Another Wyoming East-Independence game, another thriller decided in the final seconds.
The Warriors held off a second half Patriots come back to end a three-game losing skid and win the consolation game, 64-63, in the Big Atlantic Classic AA division.
East had already beaten Indy in two nail biters earlier in the season. They won all three meetings by a combined eight points.
The pattern this time was a bit different. The Warriors (8-7) led by as much as 15 in the third period only to see the Patriots storm back to tie it on several occasions.
Tyler Haga of Independence scored inside with 1:45to play to tie the game for the last time at 58-58.
East’s Jon Sims drove to the hoop to put the Warriors ahead wth 39 seconds left.
Dylan Brehm made two foul shots at the 29.5 mark to increase the lead to 62-58.
Markus Guy scored inside to cut it to two but missed a free throw.
Missed foul shots were an issue for the Patriots, who were 1-9 in the fourth quarter and 9-24 for the game.
“We squandered a big lead,” said East coach Derek Brooks. “We were fortunate that they missed free throws and never went ahead.”
Sims made two at the stripe with 13.5 ticks left, giving East a 64-60 advantage.
Kyle Saunders made a three with five seconds left to cut it to one, bu the Warriors did not have to throw the ball in bounds before the clock ran out.
“When we get a big lead, we seem to relax,” Brooks commented. “Tonight we played three quarters.”
Brooks liked the aggressive play his team showed for much of the game.
East raced to a 15-4 lead in the opening minutes and had a 35-22 margin at the half.
A Corey McKinney trey gave the Warriors their biggest lead, 41-26, in the third period.
Independence gradually carved into the margin, using its press to force turnovers.
It waas 48-42 after three, and the Patriots quickly scored six unanswered points to tie it on Haga layup with 6:17 on the clock.
Brehem had a game-high 24 points, along with seven rebounds and three steals.
Zach Cook added 11 points and 12 boards. Sims scored 15.
Haga (19), Dickens (15) and Saunders (10) paced the Patriots.
John Conley can be reached at 304-732-6060 or on Twitter @PIHnews.
Photo: Dylan Brehm (32) of Wyoming East is defended by Kyle Saunders of Independence in the Big Atlantic Classic at Beckley on Wednesday.