SPRINGFIELD - Basketball season is over for the Station Camp Bison.
Despite a furious three quarter rally, Station Camp could not make up for their bad first quarter, falling in the Region 5-AAA semifinals to Clarksville Northeast (25-4), 44-42.
Station Camp ends its season at 22-11.
"I thought our kids played hard tonight after the tough start," Station Camp head coach Seth Massey said. "Their speed and athleticism bothered us early, but once we got settled into the game, I thought Cameron did an excellent job down low, commanding the ball. I thought they did an outstanding job defensively on our wings, and I thought we fought. We were right there. We never could get that lead. They are a good ball team, and congratulations to them."
The game started slow for the Bison as they fell behind 12-0 early in the first quarter before getting out of the first eight minute stretch down 14-4.
Instead of crumbling, the Bison showed poise climbing back into the game, 23-16 by the end of the half.
"We weren't playing strong defensively, or doing what we do, so I just let them know that at the end of the first quarter and to these kids' credit, they stepped it up."
In the third frame, Station Camp kept the game close, closing their deficit to a one possession game four times. Despite their best effort, the Bison never could get the stop and score they needed to tie or take their first lead.
Trailing 32-29 at the end of three quarters, both teams traded buckets en route to a 40-40 tie with 3:09 remaining.
From there, Marcus Averhurt gave Northeast a lead they would not surrender.
Averhurt launched and hit from the corner in front of his bench, giving the Eagles a 43-40 advantage with 2:26 left.
Station Camp had their chances late to lead, getting four free throws after back-to-back offensive rebounds, but both Eli Thurston and Cameron Gerlach missed one of their two free throws cutting the deficit to 43-42.
With 29 seconds remaining and Clarksville Northeast's Ty Jackson at the line trying to extend the Eagles' lead, Jackson missed both of his free throws. But, the Bison failed to collect the rebound resulting in an offensive rebound for the Eagles and two more free throws for Josh Alexander.
Alexander made his first but missed his second free throw giving Northeast a 44-42 lead with 27 seconds left.
Collecting the miss, Station Camp had their chance to win the game at the end, but Kavon Blankenship's shot went out of bounds as time expired, giving Northeast the victory.
The loss ends the careers for six seniors Kavon Blankenship, Eli Thurston, Cameron Gerlach, Jack Gold, Alex Vaughn, and Trey Moore.
"They expect to win and be in big games," Massey said of his senior class. "These guys gave us everything they had. They worked hard, and more importantly, they cared about one another. What they did for us the last four years they put us in competitive games on some of the biggest stages. Tonight wasn't about what we didn't do; it was about what they did."
Clarksville Northeast (44): Marcus Averhurt 12, Dailen Hairston 9, Ty Jackson 9, Josh Alexander 5, Isaiah Farrior 4, Jaylen Miller 2, Tomario Vereen 2, Jalen Bussey 1.
Station Camp (42): Cameron Gerlach 16, Kavon Blankenship 9, Eli Thurston 8, Kheller Die' 5, Jack Gold 2, Tyler Moore 2.