"We looked good in the first and fourth quarters," said Pierce City coach Matt Street. "It was the drought in the second and third periods that just killed us tonight."
The Eagles played the host Patriots to a 14-14 tie in the first quarter. To open the second period, East Newton switched to a two-three zone that gave the smaller Pierce City squad fits. East Newton embarked on a 9-0 run that led to a 29-6 run as the Patriots took a 39-20 lead with 4:20 left into the third period.
Making a couple of switches to the offensive attack, the Eagles used a 3-point barrage attack to close the margin to 45-40 with 4:19 left in the fourth quarter. East Newton however, hit its free throws down the stretch to hang on for the victory.
"We just couldn't put it together tonight," said Street. "We would get stops and they couldn't score then we would score and couldn't get defensive stops. It was very frustrating."
Wayne Joe Sooter led Pierce City statistically with 14 points, 6 assists, 5 rebounds and 2 steals.
Also contributing for the Eagles were: Colin Garner, 14 points, 2 rebounds and 2 assists; Kole Kelley, 11 points, 2 rebounds and 2 assists; Zack Hyde 6 points and 4 rebounds; Colton Drollinger, 3 points; and Ian Brottlund, 3 assists.
Pierce City falls to 2-5 on the season and will be in action on Monday, Dec. 26 in the Southwest Tournament against East Newton. Tipoff is set for 4:30 p.m.