A last-second heave that could have tied it fell short, and the Cimarron Blue Jays girls basketball team survived a close one with the Bucklin Red Aces Monday night, beating them 41-38.

The game ended the first day of the 2018 Cimarron Invitational.

It was the closes game of the day by far. After taking an early 6-0 lead, the Blue Jays watched as the Red Aces gradually cut into their lead throughout the first quarter.

In the final minute of the quarter, Bucklin senior Tricia Hokanson grabbed a steal under the Aces’ basket, then got an offensive rebound on a miss by one of her teammates and was fouled as time expired, sending her to the free-throw line, where she hit both to cut Cimarron’s lead to just 11-9.

Hokanson finished with six points.

In the second quarter, Bucklin’s defense held Cimarron at bay, and the Red Aces took a 21-18 lead into halftime.

Cimarron came out in the second half and put up a fight. Two 3-pointers by junior Jaira Osborn helped the Blue jays outscore the Red Aces 14-10 in the third to take a 32-31 lead into the final quarter. The Bluejays went on to outscore the Red Aces 9-7 in the fourth.

Blue Jay senior Taylor Jantz led all scorers with 22 points, hitting 9 of 13 from the free-throw line. Osborn finished with six, and junior Kacee Coast had six as well.

For the Red Aces, sophomore Catherine Bowman finished with a team-high 15 points. Hokanson had six. Sophomore KC Wilson had five. Junior Ashleigh Mazerac had four.

Cimarron plays at 6 p.m. Friday against either South Gray or Moscow (they’ll play the winner of Tuesday’s game between the two) in the main high school gym.

Bucklin plays Friday at 6 p.m. against either South Gray or Moscow (they’ll play whichever team loses Tuesday’s game between the two) in the auxiliary gym.