Western Valley conference tournament matchup with Maple Valley-Anthon Oto on Tuesday but were not rewarded for their efforts with a win. The same was true for their game against River Valley on Thursday.
MVAO 71, Kingsley-Pierson 50
MAPLETON -- The Panthers got off to a good start and held on to a slim lead by the end of the first quarter, 13-12.
But the game got away from them in the second stanza and the Rams outscored K-P 18-8, which gave MVAO a 30-21 lead at the half.
Determined to regain the lead, the Panthers came out of the locker room with great intensity but could not chip away at the Rams' lead.
MVAO was up 45-33 going into the final period.
K-P continued to battle but got outscored by the Rams 26-17 in the remaining eight minutes, resulting in the final score.
Senior Colin Henrich led the Panthers in scoring with 25 points. Freshman Scottie Plendl followed with nine points, senior Levi Mahrt had eight and sophomore Austin Neumann contributed seven. Henrich and Neumann each had four assists.
Henrich also led his team defensively and grabbed eight rebounds and four steals.
Kingsley-Pierson 52, River Valley 60
KINGSLEY -- The Panthers got close to their seventh win of the season against River Valley on Thursday but could not quite get over the hump.
In a game than went back and forth for most of the night, K-P took control early and led after the first quarter.
But the Wolfpack gained control in the second stanza and earned a six point lead at the half.
After the break, River Valley continued to dominate the floor and extended their lead to 10 points.
"We had some moments where we played really well, but we had some other moments where we just kind of collapsed," K-P coach Adam Rapp said. "But we kept fighting, we got ourselves back in the game."
Slowly but steadily, the Panthers chipped away at their opponents' lead and found themselves down by just two points with under two minutes to go.
K-P tried everything to get back on top, but the Wolverines made most of their free throws down the stretch and held on to their lead until the clock expired.
"We did some good things for a while; we just didn't finish," Rapp said.
Henrich finished the night with 18 points, Neumann had 11 and Mahrt had 10. Henrich also led his team team defensively with eight rebounds.
Rapp saw positives in the game but also pointed out areas in which his team needs to improve.
"Overall we did pretty well," he said. "The effort is there. I don't question the effort at all. We just have to do a better job as a team. We have to do a better job of understanding the importance of each moment in such a close game so next time we can come out ahead."
The Panthers (6-12) will host Logan-Magnolia in a Western Valley Conference Tournament third round consolation game on Tuesday.