The Spartans were down by 16 points at one juncture in the game, and then came charging back in the second half to trail by just three late with a shot at the buzzer to tie it.
But, that shot didn’t fall.
“We played an up tempo first half,” Hart head coach Adam Jerry said, “getting open shots and running the floor to open up a 14-point lead. The Spartans chipped away in the third quarter, but we weathered the storm and me some winning plays down the stretch.
“Kohen Porter had two huge steals and a bucket in the final two minutes. Parker Hovey scored seven points in the fourth period, going 5-of-5 from the line. Team defense and defensive intensity were keys to the victory.”
Hart came out smoking in the first half, outscoring the Spartans in the first period, 15-9 and then used a 15-7 advantage in the second to build a 30-16 halftime cushion.
The second half was all Spartans, as they came storming back to make it close at the end. They outscored the Pirates, 14-6 in the third and shaved the Pirate lead to 36-30. The Spartans also outscored Hart in the fourth, 19-16.
“We didn’t play well in the first half,” Spartans coach Tim Genson said. “We had a lot of self inflicted wounds. They did a good job of driving and kicking out.
“They made like eight 3’s on us tonight. We were half a step slow on some of those. We didn’t do a good job of containing the drive. The second half we fought back real hard.”
Will Chye was the leading scorer for the Spartans with 17 points, while Jayden Perrone tossed in 13 points and ripped down eight rebounds.
Parker Hovey had a game-high 19 points for the Pirates, and Kohen Porter chipped in 10 points and had three assists.
Mason County Central fell to 0-2 overall and 0-1 in the WMC, and will be at White Cloud next Tuesday. Hart improved to 2-0 in all games and 1-0 in the WMC. Next up for the Pirates is a trip to Ravenna next Thursday before heading into the Christmas break.