FORT WAYNE, Ind.
Central held a small lead midway through the fourth quarter, but Fort Wayne Snider came back to make the key plays down the stretch and pulled out a 58-55 victory Wednesday night.
Central (7-13), which wrapped up its regular season, came back from a four-point deficit with just 44 seconds left in the game to take a one-point lead.
Kaleb Mallory started the comeback with two free throws with 35 seconds left. The Bearcats got a steal from Darryl McKinney on the ensuing inbounds pass. He missed a layup, but Jabriel Allen scored on a putback rebound, was fouled and made the free throw to lift the Bearcats to a 55-54 lead with 27 seconds left.
But Snider (10-9) made two free throws with eight seconds to go to regain the lead at 56-55, and Central couldn’t come back again. The Bearcats’ opportunity for a late game-winning basket ended when McKinney stepped out of bounds while trying to shoot a 3-point shot in the corner with 1.4 seconds left.
Snider rebounded and added two free throws for the final 58-55 margin.
Allen led Central with 29 points, and Mallory added 18.
The Bearcats won’t play again until March 1 in the semifinals of their Class 3A sectional in the Muncie Fieldhouse.