PECATONICA -- Just before halftime of Harvest Christian's sectional semifinal matchup against Freeport Aquin, Aquin's Jonah Diemer stole the ball in the deep corner, took two dribbles and banked in a 75-footer at the buzzer to give the Bulldogs a 27-23 lead and momentum going into halftime.
It was that kind of night for the Lions, who outplayed Aquin in many ways but came up on the short end of a 53-44 score in the Class 1A Pecatonica boys basketball sectional.
Andre White, Jr. scored 13 points for Harvest, which finishes the season 25-5. Jack Nohava had 12 points, 14 rebounds and 3 blocks, JJ Flores added 11 points, and Brennen Woods grabbed 9 rebounds for the Lions.
"The whole game we couldn't get into an offensive rhythm," said Harvest coach Andre White, Sr. "We couldn't catch a break. I don't really want to elaborate too much on the game because a lot of the game was controlled. The things that we were able to control got taken away."
White scored 6 points during a 10-0 run that gave Harvest a 17-13 lead midway through the second quarter, but Aquin finished the half on a 14-6 run capped by Diemer's buzzer-beater.
Aquin proceeded to score the first 4 points of the second half to go up 31-23 and Harvest never recovered.
The Lions got within 38-36 on a putback by Nohava after White's corner 3 rimmed out, but that was as close as they got. Aquin scored 5 straight to stretch the lead again.
A pair of technicals on the Harvest bench led to 4 free throws with just over a minute left. Aquin's Zac Cummins made 2 for a 47-38 lead. Aquin continued to build its advantage from the free-throw line.
Aquin shot 24 free throws for the game to just 2 for Harvest.
White, Sr., said the game was something of a microcosm of the Lions' season.
"We fought through adversity all year," he said.
Cummins and Carter Budenz scored 12 points apiece for Aquin (26-5). Diemer and Tyler Rinehart finished with 11 points each.
Led by Nohava, Harvest dominated the backboards with a 34-22 advantage, but 22 turnovers helped do them in.