STATE COLLEGE — Cold shooting doomed State College in its boys’ basketball season opener as the Little Lions fell 47-38 against Norristown in the opening round of the Skip Coleman Tournament on Friday.
State College will face LaSalle, which fell 85-64 to North Allegheny, in the third-place game at 2 p.m. Saturday. Norristown and North Allegheny will meet in the championship game at 3:30 p.m.
The Little Lions got off to a rough start and trailed 20-5 midway through the second quarter.
State College fought back and pulled within 41-33 on Michael Beattie’s 3-pointer with 2:15 left. The Little Lions forced a turnover with 2:03 remaining, but turned the ball back over on their possession.
Curt Lever’s basket with 1 1/2 minutes left put Norristown ahead 43-33 and State College never got closer than the final margin. Lever scored the finall five points for Norristown.
“We have a young team that doesn’t have a lot of playing experience,” State College coach Drew Frank said. “I was pleased with their energy and level of effort. ... We have have a small margin of error. We need to cut down on our turnovers and when we do we should be a pretty good team.”
Chris Evans led Norristown with 14 points, while Lever added 13. Lucas Cooper led the Little Lions with 10 points, eight coming on free throws. Bryce Williams added nine.
State College also struggled at the foul line going 17 of 31. Defense kept the Little Lions close.
“I was really pleased with the defense,” Frank said. “For as much as we were struggling offensively, the game could have gotten out of hand. We really hung in there with our defense.”