Seabury Academy basketball fans got their money's worth Tuesday night.
The Seahawk boys battled Hartford in a thrilling back-and-forth game, but Hartford eventually escaped with a 44-39 victory.
"That was a heck of a game," Seabury coach Marcus Heckman said. "I hope our fans realize that we pretty much changed everything we had done all year in order to put in a game plan that would keep us in the game tonight. Our kids executed the game plan and did everything they could do to win the game. I'm thrilled about that."
Hartford, despite a 10-8 record, is considered one of the state's top Class 1A teams.
In the first half, though, Seabury (7-10) looked the favorite. The Seahawks ended the half on a 8-1 to run and took a 24-18 halftime lead.
The lead was short-lived, as Hartford opened the third quarter with a 10-0 run and took a 28-24 lead. Seabury did not score until the 2:05 mark in the quarter - nearly a six-minute drought.
"We did awesome in the first half, but then they went on that run," said senior Adam Davis, who finished with 14 points. "We lost focus and got kind of tired. We didn't give up, though, and battled back."
The teams traded baskets until a Grayson Dillon free throw cut the Hartford lead to one at 34-35 with 4:31 left. As Seabury set up its zone defense on the ensuing possession, Hartford began to stall. As the clock approached the 3-minute mark, Seabury turned up its pressure and forced a back-court violation.
Seabury still trailed by five with 30.5 seconds remaining when Davis came off of a triple screen and buried a three-pointer from the wing to cut the lead to two with 19.5 seconds left.
Hartford's Adam Heckathorn was fouled and went to the line with a chance to clinch the game but missed one of two free throws, making the score at 42-39 with 17 seconds left.
Davis's potentially game-tying three from the corner was partially blocked, and it fell short. Seabury had to foul, and Hartford sealed the game by hitting two free throws.
"We were going to run the same triple back-screen play that we had just run but there was a scramble, and I ended up getting the ball in the corner," Davis said of the final play. "It felt good when it left my hand. If he hadn't tipped it, it would have gone in."
Hartford 51, Seabury girls 28
The girls game was a lot less thrilling, as Seabury led the entire first quarter and part of the second quarter but eventually fell. The Seahawks (5-12) led 14-10 midway through the second quarter before Hartford closed the rest of the game on a 41-14 run.
"We made a lot of mistakes tonight," Seahawks coach Nick Taylor said. "We turned the ball over way too many times tonight, and we gave them a lot of easy layups. We didn't rebound very well, either."
Seabury's boys and girls will have Senior Night on Friday when they play host to Topeka Heritage Christian.