Three errant passes in the final minute cost the Greenwood boys basketball team Friday night against visiting Mooresville.
Mooresville converted all three passes into steals and turned a tight contest into a 76-71 win.
The mistakes soured an otherwise good night for the Woodmen, who came back from a nine-point halftime deficit in the Mid-State Conference showdown.
“(Mooresville) is a hard team to guard,” Greenwood coach Bruce Hensley said. “They are a senior team with a lot of experience, but we gave a good effort, but we couldn’t quite tie the game.
“That put some pressure on us to score, and we came up short.”
With the loss, the Woodmen dipped to 10-10 and overall and to 2-4 in the Mid-State.
Mooresville raced to a 36-27 lead, mainly by making fewer errors and playing a better inside game than the Woodmen.
Greenwood, for its part, matched the pace of the Pioneers but at times had trouble converting outside shots.
But the Woodmen fared better from the field in the third quarter and worked their way back into contention. They trailed by two entering the fourth quarter.
The score remained close the rest of the way.
“Offensively, I was very pleased,” Hensley said. “Our problem was we could only cut their lead to two, and we had a hard time on defense.
“We have to learn to get better on defense.”
Trailing by only one, 72-71 with 45 seconds to play, the Woodmen picked the wrong time to turn over the ball. Twice, they threw the ball to Mooresville players while trying to set up game-tying baskets. A third turnover occurred on a desperation inbound pass.
“We were pressed, but we competed,” Hensley said. “I love this team and the effort they gave. They will get better.”
The Woodmen were led by 6-foot-5 sophomore Jeff Reynolds with 19 points and 10 rebounds.
Braydon Kincaid and Justin Connley each scored 14 for the Woodmen. Eric Moenkhaus adding 13 points.
Mooresville was led by senior K.C. Earls, who had two of those stolen passes. He had a game-high 22 points.
Teammate Cameron Harris added 20, while Landon Harder had 16 points for Mooresville (13-7).
Greenwood’s next game is Tuesday at county rival Indian Creek.