After opening the season with a loss to South Gray Friday, the Bucklin Red Aces boys basketball team put up a much better fight against the Sublette Larks in their opening game of the Cimarron Invitational Monday night, but their efforts came up short as the Larks beat the Red Aces 65-49.

The Red Aces held with the Larks most of the contest.

Sublette led 13-10 after the first quarter, 30-21 after the second, and 49-40 after the third.

In the end, however, Bucklin’s shooting went cold, getting outscored 18-9 in the final quarter.

Red Ace sophomore Alex Meskin helped keep his team in the game much of it, hitting a 3 pointer in each of the first two quarters before scoring 11 points in the third quarter alone, including three 3’s. He finished tied for a game-high, with 17 points.

In the first half, the Red Aces also relied on junior Zabien Marquez, who had eight of the team’s 21 first-half points. He finished with 12 overall. Junior Talon Estes also hit some key shots for the Aces, recording eight total points.

The Larks were led by junior Carson Thornton, who matched Meskin’s 17 points and was a perfect 5 of 5 from the free-throw line.

Sublette Senior Izzy De La Rosa finished with 16 points. Senior Tyler Isaac finished with nine points. Senior James Garetson finished with eight points. Senior Jaren Giesick had six points. Junior Kenton Dyck had five.

Sublette is scheduled to play again at 4:30 p.m. Friday against the winner of Tuesday’s game between Minneola and South Gray. That game will take place in the high school’s main gym.

Bucklin will play the loser of that match at the same time Friday but in the auxiliary gym.