By Jim Manion | Correspondent
The Garfield G-Men let one slip away Monday night in the Warren Division III Sectional at Howland High School.
Garfield outscored, out-rebounded and outplayed Campbell Memorial in the second half, but when the final buzzer sounded, the G-Men came up short 49-46. The result is the end of the 2012-13 cage season for the G-Men.
A five-minute span in the second quarter -- when the G-Men turned over the ball five times and the Red Devils (7-16) went on a 13-0 run -- spelled doom for Garfield.
The G-Men (9-14) took an early lead in the first quarter when they scored every point in the paint for a 13-11 margin at the first break. The score was tied three times in the quarter, before Garfield's Anthony Workman broke an 11-11 lock with a layup as the first quarter came to a close.
It was apparent early that Garfield head coach Andy Olesky was determined to pound the ball inside and take advantage of the G-Men height.
Steven Lambert and Tyler Covey both scored inside and Garfield pulled out to a 19-16 lead at 5:26 of the second quarter, however, the G-Men would only score one time in that final five minutes. A driving layup by Nick Jurcevic at the buzzer but the G-Men went to the locker room down 29-19.
"The first half just killed us," said Olesky. "We just didn't have it, dug ourselves a hole and couldn't get out of it. They didn't go away and played to their strengths, so I give Campbell credit."
Garfield cut the deficit in half in the third quarter and only trailed by four 37-33 heading into the final quarter. The G-Men then cut the Red Devils' lead to only two early in the quarter when Matt Pratt hit a 3-pointer, then came back with a soft jumper.
A basket by Fred Maxey inside to open up the fourth quarter and then a score by Pratt off a Red Devils' turnover tied the contest at the 5:55 mark of the final quarter. A free throw by Workman gave the G-Men a 38-37 lead with 5:24 remaining.
The momentum changed quickly, however, as the Devils scored the next nine points for a 46-38 lead that they would not relinquish for the remainder of the game.
Campbell made only 3-of-11 free throws in the final 1:26, missing the last six in a row, but Garfield could not take advantage of the opportunities. Garfield pulled to within three points (49-46) with 14.7 on the clock and the Devils proceeded to miss the final five shots at the foul line, but the G-Men could not find the hole.
"We made a couple adjustments at the half and we improved, but that hole we dug, just killed us again," said Olesky.
Pratt led the Garfield scoring with 15 points, hitting 8-for-8 from the foul line. Workman finished with 12 points and six rebounds, while Fred Maxey scored six points and had a team-leading 10 rebounds.
George Billiris led the Red Devils with 15 points, while DJ Harrison scored 10 points.