The Temple High School boys' basketball team suffered a 50-37 setback to Spring Garden (Ala.) in the semifinal round of the 42nd Annual Hilburn-Patterson Haralson County Invitational Tournament in Thursday's late contest, dropping David Cottrell's ballclub into the third-place game today.
The Tigers (2-8) will get the chance to avenge a Dec. 19 loss to Bremen in the 5 p.m. showdown back in Tallapoosa.
As for Thursday night's action, Temple hung tight with the Panthers (8-3) through one half of play, trailing 11-8 after the first quarter and 29-22 at the intermission, but Spring Garden kept the Tigers around a double-digit deficit for much of the second half.
Temple cut the lead to single digits at 40-31 on an Elijah Thomas 3-pointer midway through the third quarter, but would get no closer the rest of the way against the fundamentally-sound squad from across the state line.
The Panthers played the stall game in the fourth quarter, as there were a combined 10 points between the two teams.
Thomas led all scorers with 14 points, followed by Javin Boles with 13 for Temple.
Spring Garden featured a balanced attack led by Weston Kirk with 13 points, while Riley Austin, Dalton Rogers and Draevan Bowman scored eight points apiece.
In other prep basketball action from Thursday night:
Villa Rica girls 61, Woodland, Cartersville 11: The Lady Wildcats (10-0, 5-0 Region 7-AAAAA) were led by Deasia Merrill with 13 points, followed by Tee Windom with 12, Kyndal Coleman and Emmy Parham with 10 each and Aliyah Hindsman with seven.
Model boys 78, Mount Zion 67: The Eagles (5-5) fell on the road despite a 30-point effort from T.J. Cagle, while Iaan "Mike Mike" Cousin added 12 points.
MZ was without senior guard C.J. Ackles, who was playing in the GACA All-Star Game in Warner Robins on Thursday.
The Eagles return to the court today with a date against Dalton.