GREENVILLE - Puxico's bright season hit a brick wall Monday night, as the fifth-seeded Indians fell short in a late fourth-quarter rally against the fourth-seeded East Prairie Eagles, losing 68-63 at the Class 2, District 2 Tournament.
After a first half that saw the Indians fall behind time and time again only to pick it back up, Puxico drew within five at the end of the half to head into the third down 39-34.
Whatever momentum the Indians picked up late in the second appeared to have evaporated by the end of halftime as the Eagles came out soaring.
The Eagles held the Indians to six points in the quarter, going on a 10-0 run of their own to end the frame.
This gave East Prairie a 53-40 lead going into the final quarter, leaving the Indians scrambling for answers.
After the Eagles pushed the lead to 17 early in the fourth and seemingly securing the victory, the Indians entered desperation mode.
With the season in the balance Puxico went on a 12-0 run, stunning East Prairie and putting the Indians within five points with 3:30 to go.
The Indians continued to surge pulling within two points with 37 seconds to play.
The Eagles went into a game of keep away, making it impossible for Puxico to foul after the inbound until only 16 ticks were left on the clock.
Unfortunately for Puxico, East Prairie's perfection at the line near the end sealed the deal, keeping the Indians at bay and advancing to the next round.
"It's disappointing for the seniors going out like this," Puxico coach Chad Allen said. "I wish we could have went a little further."
Even though Allen was disappointed with the end result, he was proud of the effort.
"We definitely played hard and fought back," said Allen. "I'm proud of that."
Allen's team racked up some strong numbers in their comeback attempt with Tyler Ramsey putting up a team high 21 points.
"We got some great young talent coming up to be really good next year," said Allen. "By moving some of those sophomores up to varsity, they got a lot of experience and have gotten better, especially Jonathon Helms."
With the loss the Indians finish the season with an 18-10 record and now set their eyes on the future.
CLARKTON - The Risco Tigers' season came to an end on Monday night with a 71-60 loss to Gideon in the Class 1, District 1 Tournament in Clarkton.
Risco ends at 8-16.
"I thought we were ready to play," said Risco coach Brandon Blankenship. "We missed a lot of easy shots right there underneath the basket. We missed some that could've gotten us right back in it. We had several guys step up and really play well that we needed to, but we just didn't get it done."
Risco was led by Ricky Davis' 17 points and Andrew Halford's 15 points. Robert Fowler added 13 points and Keith Carlisle had 12 points.
Gideon was led by Josh Hollingshead's 23 points.