Four-tenths of a second were taken off the clock before the West basketball team took its last possession against Bishop Carroll on Friday, and that's about how late Arnez Jones was in taking the final shot.
Jones' three-pointer from the corner bounced off the rim, giving Carroll a 37-36 win at Koch Arena, but the reduced time in being able to orchestrate a final play added to a troubling trend for West coach Phil Daignault.
"It just seems like the breaks always go the other way," Daignault said. "It just seems like breaks don't go our way. I don't know, maybe I'm just not a lucky guy."
The Pioneers have played opponents close but haven't broken through for a City League win. Friday, West had the ball after a Carroll turnover with 5.4 seconds to go, and it was knocked out of bounds with five seconds to go.
Carroll coach Lonnie Lollar argued that more time passed during the play, and he ultimately won, with the clock being reset to 4.6 seconds. West made an extra pass to get the ball to an open Jones in the corner, but time expired as he received the ball.
The Pioneers had the lead with 2:28 to go, when a Daylin Thomas basket put them ahead 36-34. A Jordan Bieberle three-point play with 1:45 to play gave Carroll the win, as the final moments were filled by mistakes from both teams.
"I thought they executed pretty well on the last play," Lollar said. "They just needed another tick."
The game was plodding at times and rapid at others. The Golden Eagles frequently broke West's press in the second quarter, when they had a 15-11 scoring advantage.
West adjusted in the third, dropping its press back to offset Carroll's quick passes. That produced a seven-point quarter, with the Eagles' only basket a three-pointer nearly seven minutes in.
Carroll had the lead for most of the fourth, losing it only on three straight points by West during the final three minutes. The Eagles' opportunities to build a bigger lead down the stretch were wasted by a pair of missed free throws and six turnovers in the final quarter.
"We did find the open man better in the second half," Lollar said. "We got a few more layups and (Tanner) Palmore and (Jordan) Bieberle both hit a big three. I hate saying this, but in close games three-pointers are pretty big."
Carroll (2-5, 2-5) 9 15 3 10 — 37 West (1-6, 0-6) 12 11 4 9 — 36
CARROLL: Newell 0 2-2 2, Palmore 2 0-0 6, Bullinger 5 0-0 10, Reazin 1 0-0 2, J. Bieberle 2 3-3 8, Lloyd 2 1-1 5, Sauber 2 0-2 4. Totals 14 (3) 6-8 37.
WEST: Jones 1 0-0 3, Clark 0 2-2 2, Hardy 1 0-0 2, Thomas 2 1-2 5, Wilson 5 5-6 15, Kelly 2 0-0 5, Mboob 1 0-0 2, Olberding 1 0-0 2. Totals 13 (2) 8-10 36.