EXETER - The Exeter-Milligan boys trailed throughout, but rallied from well back to tie and then lead visiting Giltner with 2:30 to go in the game, but the Hornets held on Thursday night, 55-51.
Coach Dean Filipi's E-M Timberwolves were down 11-2 at the end of the first period and by one, 21-20, after a Kyle Jensen trey with 15 ticks left on the halftime clock.
In the third the Hornets strung together a run that mounted to 10-3 when Giltner stole the ball and dropped in an uncontested layup. That had Filipi jabbing a fist in the air to call timeout and chat with his troops.
But later in the period the T-Wolves started their charge, beginning with a pair of James Sluka field goals followed by a 2-pointer from Jensen. When Nolan White struck paydirt off the break with an assist from Sluka, then hit a free throw to put the T-Wolves right there at 40-38 Hornets.
A Sluka free toss followed by a steal and one free throw by Jesse Hall tied it at 40-all with 4:44 to go in the fourth. The Hornets drew ahead again, only to have the T-Wolves take the lead again, 43-42, at 3:55 on a bucket by White. Sluka laid it in on a baseline drive, 49-48, with 2:30 to play.
Then the backbreaker. Giltner senior Dustin Hastings pulled up and popped in a three that broke the pattern of lead changes and gave the Hornets some separation right when Exeter-Milligan needed it least, 51-49. In one stroke Giltner went from one down to two ahead.
Filipi called for time after the thunderclap, but his T-Wolves trailed from there to the finish line.
"How many times did we get the lead and then throw the ball away?" lamented Filipi after the game. "We've got to become a better team of consistency. Giltner's got a nice team," he said. "They play hard and get after you. We've just got to do a better job on the boards and work on our consistency. We've got to be able to play all the time the way we played in spurts tonight."
The T-Wolves got a team-high 18 points from White. Jensen score nine and Hall had eight. Derek Luzum and Sluka checked in with five apiece to which Sam Zeleny and Garrett Pribyl added three each.
Hastings topped the points column for Giltner with 21.
Giltner .......................... 11 10 17 17 - 55
E-M .......................... 9 11 11 20 - 51