MCPHERSON — Same story, different verse.
Free State High's boys basketball team opened the McPherson Tournament Thursday with a 52-43 loss to Maize.
"It was a really frustrating game," Free State coach Chuck Law said. "It's just another one that we should have won."
Law said the team started off well, but said they just fell off late.
"We came out really aggressive and played really well in the first quarter. They just really played fantastically," the Firebirds coach said. "But then we just kind of went into brain-lock, and we were careless with the ball, and as a result we really allowed them to get back into the game.
"We had a lot of self-inflicted wounds. Our mistakes wound up leading to points for them, and they were repeated mistakes - carelessness, basically."
Law said the Firebirds (3-7) had 21 turnovers in their tournament opener.
But Law lamented his team's 18-for-50 night from the field.
"We missed a lot of shots that we have to make if we are going to win games, especially in close ones like this one," Law said. "We just have dry spells where we just have difficulty scoring and handling the basketball."
One bright note for FSHS was the play of Ben Wilson, Law said. Wilson finished with six points. David Green led the Firebirds with 10.
"(Wilson) just played really well," Law said. "We've really challenged him in practice. And he was more of a presence down low than he has been, but we just need that more on a consistent basis."
Law especially was upset with how the Firebirds finished.
Maize scored the game's final nine points over a span of about a minute.
"We sent them home with a request that they take personal responsibility," Law said. "Find at least one thing in which they can contribute to help us win ball games."
Free State will face Wichita Collegiate at 3 p.m. today in the tournament's consolation bracket.