By JASON STRICKLAND
(digitalBURG) – With 58 seconds remaining, the Warrensburg Tigers trailed by 44-42, but were unable to capitalize on late game opportunities as they fell 49-44 to the Oak Grove Panthers Saturday night.
“We were stagnant offensively and not good defensively, unfortunately,” said coach Chris Nimmo. “So we’ve got to find out a way to get better real quick.”
The game was played at the Multipurpose Building on the UCM campus as part of the Lotspeich Automotive Central Missouri Shootout.
The Tigers (6-5, 0-1 WCC) started the game on a 5-0 run, but an 8-0 run gave Oak Grove the lead and didn’t relinquish it.
Warrensburg was able to tie it up at 24 in the third after a jumper by senior Dalton Thompson, but the Panthers quickly took the lead after that. Oak Grove led by as many as six in the second half.
“To their credit they were quicker to lose balls and things,” Nimmo said. “And that’s something that we have to obviously get more out of our kids for us to be successful.”
Junior Dakota Jones led the Tigers with 22 points. Junior Kye Denker had 10, while Thompson had seven. Oak Grove had six players in the range of six to nine points. Junior Cole Doherty had nine.
The Tigers will travel to Kearney, Mo., for the Bulldog Classic Tournament on Tuesday and will take on Cameron at 8 p.m. The winner will play either Kearney or Benton Thursday at 6:30 p.m. The loser will play Thursday at 5 p.m.
Nimmo pointed out what the Tigers need to do in order to be successful in Kearney.
“Just being scrappy and being tough,” he said. “We didn’t play very well, but even then we had chances and finally got a couple of loose balls in the end and just can’t convert and couldn’t quite get over the hump.”