Skyline boys never led in their district semifinals game against Fair Play Thursday night, but stayed close most of the game. That included the last few seconds when the Tigers ultimately lost 56-54.
Orville Lanuzo drove the lane for a layup with 24 seconds left in the game to make the score 56-54. Then, later he drove down the lane again and dished off, but the Tigers’ shot wouldn’t go down, so they lost by two.
Second-seeded Fair Play held an early 8-2 lead, but baskets by Brant Gideon, Shawn Bryan and Dax Beem brought the Tigers back to just an 11-8 deficit. But the Hornets went back in front 17-10 b y the end of the opening quarter.
Skyline managed to stay within five or six points throughout the second period, and in fact trailed 32-27 at intermission. Fair Play outscored the third-seeded Tigers 13-7 in the third to lead 45-34.
In the fourth quarter, though, Skyline was sparked by a combination of Lanuzo and Gage Gunter, which accounted for an 8-0 run to begin the final stanza. Lanuzo, a quick senior, started driving down the lane and dishing off to freshman Gunter, and it was highly effective.
Their first try ended with a free throw by Gunter, who finished with a team-high 15 points. Gunter then got a layup following a fast-break pass from Beem. Lanuzo followed with a drive down the baseline and another dish to Gunter for a basket. Gunter also was fouled on the play, and hit the free throw.
Lanuzo once again drove the lane for a layup, and all of a sudden Fair Play led by just three points, 45-42. Gunter had 12 of his 15 points in the final quarter and Lanuzo scored four of his eight points. Bryan and Beem added 10 points apiece, and Gideon added nine.
In the opening round of the tournament, Skyline rolled past Pleasant Hope 57-37 as Gideon poured in 23 points and Beem added 11. Bryan had nine points and Gunter seven.
Gideon was selected for the All-District team.