Inexperience was at the forefront for the Graves County Eagles on Thursday night at the Marshall County Hoopfest.
Facing a Massac County team that returned a majority of starters from a season ago, the Eagles struggled to find a reliable scorer as they fell to the Patriots 57-39.
The Eagles got off to a slow start, falling behind 6-0 early before storming back to cut the deficit to 13-8 at the end of the first.
In the second quarter, Massac County took off.
The Patriots outscored the Eagles 18-5 while shooting 44% from the field.
While Massac continued to score, Graves failed to convert on easy chances at the rim, shooting 26% from the field while going 1-5 from the charity stripe.
A 6-22 shooting effort in the first half left the Eagles down 32-13 at the break.
Following a sluggish first half, Graves County came out and scored a game-high 13 third quarter points, cutting its deficit to 14 heading into the fourth.
In the fourth quarter, defense continued to be a problem for the Eagles as the Patriots outscored Graves County 19-15 in route to a 57-39 win.
Junior Race Richards led the Graves County Eagles in scoring, tallying 13 points on 4-11 shooting while going 5-6 from the free throw line.
Following the Eagles' first loss of the season, Graves County head coach Josh Frick said missed opportunities and inexperience were his team;s biggest problems against Massac County.
"We just missed point blank shots," Frick said. "There nin the second quarter we were able to get to the rim but couldn't complete it. [And] when you go 1-15 from three you're not going to beat many teams. They have an experienced team back and their guard play was way better than ours tonight and that was really the difference in the game."
Graves County will be back in action this weekend as they take on Herrin, IL, at Marion High School in Marion, Illinois, on Saturday, at 6 p.m.
Massac Co. 14 18 6 19 57
Graves Co. 8 5 11 15 39
Massac: Travis 15, Russell 13, Sweatt 10, Mizell 7, Keyes 6, McIntosh 4, Ramer 2.
Field goals: 21-47. 3-pointers: 4-15 (Keyes 1, Mizell 1, Travis 1, Russell 1). Free throws: 11-13. Reb: 35. Fouls: 12. Ast: 8.
Graves: Richards 13, Thomas 9, Brown 8, Chalker 5, Oliver 4.
Field goals: 16-45. 3-pointers: 1-15 (Thomas 1). Free throws: 6-16. Reb: 28. Fouls: 13. Ast: 9.