SAYBROOK TOWNSHIP — The Lakeside Dragons climbed back from a halftime deficit to take a four-point lead late in the fourth quarter.
With 1:51 left in the game, Lakeside's Sean McKee drilled a 3-pointer to give his team a 60-56 advantage over Beachwood in a non-conference game Friday at Lakeside High School
But that was the last points the Dragons scored.
Meanwhile, the Bison tallied the final seven points of the game to post a 63-60 win.
Lakeside dropped to 1-3 on the season.
"We just have to learn to win these games," Dragons coach Jon Mannarino said. "We're still an inexperienced group."
Trailing 30-21 at halftime, Lakeside made its move in the third quarter.
The Dragons knotted the game at 35-35 with a 4:17 left in the third quarter on a Marquis West 3-pointer.
Beachwood pushed the advantage to 49-42 with 21 seconds left, but Brandon Ford's three at the buzzer cut the gap to 49-45 heading in the final eight minutes.
The momentum continued for Lakeside to start the fourth quarter with the first eight points on threes from Ashton Wheelock and Ford and a basket from McKee. The game went back and forth with neither team gaining more than a three-point lead until McKee's three.
Beachwood's JeShaun Miner scored a bucket at the 1:35 mark to trim the margin to 60-58, then Dalanti Jackson hit a basket to knot the contest at 60-60.
Minter followed with a deuce off a turnover with 30 seconds remaining to give the Bison a 62-60. lead. He was fouled on the play, but missed the free throw. But Beachwood grabbed the free throw and Minter was fouled. He converted one free throw, pushing the lead to three points.
The Dragons had three shots in the final 20 seconds, but the ball didn't drop in the basket.
"Our energy on defense got us going," Mannarino said. "I told the guys they played hard."
In the first half, Beachwood broke a close game with a 5-0 run to lead 17-12 after one.
They extended the lead to as much as 10 points in the second quarter, settling on a 30-21 halftime advantage.
"In the first half, we didn't come ready to play," Mannarino said.
West led the Dragons with 24 points and five rebounds.
"He's a great player," Mannarino said. "He plays hard and the right way."
Ford scored 15 points and McKee added 14. Lakeside hit 10 3-pointers in the game, paced by West and Ford with three each.
McKee also grabbed five rebounds.
Beachwood had a pair of players in double digits, paced by Daryl Houston's 24 points. Jackson contributed 14 points.
Lakeside returns to the court tonight against Chardon at home.
"We have to have a short memory and get ready to face a good Chardon team [tomorrow]," Mannarino said.