Lake Placid played a strong 28 minutes of basketball against Frostproof on Friday.
Unfortunately for the Green Dragons, games are 32 minutes long and the Bulldogs broke a 50-all tie and went on to post a 66-57 Class 4A-District 10 victory.
"It was just all the turnovers that messed up at the end," said Lake Placid junior Nick Tuason.
A pair of free throws by Green Dragons freshman Anfernee Munnings brought Lake Placid back from a seven-point deficit in the fourth quarter to tie the score with 3:58 remaining in the game. But the Bulldogs went on a 9-1 run to put the game out of reach.
"We've had a couple of games like that where in the last few minutes, we as a coaching staff, have to get them more prepared," said Lake Placid coach Jon Million. "We just have to work on that finish. As we get tired we have to cut down on some of those mistakes."
The Green Dragons were holding their own early on against a larger Frostproof team, grabbing an early 12-6 lead, but the Bulldogs were getting to the foul line often.
Although Frostproof didn't score its first field goal of the game until the final minute of the first quarter, the Green Dragons led just 12-10 after the first eight minutes of play.
After the Bulldogs grabbed a brief 14-12 lead, Lake Placid came back on baskets by Benny Aguilar, Tuason and a pair of field goals by Heath Harris to grab a 22-17 lead, only to see Frostproof battle back to knot the score at halftime.
The Green Dragons' Nathan Stanley came out on fire in the third quarter, scoring seven of his nine points, but the Bulldogs were able to turn a four-point deficit into a four-point advantage by ending the third quarter on an 11-3 run.
A three-point play by Frostproof extended the Bulldogs lead to 43-36, but the Green Dragons battled back to get within two on Tuason's 3-pointer and two free throws.
A pair of Jonah Brown free throws pulled the Green Dragons within one and after Munnings tied the score, the Green Dragons wouldn't connect for another field goal until Munnings hit a 3-pointer in the final 30 seconds of the game. But by then, Frostproof had built an 11-point advantage.
Million said his team gave a good effort; they just came up a little bit short.
"I thought the kids played with a lot of heart and intensity," he said. "Overall, we did a good job."
The Green Dragons have made some big strides since the beginning of the season.
"We came together because we're a young team," Tuason said. "We have the chemistry going pretty good, and that's really helped us out."
The Green Dragons are shooting for peaking when the district tournament rolls around, knowing that is when it really counts.
"We have to make the shots and cut down on the mistakes and we should be good by the end of the season when the district tournament start," Tuason said. "We're getting to where we want to be."
Million said the team is getting better on a consistent basis, which is all he can ask for.
"We didn't end up where we wanted to tonight, but I think it's something for us to build on and take us into next week," he said.
Tuason scored a game-high 19 points to lead the Green Dragons, although he wasn't interested in individual statistics.
"I'd rather have two points and a win than have a bunch of points," Tuason said.
Munnings added 17 points for the Green Dragons.
Daniel Knighten scored 18 points to lead the Bulldogs.
The Green Dragons host Sebring on Monday and then travel to Avon Park for a district game on Tuesday.