"It's a tough night," said head coach Lonnie Hammond as he summarized the loss Feb. 7 to South Hardin, 65-42.
After the Tigers took a 23-6 lead after the first quarter, the Trojans found themselves as they have so often this season -- in a deep hole trying to get out.
And like they have all season, they doubled down and tried to scratch back into the game. South Tama actually won the second quarter, 15-12, to go in at the half down, 35-21.
Scoring on a break away against South Hardin Feb. 7 is Caleb Davenport. The Trojans suffered another loss at the hands of the Tigers, 65-42.
The lid was again on the bucket at the start of the game for the Trojans. STC did not score until 3:47 left in the first quarter when Ricky Hopper put one in to make it 11-2, South Hardin. A minute later, Taylor Johnson would score, and with 15 seconds left, Daryl Bidwell found the bucket.
But the second quarter got a whole lot more interesting when Jose Fonseca closed the game to just ten when he scored to make it 31-21, Tigers, with 1:02 to go. The Trojans had opportunities to get it under ten before halftime. Instead, South Hardin scored twice more and went in at intermission up by 14.
"We made a great surge in that second quarter," said Hammond, "and had it to ten. You could feel the momentum switching. We had the ball and didn't score. We didn't make the plays. You do that and you're not going to be successful."
It was South Tama's last, best gasp at closing in on and overtaking South Hardin. Brad Cecak's bucket with 3:40 to go in the third closed it to 13 at 39-26. But South Hardin would extend its lead after three to 19, punctuated by Jack Dunn's three-pointer at the buzzer, 51-32.
South Hardin extended its lead in the fourth quarter. Brian Thompson's free-throw for the Trojans with five seconds left was the final score of the game, leaving it 66-42, Tigers.
Brad Evans was the lone Trojan to get into double figures with ten. He also had the unenviable task of trying to guard Andrew Stowe, South Hardin's huge center (6-5, 265) who along with Ben Ferris led all scorers with 13 points.
Hammond saw this game as a microcosm of the season in general.
"Tonight's game was very much like our season. We'll have moments, we'll kind of get things the way we want them, and then they slip away."
South Tama had 19 fouls and shot well from the line, going 11 for 16. South Hardin was whistled 22 times and made just 6 of 21 from the charity stripe.
With the loss, the Trojans are now 1-19 , 1-13 in the conference. They host Benton Community Feb. 14 for senior night to close out the regular season.
Scoring -Evans 10, Fonseca 9, Davenport 5, Bidwell 4, Hopper 4, Kuhter 4, Cecak 2, T Johnson 2, Lowe 1, Thompson 1
Rebounds - Kuhter 5, Fonseca 4, T Johnson 3, Evans 3, Stephenson 2, Bidwell 1, Davenport 1, Hala 1, Nelson 1
Assists - Hopper 4, Nelson 3, Bidwell 1, Fonseca 1, Kuhter 1
Steals - Evans 3, Fonseca 3, Hopper 3, Davenport 2, Bidwell 1, Kuhter 1, Lowe1, Nelson 1
Blocks - Fonseca 1