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Lost chances haunt Eagles

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Brandon's play in its 50-46 overtime loss to Eagle Lake Lake Region can be summed up by two sequences in the final seconds.

Trailing 49-46 with 30 seconds left, Brandon fouled Lake Region's Quentin Cullop, who stepped to the free throw line to shoot a one-and-one that could have made it a two-possession game. Cullop missed the front end, but Brandon's Devin Smith couldn't corral the rebound as it bounced off him out of bounds.

Brandon was again forced to foul to get the ball back. This time they fouled Greg Hamm, who faced the same situation. Like Cullop, Hamm missed. Smith went up for the board, came down with the ball and promptly threw it away.

Lake Region's Josh Maynard made sure Brandon wouldn't have a third chance to throw away a potential game-tying opportunity by knocking down one of his two free throw attempts after Brandon was forced to foul for a third time. Brandon missed a 3-pointer at the other end and the Thunder escaped with the victory.

With four guards starting, Brandon, as it has done all season, tried to play faster than its opponent. Tuesday that strategy backfired. The Eagles tried to force passes that weren't there and ended up committing 28 turnovers, 12 more than Lake Region.

"It was uncharacteristic of our guards to turn it over as much as they did," Brandon coach Mark Hermann said. "You have to credit Lake Region, though. They have some great athletes."

With the game tied at 44, Brandon had a chance to win in regulation when Maynard traveled with 12 seconds to play. The Eagles' Korri Ennis drove the lane with time winding toward zero but lost the ball on the way up. Smith's put-back attempt after grabbing the rebound was too strong.

"They did a good job guarding Korri," Hermann said of Ennis, who had nine points and made a number of costly turnovers. "Korri didn't do a good enough job of handling their pressure. He tried to force the issue a little too much."

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