Sunburst sophomore Josh Kearns had the hot hand Friday night in Simms, racking up 27 points for the Refiners in a narrow 62-57 loss to the Tigers.

The Sunburst Refiners boys basketball team traveled to Simms to take on the Tigers last Thursday but came up short, 62-57. Friday they lost a close battle with Power, 41-37. Sunburst is 6-4 overall and 4-4 in conference play.

It was a back and forth contest with neither team getting a good hold on the game. Sunburst took a third quarter lead, but couldn’t hang on to the game with some late fourth quarter turnovers. The Tigers took a lead late with a go-ahead three with under two minutes to go. 

Sunburst came back down and tied the game at 57 with a Josh Kearns layup. Unfortunately, the Refiners proceeded to throw the ball away on the next three possessions and ended up losing the contest.

Scoring for Sunburst were Josh Kearns 27, Cade Hanson 12, Stanley Jarvis nine, Connor Sullivan six, and Grady Kerfoot three.

On Friday, the Refiners lost the offensive rhythm they had on Thursday. Baskets were hard to come by, but the team’s defensive effort kept them in the game. Once again, late turnovers were their Achilles heel. 

They tied the game on a three pointer from Connor Sullivan with under a minute to go. Sunburst then got a defensive stop and had the ball with a chance to take the lead. Unfortunately, Power poked the ball free and got a layup and the Refiners didn’t recover, losing 41-37.

Scoring for the Refiners were, Hanson 12, Kearns eight, Jarvis and Kerfoot five each, John Buckley four, and Sullivan three. 

“It was a rough weekend for us in terms of just seeming to find ways to lose. I was proud of the guys because they battled hard in each game, but we just need to find a way to close games out. Hopefully we take these losses and learn from the mistakes that cost us and continue to improve,” said coach Nate Aschim. “We have a lot of work to do.”

Sunburst will host Dutton/Brady on Friday with a 7:30 p.m. start and Cascade on Saturday, with a 4 p.m. start. Sunburst will begin playing teams for the second time this year.

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