SWANTON — On Tuesday evening, MVU entered the second half down by eight, the North Country Falcons holding the 29-21 lead.
The Thunderbirds took the court ready to battle, but North Country worked to keep the lead hovering around a ten-point margin through the third quarter.
A calculated pass from Cole Boutah to Unwin put the Thunderbirds on the board in the first minute of the fourth quarter.
North Country answered, maintaining the nine-point lead. Unwin and Boutah were both fouled in traffic, each netting one free throw and closing the gap back to nine after a Falcon basket.
The teams continued to battle, Caleb Johnston, shrinking the T-bird deficit to seven with three minutes on the clock.
Once again, the Falcons responded, bringing the score to 47-37. MVU, needing possessions, put the Falcons on the line as the clock ticked down.
Ethan Creller drained two deep threes for the T-birds in the final minute, bringing MVU within eight, but the Falcons held on, earning the 11 points.
“The last time we faced North Country, we lost by twenty-five; we were in it all the way today,” said MVU coach Matt Walker. “We went down by twelve in the first half, but we showed some effort to get back to three.
“Cole Boutah gave us a huge lift off the bench; he was outstanding. Caleb Johnston played well off the bench for Colbey Theberge who was sick.
“Gabe gave inside and outside; he’s been an offensive threat for us. Ethan made some threes for us, which was big,” said Walker.
“With the level of effort we had tonight, we know we can compete.”
Ethan Creller led the Thunderbirds with 16 points, and Gabriel Unwin had 13.