A poor shooting night was not how Maysville envisioned opening its season Friday.
The Panthers made 14 of 52 from the floor, including a 3-for-17 effort in the fourth quarter, in a 52-41 loss to host Cambridge in the season opener at Gene Ford Gymnasium.
The fourth epitomized the evening for Maysville. The Panthers, who trailed 33-32 entering the quarter, missed its first eight shots — including five on one possession — to open the quarter.
Those missed opportunities were the difference, Maysville coach Chris Rider said.
“We just didn’t play well,” Rider said. “I’m disappointed. We had a lot of good looks, but we just couldn’t make anything.”
The failure to take the lead came back to haunt the Panthers in the fourth. The Bobcats used the foul line to pull away. After the five-shot possession for the Panthers, Devon Francis made two free throws to push Cambridge’s lead to 35-32.
Kyle Ritz split a pair the next trip down the court for the Bobcats, and Ben Standiford’s three-point play with 3:40 left made it 39-32.
The Cambridge lead grew to 42-33 at the 2:33 mark of the fourth, but Marcus Cox hit a jumper and a triple from Zach Vallee cut the deficit to 42-38 with 1:25 remaining.
Standiford then sealed the victory, making four consecutive free throws on the next two possessions, and Cambridge finished the fourth 15-for-20 from the line.
Rider thought if his team could have taken the lead, the outcome could have been different.
“When we made shots, we were able to press them,” Rider said. “I thought if we could get in front, we could press more. We were unable to put ourselves in that position.”
Cambridge led 14-9 after the first quarter and pushed its advantage 19-12 early in the second quarter before Eli Chambers hit a bucket to spark a 10-3 Maysville run to cap the first half. Tanner Stottsberry added four points during that run, and a pair of free throws from Cox tied the game at 22 at halftime.
The Bobcats led by as many as six in the third quarter, but Chambers stole a pass and laid the ball in with 14 seconds remaining in the third to pull within 33-32 entering the fourth.
Chambers led Maysville with 11 points and three assists, while Cox and Justin Wilson each had 10 points. Wilson also grabbed a team-high eight rebounds; Stottsberry had six.
Ritz led the Bobcats with 15 points, Francis chipped in 14, and Standiford had 13. Cambridge had a 33-23 edge on the boards and was 14 of 31 from the floor to overcome 19 turnovers.
Trevor Wilkinson had 15 points as Cambridge reserves won, 47-32. Tyler Jenkins’ 11 led Maysville.