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Adams Central senior Paul Fago.

Despite holding a second-half lead, Adams Central couldn’t sustain enough well-rounded success to hold off Holdrege Tuesday night.

The Patriots, who were coming off a loss to Elkhorn North last Friday night, hoped to bounce back against a Central Conference opponent. But their effort fell short in a 63-52 loss inside Patriot Gymnasium.

“We talked about the margin of error with our team is pretty slim and we got to find ways to get stops and be consistent defensively. The last two games we’ve given up 60 (points) and that makes it pretty difficult for us to be successful,” said AC head coach Zac Foster.

Early on it was tough sledding for both teams as struggled to find any rhythm. AC and Holdrege were a combined 9-for-25 in the opening frame.

By halftime, Holdrege would gain a six-point lead, thanks in part to Jackson Hinrichs, who scored six of his game-high 26 points in the second quarter.

Coming out of the halftime locker room, Holdrege got on the board first with an early bucket from Hinrichs, which was answered by a Patriots rally. AC would go on a 12-2 to regain the lead at 31-27.

Holdrege fought back late in the third to grab the final advantage. The Dusters went on a 19-3 run in the final 11 minutes of the game to seal the win.

“We got to do a better job to guard effectively and finish possessions,” Foster said. “Holdrege has two phenomenal guards that are very talented and put their team on its back. We struggled to stop them and keeping them in front of us at the half court. They are examples of why you work hard on their game because they can score at all three levels and they are tough to guard.”

AC aimed to get inside and give Paul Fago the ball, which the Patriots had pretty decent success with in the first half. But Holdrege began to double team Fago and tried to limit his touches.

Fago still scored a team-high 18 points, but his supporting cast couldn’t account for the difference.

“We wanted to get the ball inside as much as possible. I thought we did a good job of that in the first half,” said Foster. “The second half we did not execute good enough. Ultimately, we had some guys make some shots in the second half, which we did not have in the first half, so credit to Paul who carried us in the first half and gave us a chance.”

Jayden Teichmeier had 16 points for AC. Jacob Eckhardt chipped in eight, Sam Dierks had six and Hyatt Collins four.

HOLDREGE.....................................12 13 24 14 — 63

ADAMS CENTRAL...........................11 8 20 13 — 52

AC (52)

Paul Fago 18, Jayden Teichmeier 16, Jacob Eckhardt 8, Sam Dierks 6, Hyatt Collins 4

Holdrege (63)

Jackson Hinrichs 26, Garrett Johnson 14, Kaden Broeker 13, Wyatt Pfeifer 6, Jaxson Karn 4