With a pair of close losses to Cassville and Spokane, the Marionville Comets settled for fourth place in their home tournament. After an opening round win, the team fell 52-50 to the Wildcats last Thursday before going down 47-43 in the third place game of the Marionville Invitational.
The Comets took an early lead in Saturday's matchup with the Owls, forcing the visitors to take a regrouping timeout with the scoreboard reading 7-2. But Spokane rallied to tie the game at 10 with two minutes left in the opening quarter and take the lead with less than a minute to go. After a strong start, the Comets found themselves down 12-10 at the end of the first period.
Spokane opened the scoring with a free throw in the second, but Marionville eventually went ahead again on a three by senior Josh Goodman. But the visitors kept the Comet shooters at bay and tied the game at 22, which would be the score at halftime.
Marionville's struggles only intensified after the intermission, as the offense was only able to come up with four points in the third quarter. On the other end, the defense was failing to keep Spokane from scoring, and the Owls led by as many as 11 points before the end of the period.
In the fourth quarter, the Comets couldn't get a shot to fall until the 4:08 mark, when senior Gavin Stanton converted an old-fashioned three-point play to make it 37-29. From there, Spokane kept Marionville just quiet enough on the offensive end to ensure a win -- despite two Comet three-pointers in the final seconds of the contest. Senior Laythen Utke drained a buzzer-beating trey, but the home team was still four points short in the 47-43 loss.
Goodman and Stanton finished with 16 and 14 points, respectively, to lead the Comets. Utke added 10, while Kale Bateman contributed two and Jordan Williams scored one from the free throw line.
The Comets followed the tournament with a 66-59 home victory over Billings to improve to 2-2 on the season. They will travel to Southwest on Friday and Galena on Tuesday before returning home for a matchup with Verona on Thursday.