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Red Level falls in tournament finals, 60-55

Red Level fought its way to the championship game Thursday night at its own Christmas Invitational tournament, but could not hold on over Flomaton, losing 60-55.

“Sometimes we seem like we get snake bit at times,” Red Level coach Fred Kelley said. “It’s just like we win two and couldn’t get over at the end.”

Flomaton took control of the match up early in the first quarter, taking a four-point 13-9 lead heading into the second quarter.

The Hurricanes increased their lead to 10 points at 31-21 at the break.

The Tigers had a short 7-0 run in the third quarter, making baskets to close their deficit to eight points at 41-33.

Late in the final quarter, Red Level had another burst of speed and brought the game to 56-53 with 1:13 left on the clock.

With 30 seconds left, Red Level’s Preston Ryce made a jumper to bring the game to 56-55.

Flomaton was fouled and both free throws were successful to increase its lead to 58-55.

Red Level fouled again and Flomaton managed two more free throws to get the championship win.

“We just got ourselves in a hole and had to play their game,” Kelley said. “We got the ball in the bucket, but we couldn’t seem to do it enough. Time is running out. Area play is here and it’s crunch time.”

Flomaton’s Raheem Dixon led with 20 points and Austin Patterson had 13.

Red Level’s Troy Nolen led with 21, James Feagin had 12 and Trey Salter had 10.

Red Level will start its area play next Tuesday. The Tigers will host Excel.