Craig Harris/Macon County Times Red Boiling Springs Junior High point guard Riley Thompson releases a first-quarter 3-pointer. Thompson scored two points in the Bulldogs’ 40-31 loss.

Craig Harris/Macon County Times

Red Boiling Springs Junior High point guard Riley Thompson releases a first-quarter 3-pointer. Thompson scored two points in the Bulldogs’ 40-31 loss.

WESTMORELAND - The Red Boiling Springs Junior High boys basketball team fell behind early on and never recovered in its season finale, a 40-31 loss at Westmoreland last Thursday evening.

"This is a group that hasn't had much success, and success kind of crept in," Bulldog head coach Andrew Mullinix said. "We played with a chip on our shoulder. As we won some games, we started to feel like we belonged.

"We've had a bunch of players sick. We haven't had full practice in a week. But that's still not an excuse. We just didn't play with any energy."

The two teams met in Red Boiling Springs on Nov. 14, with RBS capturing a 39-26 victory.

However, the Eagles took a 6-4 lead midway through the first quarter and never looked back.

Westmoreland forward Preston King made a 3-pointer late in the opening period to give his squad a five-point advantage, and the Bulldogs called a timeout shortly thereafter.

King finished with a game-high 17 points.

"He was the emphasis on the game plan," Mullinix said of King.

However, Chris Hackney converted on a transition layin late in the first quarter and then made two free throws 30 seconds into the second stanza, pulling his squad back to within a point.

The Eagles responded by scoring the next eight points, with Miles Fitzpatrick's 3-pointer giving his squad a 19-10 lead.

The margin swelled to as much as 11 points after Cooper White converted on a short jump shot with 2:19 remaining in the half.

"Our effort on the defensive end was atrocious," Mullinix said. "The first 10-12 games, we were able to lock in (defensively). The last two games (including a 58-24 loss at Gordonsville), we were not ready to roll."

A Colton Copas 3-pointer and Chris Hackney's layin helped RBS trim the lead to eight points (25-17) by halftime.

However, the Bulldogs didn't produce a basket in the third quarter until Copas tossed in a 23-footer at the buzzer.

Westmoreland took a 35-21 advantage into the final period.

Caden Gregory made another 3-pointer 28 seconds into the fourth quarter to trim the lead to 11 points, but Westmoreland scored the next five points to stretch the lead to 16 points with less than three minutes remaining.

Hackney finished with a team-high 13 points, and Copas scored nine points.

"The last two games, we were just not dialed in," Mullinix said. "Outside of the last two games, we had a good year. We improved a ton, and we were competitive."

Westmoreland Middle boys 40, Red Boiling Springs 31

RED BOILING SPRINGS (31) – Chris Hackney 13, Colton Copas 9, Caden Gregory 5, Aubrey Link 2, Riley Thompson 2.

WESTMORELAND (40) – Preston King 17, Miles Fitzpatrick 7, Bryson Maxwell 5, Cooper White 3, Kyler Abell 2, Dylan Cook 2, Peyton Dickens 2, Jacob Richardson 2.

Half: 25-17, Westmoreland. Three-point goals: Red Boiling Springs 4 (Copas 3, Gregory 1), Westmoreland 2 (Fitzpatrick 1, King 1). Records: Red Boiling Springs 6-10.