So close, but yet so far.
That’s one way of summarizing a frustrating loss for Whiteland Community High School’s boys basketball game at Mid-State Conference rival Plainfield on Friday night.
The Warriors fought back from a double-digit deficit in the third quarter, but couldn’t overtake the Quakers in a 50-40 loss.
Plainfield evened its record at 1-1, while Whiteland dropped to 1-2. The low-scoring contest was the Mid-State schedule opener for both schools.
Trailing 29-19 early in the third period, the Warriors manufactured their best run of the night, scoring eight straight points in the span of 2-1/2 minutes to pull within one. Sophomore reserve Tom Purdie tallied two consecutive baskets in the rally.
Quakers' junior guard Kyler Nichols stopped the visitors’ streak with a pair of free throws to put Plainfield up 33-30, but senior guard Trent Sandlin answered with a hoop to again pull Whiteland to within a point.
The Warriors then had three chances to wrest away the lead, but couldn’t cash in their possessions. The Quakers made them even more expensive, scoring eight straight points – including a pair of three-point baskets by sophomore forward Max Kurkowski – to break it open.
Whiteland was never able to get closer than seven points the rest of the way.
Kurkowski led all scorers with 15 points, hitting four treys in all. Freshman center Nathan Mills added 11 points for the hosts.
Senior John Hubler was the only Warrior to score in double digits with his 13 points. The forward knocked in three 3-pointers. Junior Bryce Staker added eight points for Whiteland.