CAMBRIDGE, N.Y. - It wasn't the start that Cambridge Central School boys basketball coach Tim Oglivie wanted.
The Indians fell into an 11-0 hole after four minutes en route to a 52-36 loss to Hoosick Falls on Wednesday night.
"We came out strong with everyone contributing and things looked good," said Hoosick Falls (3-2) coach Mike Lilac.
The Panthers started out in a three-quarter court press, and Cambridge struggled to break it. Andrew Hoag and Austin Pitt scored on back-to-back possessions for the 11-0 lead forcing an early timeout by the Indians (0-5).
"Our decision-making wasn't good on either end of the floor," Oglivie said. "And we were impatient offensively."
Hoag was the leading scorer overall with 15 points, including three 3-pointers.
"[Andrew] has a long way to go, but he's getting there," Lilac said. "He'll be a lot better in two years, but on a night like this, we just have to let him play through it."
In the second quarter, the Panthers extended the lead as senior Evan Phillips scored 12 of his 14 points, including two 3-pointers. On his second trey of the frame, Hoosick Falls took a 28-13 advantage.
"Evan has been playing very well and that gives us some steadiness on the court, which has a calming effort on us," Lilac said.
Down 17, Oglivie was adamant at halftime about his two seniors - Matt Parmenter and Shaeden Mosso - stepping up as leaders.
"We have to follow their lead and they were more patience in the second half," Oglivie said.
Fresh off Oglivie's halftime talk, the Cambridge defense was strong in the third. The Panthers were held to seven points while Cambridge tried valiantly to make a comeback. Hoag hit his third 3-pointer with 4:07 left in the frame to go up 39-22 but the Indians scored the last seven points of the quarter to pull within 12, 41-29 heading into the fourth.
"Down 12, I told the kids it's one possession at a time, we can't get it all back at once," Oglivie said. "We needed to get baskets in the paint."
Starting the final frame, Parmenter, who led the Indians with 13 points on the night, stole the ball on the first possession and scored to pull the Indians within 10, but a deep three by Taylor Baker (nine points) put the Panthers up 46-33 with 3:39 left.
"What's been true for us so far is if one player makes a bad decision, the others seem to follow," Oglivie said. "We need to do a better job of making decisions, running the offense and not forcing our shots."
Lilac said his team, despite getting the victory, still has a lot to learn.
"I think we let our guard down in the fourth a little bit," said Lilac, in his 17th season leading the Panthers. "Our inexperience showed for the last quarter-plus."
Levi Brewster added nine points and eight rebounds for the Panthers. Mosso was second-highest in scoring for Cambridge, chipping in 11 points and six boards.