FORRESTON – Oregon rallied once before stumbling down the stretch.
Down by seven entering the fourth quarter, the Hawks scored the first eight points of the period to take a one-point lead. Oregon managed just one point over the last 4 minutes and 45 seconds as unbeaten Aquin ran away with a 63-50 win Thursday in the Forreston tournament semifinal matchup.
"We kind of panicked and started throwing up stupid shots," said Hawks 6-foot-5 senior post Caleb Mowry, who scored a game-high 20 points. "And, they were shooting lights-out the entire game, and we couldn't do anything about it."
Trailing 48-41 into the fourth quarter, the Hawks (7-3) regained the lead with an 8-0 burst that included a pair on inside buckets by Mowry, a putback by Alec Ketter (12 points) and a pair of free throws by Dixon transfer Jessie McKinley (7 points), Oregon's 6-foot-3 point guard.
The Hawks only point the rest of the way came on a free throw by McKinley with 3:23 remaining.
Oregon's late-game struggles started right after Alex Cain (8 points) went to the bench with his fourth foul.
"He's a big player for us," Mowry said. "He's the leader of the team. He keeps us calmed down, so that was big."
While things didn't end well for the Hawks, they couldn't have started much better. Mowry scored 10 quick points and Oregon built an early eight-point lead.
The Hawks scored 23 points in the first quarter, and just 27 after.
"If you look at the score in the paper, you're going to think they got us pretty good," Oregon coach Quinn Virgil said. "But, it was a nip-and-tuck game. We played well for probably 24 minutes and didn't play well for 8-ish, and that was the game."
Ketter, a 6-5 senior who typically starts, came off the bench for the first time this season.
"Coach decided to go with a smaller lineup to keep up with their guards, and I've been struggling lately" Ketter said. "Our guards fed me the ball, and I had a good night."
Aquin (8-0) got 19 points from Aiden Chang, 16 from Andrew Martin and 15 from Nolan Brannick.
Star of the game: Aiden Chang, Aquin, 19 points
Key performers: Caleb Mowry, Oregon, 20 points, 10 in 1st quarter; Andrew Martin, Aquin, 16 points
Up next: Forreston tournament third-place game, Oregon vs. Byron, 6:30 p.m. today