MIDLAND -- Having lost to the Monahans Loboes twice during the non-district portion of the 2013-14 regular season schedule, the Seminole Indians came into Friday's Class 3A Area Championship hoping the third meeting -- and most important at this point of the season -- would be the lucky charm.
But it wasn't the case, as poor shooting from both the field and charity stripe hampered the Indians in the early stretches of play, as Monahans fended off a late fourth quarter rally to defeat the Indians 56-42 in postseason play held at Midland Lee High School.
With the loss, the Indians saw their 2013-2014 season come to a close with a 15-13 overall record, while the Loboes (27-6) -- future District 4-4A foes of the Indians in the upcoming 2014-2016 UIL Re-Alignment -- advanced to take on District 2-3A Champion Shallowater.
"We had a lot of good looks again tonight, but nothing fell," said Paul Page, Indian head basketball coach, who saw his team convert just 16-of-54 from the field -- or 29.6-percent -- including 2-of-24 from beyond the three-point arc (8.3-percent).
"Those shots fell for us Tuesday (in the win against Perryton), but the just didn't tonight."
Monahans' Marcus Montez scored a team high 16 points and grabbed eight rebounds, while teammate Andres Facio added in 12 points and 11 boards to help lead the Loboes to their third playoff win since the mid-1970s
Indian junior post Rocky Loewen finished with a game high 18 points and 13 rebounds to lead the charge for Seminole in Friday's losing effort.
Seminole, which rushed out to a 14-1 lead over the Perryton Rangers in last Tuesday's Class 3A Bi-District playoff, was on the receiving end of a crucial scoring run in the first period of play Friday.
Monahans, with 3:33 left in the first quarter of play, muscled themselves into an 11-0 run to end the quarter with a 23-10 lead over the Indians.
A lead which was built to as large as 21 points early in the fourth period of play, before seeing the Indians rally back to cut their deficit down to within ten -- 52-42 -- with 36.6 seconds left in regulation.
"That's the kind of heart our kids have, and it's been there all season long," said Page of the Indians' fourth quarter rally. "We let them jump out on us early but we never gave in. We kept fighting and fighting. But, I guess we decided to start the fight a little too late and just ran out of time."
Seminole, between the 2:45 and 51-second marks of the fourth quarter, mounted a 13-3 run against the Loboes, thanks in part to the Indians two converted three-point baskets from seniors Blue Franklin and Michael Garza, and five points from Loewen.
A date, time and site for the Monahans/Shallowater Class 3A Regional Quarterfinal playoff had not been set as of presstime Friday evening.
Shallowater, on Friday, defeated the Big Spring Steers 65-57 in an Area Championship playoff contest held at Andrews High School's Mustang Arena.
In other District 2-3A action, the Lubbock Cooper Pirates fell to state-ranked Abilene Wylie, 66-46 in Area Championship play held Friday evening at Borden County High School in Gail.
Lubbock Estacado, in their Area round match-up, defeated Fabens 87-55.