"There at the end we missed some big free throws and they seemed to get the important ones in. I thought all of the boys played hard and we did do some things very well. We just need some more work in the paint," said Blankenship.
It was close the entire way, but two free throws from Risco's Andrew Halford made the game even closer at 68-67.
After a bucket and two free throws from the Bulldogs, Risco found themselves in a hole from which they would have a chance at an escape.
With 3.5 seconds left in the game Zalma's Jamie Mangrum missed both his free throws leaving the game open at 74-71. Two Risco defenders grabbed the rebounds and called for a thirty second timeout.
After the break the Tigers got the ball into the hands of senior Greg Landers, who drove up court and tossed up a three. The ball went wide left as the buzzer sounded.
Landers had a team high 25 points and went 3-5 from the stripe.
Chad Wiseman led all scorers with 26 points. Wiseman collected five from the charity stripe and he hit a three.
David Harris was the other above 20 scorer in the game as he dropped in 24 points for Zalma. Harris was nearly perfect from the line, going 7-for-8 and he also had a trey.
"We are going to get to be a better ball team," said Blankenship. "I think our conference and district are wide open for us this year and we will have a very good shot at both if we can play to our potential."
Blankenship went on to say that, "We have a lot of guys on this team with a lot of years of varsity experience. We just have to get them into a role that everyone is comfortable with."