MONTICELLO -- When its offense went south in the second quarter of Argenta-Oreana's first game of two on Wednesday, coach Tom Saunches wished no one had to see how hard his team fell.
His family was watching.
"It was hard to watch this afternoon," Saunches said. "My son, my daughter and my three grand kids were here and I was like, I don't know, close their eyes. I don't want them to see this."
What they saw was Argenta go from a 16-10 first quarter lead to scoring a dreadful 17 total points over the next three periods and losing 60-33 against Paxton-Buckley-Loda Wednesday morning.
Again, the Bombers came unhinged in the second quarter of their night cap, going from a 14-10 first quarter deficit to 24-12 at halftime. They had more turnovers (14) than points in the first two quarters and committed more turnovers (8) in the second quarter than they did shots (6).
"It was almost like we were doing a video for the IHSA on how to make a turnover, how to create a turnover, and we were the willing recipient of the cash grant to do that film there," Saunches said.
But in the six-or-so hours since their loss to PBL, Argenta learned its lesson.
The Bombers (5-4) battled back, closing Ridgeview's lead to within three points on Brody Ulrey's 3-pointer with less than a minute to go in a 56-46 loss Wednesday night at the Sages Holiday Hoopla.
"Coach challenged us -- said we hadn't faced much adversity in the year," Ulrey said. "We kind of folded against PBL, so we wanted to see what we have."
They had Pierce Bradford, who went from 0-for-6 in the first half to score nine points in the third quarter and 11 total.
His hot streak helped Argenta close its deficit down to 27-22 halfway through the third quarter. Yet, during the next four minutes, Ridgeview answered.
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Led by Noah Young, who scored a game-high 21 points, the Mustangs led 41-28 entering the fourth quarter.
A pair of 3s by Jared Gifford helped Argenta close the gap again in the fourth quarter, but then two other misses by him and two missed layups by JaColby Boston following empty Ridgeview possessions stalled the comeback.
After a Boston 3-pointer, Ulrey's 3 made it a one possession game, 49-46, with less than a minute to play.
Ridgeview's Tyler McCormick split two defenders and was pulled down from behind for an intentional foul on the next possession. Free throws the rest of the way sealed it for the Mustangs (12-0), who today will play for their fourth consecutive title in Monticello.
"Those are the best two basketball teams we've played (this year) and we just got demolished this afternoon," Saunches said. "It would've been easy for us to come over and just feel sorry for ourselves. After a dreadful last three quarters of the first game ... I thought we made a big step up."
GCMS 66, Monticello 55
Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley won a game of swings by taking the biggest one.
Each of the four quarters were lopsided -- 21-11 Monticello in the first, 22-10 GCMS in the second, 21-12 Monticello in the third.
GCMS (4-2) won the fourth, though, 21-3. In those eight minutes, Monticello (7-1) shot 7 percent and watched its seven-point lead disappear.
"Once they got into that transition and got it going, we had some untimely turnovers and again we just weren't executing well and kept the door open for them and they took advantage of every opportunity they had," Monticello coach Kevin Roy said.