In the late game, Hershey (8-4) squeaked by a stubborn Sailor team 53-47 for a hard fought victory.

The Panthers Sage Young had a hot hand and scored 13 of Hershey’s 17 first quarter points. Ahead by seven, they outscored the Sailors 11-4 to go the locker room with a 14 point lead.

Sutherland (4-4)  regrouped at halftime and begin to whitle away at the Panther’s lead.

Sailor Tayton Schuster hit some key outside shots and teammate Jade Paxton grabbed some offensive rebounds and cashed in with some second shot points to pull their team back to a nine point deficit entering the fourth quarter.

The teams traded baskets throughout the first six minutes of the fourth and the Panthers seemed to have the game under control, up 49-39.

But that is when things started to go Sutherland’s way.  A couple of turnovers led to some easy buckets and the Sailors cut the lead to four.

With time winding down the Sailors were forced to foul and Hershey sank some key free throws to hold on for the win.

Hershey Coach Dustin Jorgenson said the Panthers did some good things but still need to improve. “We still have some mental lapses and don’t take care of the basketball,” he said. “The other thing we need to do is win the battle on the boards, We did it in the first half but in the second half they got a lot of second and third chance opportunities. We have got to get better at rebounding.”

Several Hershey players were battling sickness. “But that is no excuse, they had sick guys too,” Jorgenson said. “It’s that time of the year, Everybody is sick and everybody is tired. We just have to be tough and fight through it.”

Hershey’s Young ended the game with 20 points, Austin Hoelscher had nine and Thomas Gosnell scored eight.

Two players accounted for 38 of Sutherland’s 47 points. Paxton led with 20 and Schuster scored 18.

Hershey will travel to Valentine (2-8) Saturday.

“It’s on the road and it’s at Valentine so it is always a dogfight,” Jorgenson said. “We will have to be ready to go hard.”

Score by quarter:

Hershey: 17 -11 -8 -17 -53

Sutherland: 10 -4 -13 -20 -47