Findlay Prep’s 45-game winning streak was snapped Thursday with a 53-52 loss to Northland (Ohio) in a game televised on ESPN at Westerville, Ohio.
It was the first loss for the Pilots (12-1) since March 6, 2008, when they fell 75-73 to Hargrave Military (Va.) in the title game of the National Prep School Championship tournament in New York.
“Our program’s not really used to it, so I’m not sure how I feel about it,” Findlay Prep coach Michael Peck said in a phone interview. “We can’t crawl in a corner and feel sorry for ourselves. We’ve got to be resilient and get after it Saturday night.”
Jared Sullinger hit two free throws to give Northland (2-0) a 53-52 lead with four seconds remaining. Findlay Prep’s Cory Joseph missed a desperation 3-pointer as time expired.
The Pilots rallied from a 29-15 halftime deficit to take a 44-41 lead on a steal and jumper by Joseph early in the fourth quarter, but Northland responded with an 8-2 run.
Sullinger, a 6-foot-8-inch post who has signed with Ohio State, had 32 points and 17 rebounds and shot 10-for-10 from the free-throw line. The Vikings, who are ranked No. 5 in USA Today’s national poll, were 17-for-18 from the line.
Texas signee Tristan Thompson led Findlay Prep, ranked second by USA Today, with 18 points, 12 rebounds and two blocks.
Nick Johnson scored 14 points and Jabari Brown 10 for Findlay Prep. Joseph had eight points, six rebounds and four assists.
The Pilots next play Winter Park (Fla.) in the City of Palms Classic at Fort Myers, Fla., on Saturday.