Craig Harris/Macon County Times Red Boiling Springs junior forward Omarion Williams elevates for a first-quarter layin in front of Northview Academy’s Hunter Weyant.

Craig Harris/Macon County Times

Red Boiling Springs junior forward Omarion Williams elevates for a first-quarter layin in front of Northview Academy’s Hunter Weyant.

JAMESTOWN -- The Red Boiling Springs High boys basketball team has tried to play quality competition to prepare itself for district play and for the postseason.

The Bulldogs have found themselves in numerous close games as a result, and their final game of the Hall's Sgt. York Southeastern Christmas Invitational was another of those.

However, RBS wasn't able to make enough plays down the stretch, suffering a 62-57 loss to Northview Academy in the tournament's third-place game on Saturday afternoon at York Institute.

"Overall, I thought we played well," Owens said of the tournament. "We've played well. We just haven't executed as efficient as we need to."

It was the Bulldogs' 10th game against a Class AA opponent.

"It was a good three days," Owens said of the tournament. "We beat Cloudland by three (on Thursday). The York game (a loss on Friday) was a four-point game with 2:22 to go, and they're a very good team. Northview and Clay (County in Friday's semifinal game), it was a five-point game yesterday.

"It was good competition. This is another AA school. It's our 10th AA school we've played this year. We've played a pretty tough schedule. Maybe that has us ready for what we have coming up down the stretch."

RBS (12-6) jumped out to a five-point lead in the game's early stages as seniors Matthew Murphy and James Sampson made 3-pointers.

However, Courgar guard Hunter Walker converted an interior basket at the first-quarter buzzer, pulling his squad to within a point.

There were five lead changes in the second quarter.

Bulldog senior center Dalton Marsh was whistled for his third foul with 3:25 remaining in the half, sending him to the bench.

Northview Academy (11-6) surged in front with Marsh out of the game.

Preston Hickey's three-point play gave the Cougars a 33-29 lead at halftime.

"In the first half, I thought we forced some shots," Owens said. "We did things uncharacteristically that we haven't done all year. I told them, 'You guys are taking bad shots, and that's not us.' When you take bad shots, it leads to transition baskets. Those things are the difference in the game."

Marsh scored eight of his game-high 26 points in the third quarter, helping RBS to retake the lead.

However, Kobe Finch's 3-pointer gave Northview Academy a 43-42 advantage entering the final period.

"Every time we'd tie it, we'd give up a three," Owens said. "They just made big shots."

The Cougars extended the lead to five points, but the Lady Bulldogs battled back to tie the contest on Murphy's 3-pointer with 5:26 remaining.

Murphy finished with 16 points.

"He played well," Owens said of Murphy. "He'd been struggling a little bit. He stepped up and was good defensively. He had a big game."

Marsh converted a layin with 1:19 remaining to pull his squad back to within two, and Marsh blocked a shot on the other end of the court that gave the ball back to RBS.

However, on the ensuing possession, the Bulldogs called a timeout, but the team had already used all of its timeouts. That resulted in a technical foul, sending Northview Academy to the free-throw line with 41.4 seconds remaining.

Hickey made one of the two free throws, and Finch tossed in two free throws 15 seconds later for a 60-55 lead.

Marsh's basket created a three-point margin, but Walker sealed the win by knocking down two more free throws with 6.6 seconds showing.

Walker led three players in double figures with 16 points.

Finch, Hickey, Marsh and Williams were all selected to the all-tournament team.

"We've worked on hedging on ball screens," Owens said. "It's just frustrating when you help, and people who haven't shot any threes knock them down on you. We gave up 31 3-pointers in three (tournament) games. People have shot lights out on us.

"We just have to do a better job of rotating over and rotating down. We have to take away the layup."

York Institute claimed the tournament title with a 66-59 victory over Clay County in Saturday evening's championship game.

Dragon standout Roger Meadows was selected as the tournament's most valuable player.

Northview Academy boys 62, Red Boiling Springs 57

NORTHVIEW ACADEMY (62) – Hunter Walker 16, Kobe Finch 12, Preston Hickey 10, Brady Lowe 8, Dakota Teague 8, Caden Swann 3, Conner Weyant 3, Erik Chandler 2.

RBS (57) – Dalton Marsh 26, Matthew Murphy 16, Omarion Williams 6, James Sampson 5, Mason Hix 4.

Half: 33-29, Northview Academy. Three-point goals: RBS 4 (Murphy 3, Sampson 1), Northview Academy 8 (Finch 2, Lowe 2, Teague 2, Swann 1, Teague 1). Records: RBS 12-6, Northview Academy 11-6.