Three was not to be.
Rock Bridge failed in its attempt at a three-game sweep of Camdenton on Monday.
The Bruins ended their season with a 51-42 loss to the Lakers in the first round of the District 10 tournament at Jefferson City.
Fourth-seeded Rock Bridge won its first two games against fifth-seeded Camdenton this season, but the Lakers earned the win that counted.
Camdenton (11-13) will play top seed Jefferson City in the semifinals at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Jefferson City.
Camdenton coach Jim Chandler said the win carried an added incentive.
“Sure, they beat us twice, but one was close and we thought we could’ve won it,” he said. “We told the kids that if they were going to get one, this was the one to get.”
Camdenton made 10 foul shots in the fourth quarter to secure the win. Junior guard Andrew Lombardo, who hit five free throws in the last four minutes of the quarter, was the key player at the end of the game.
Chandler said he was pleased with his team’s poise late in the game.
“I thought we handled everything really well,” he said. “We got some big rebounds down the stretch and in the fourth quarter when we had to hit some free throws and we knocked them down.”
Down 44-37 with 1:29 to go, the Bruins started fouling but could not close the gap. Once they started to foul, they made just two shots the rest of the way.
Camdenton built its lead in the second quarter with an 11-0 run. The Lakers trailed 13-9 with 7:15 left in the first half when they started their comeback. Senior forward Trevor Franklin scored three baskets off offensive rebounds in two-minutes.
Rock Bridge coach Jim Scanlon said that his team never recovered from the run.
“We fought, we got back in it, but they always had an answer,” he said. “About the time we got a steal they knifed in front. They got all the loose balls. They played well.”
Forrest Shock led Camdenton’s with 15 points. Franklin had 12 points and 8 rebounds and Lombardo scored 10.
Rock Bridge (17-9) appeared to regain the momentum late in the first half. Alex Austin scored with 1:01 left in the second quarter to cut the Lakers’ lead to 24-19. Camdenton then folded under the Bruins’ pressure defense and, with 48 seconds left, committed a 10-second violation.
Bruins forward John Stull was fouled and made one of two foul shots with 34 seconds left to make the score 24-20. Rock Bridge’s Logan Gray missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer that would have cut the deficit to one.
One quarter later, the Lakers led 37-33 after both teams scored 13 points in the third quarter. Rock Bridge stayed within striking distance, but Camdenton held them off with solid fourth-quarter defense.
The Bruins did not score in the quarter until senior Rob Adams hit a shot with 2:41 to go to pull within 42-37.
Adams, a senior, led the Bruins with 12 points.