Those who saw just the fourth quarters of Northwestern's games this week in the 10th annual Moody Holiday Classic got their money's worth.
The host Trojans did their part to provide drama but could pull out only one victory in three contests.
Thursday night's third-place game was their second heartbreaker in as many nights as the Trojans (6-6) lost 42-40 to Fairfield Central on a putback at the buzzer by freshman Keith Workman.
Workman led the Griffins with 14 points, including two other putbacks in the back-and-forth final period. His previous follow shot had given the Griffins a 40-39 lead with 45 ticks left after Northwestern had missed the front end of a one-and-one.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Herald
The Trojans had possession of the ball with 21.9 seconds left and the score tied but lost it out of bounds with 9.4 seconds remaining to set up the final play.
"We knew they were going to the hole and guys were there, we just couldn't get our hands on the rebound and the guy threw one up," Trojans coach Mike Gossett said. "What are you gonna do? Better teams than us have lost on a shot like that."
Junior Jaleen Orr and sophomore Rontavious McClure both came up big for the Trojans with 11 points apiece. Orr had a steal and lay-in and a three-point play to start the fourth quarter. McClure averaged more than 13 points for the week.
Senior Alvin McClure also had back-to-back baskets to finish off a 6-0 third-quarter run for the Trojans to tie the score at 27.
Junior Jhante McMillian, who started at point guard in place of sophomore Lathomas Long, gave the Trojans a 30-29 lead with a 3-pointer just before the end of the period. Long sat out for disciplinary reasons.
"Alvin, Montavious, Jaleen and Mustafia Love, who is a ninth-grader, did a great job for us tonight," Gossett said. "We still aren't making our free throws, and that's a big bug-a-boo for us, but maybe the new year will bring us a free throw czar or something, I don't know."
Gossett's optimistic about his team at this point in the season.
"I told them that we would have a real good idea where we are by December," Gossett said. "We've had seven or eight practices together as a group, and we've had a lot of guys come off the football team so we really started all over again a few weeks ago.
"They've come a long way with everything we've put in and now that we've got everything in we can practice on the things that we need to do. So I'm disappointed but I'm happy. The guys are working their tail off and we've just got to keep fighting and we'll be OK."
Before the game, Ozzie Ahl, Northwestern's outgoing assistant principal, was presented with a special game ball. Ahl takes over as principal at Rock Hill High in January.
FAIRFIELD CENTRAL 42
Fairfield Central -- Danny Miller 2, Nahjawan McKinstry 9, Carlos Simpson 8, Keith Workman 14, Devontre Parnell 7, Denzel Jones 2
Northwestern -- Jhante McMillian 3, Mustafia Love 4, Jaleen Orr 11, Keith Bell 3, Alvin McClure 6, Julius Durham 2, Rontavious McClure 11
3-pointers: Fairfield Central 1 (Parnell), Northwestern 2 (Bell, McMillian). Team fouls: Fairfield Central 12, Northwestern 9. Fouled out: None
Record: Northwestern 6-6