WEST BURLINGTON – Central Lee would win a hard luck award if one was given out at the season’s end.
The Hawks are 5-8 on the year and 5-5 in the Southeast Iowa Superconference South division this year. They dropped another heartbreaker to West Burlington (9-3, 8-2) 65-63 Friday night.
The Central Lee boys have lost six of their games by less than six points and three by two points or less, including one point losses to Fort Madison and Davis County.
The Hawks had their eyes set on knocking off the Falcons on the road, after they manhandled Van Buren 76-53 earlier in the week.
Central Lee had a slim 14-13 lead in the final minute of the first quarter, but a 3-ball from the Falcons put West Burlington ahead for good.
West Burlington would build leads as big as 12 at 43-31 in the third period and held a 10-point lead with six minutes left in the game, but Central Lee would go on a 15-7 run in a four-minute span to cut it two at 63-61 with two minutes left in the game.
Three 3-pointers, two from Jaxon Betker and another from Bronson Sargent, who led the Hawks with a game-high 21, got the rally started for Central Lee.
Sargent and Seth Mayes each converted a couple free throws to keep the game close, but Ethan Eliers, who finished with 10 on the night got a couple buckets late inside to put allow the Falcons to hold on for the win.
Betker had 15 for Central Lee, followed by Dylan Stuecker’s 11. Kade Myhre and Mayes both had six on the night, while Alex Sandoval added three and Derick Denning scored one to round out the Hawks scoring.
Marvion Jackson led West Burlington with 16. Colten Sherwood had 13 and Darion Johnson scored 11 for the Falcons.
The Hawks host Danville on Tuesday night in another SEISC matchup.