Last week was a split decision for the Port Allegany boys basketball team, which earned a 76-62 victory at Bolivar-Richburg (N.Y.) on Jan. 2, then dropped a hard-fought 57-48 North Tier League contest to Galeton the next night.

After falling behind 9-0 on the Wolverines’ home court, the Gators exploded for 28 points in the second quarter to take a double-digit halftime lead. Eighteen of those points were courtesy of Howie Stuckey, who poured in a season-best 39, including seven three-pointers. Jordan Card added 22 for Port, while Riley Danaher and Adam Jones each scored 15 to lead B-R.

“It was fun playing with a shot clock. We don’t let grass grow under us anyway, so the shot clock was kind of in our favor,” Gator coach Jeff Stuckey said.

The next night, the Gators and Tigers battled back and forth throughout the first half, with Port taking a 25-21 lead into the locker room. Things looked good for the home team after Howie Stuckey drilled a pair of trifectas early in the third quarter to open up a double-digit margin, but the Tigers used an 11-0 run to claw their way back into the lead just before the period ended.

Baskets by Stuckey and Card gave Port a 44-40 lead with 6:12 remaining, but Galeton’s senior trio of Evan Brooks, Joel Griffen and Isaiah Shuemaker took over down the stretch, scoring 12 of the next 14 points to put the visitors ahead for good. All three finished the game in double figures, with Griffen’s 21 leading the way while Brooks (18) did most of his damage in the post. Card and Howie Stuckey each scored 16 to lead the Gators.

“Another good battle with Galeton. We fought hard, got ahead by 10 or 11, and then they just put the pressure on, turned us over quite a few times, and tied it up. We just didn’t recover after that. They put it into overdrive in that fourth quarter, and we just got tired,” Jeff Stuckey said.

“It’s a tough one to swallow, when you’re winning and you’re probably not favored to, and all of a sudden you get deflated. When we run into all these teams that are bigger than us and more physical, we can hold out for quite a while, but after three or four quarters of that it winds us down and we get really tired. But both teams played well. It was a good game.”

The Gators (4-5, 2-3 NTL) have three games scheduled this week, with trips to Austin and Smethport sandwiched around a home game against Otto-Eldred.

“We’re still 4-5,” Stuckey said. “Last year, we ended up 3-19, so we’re already ahead of that. And the progression, if you come and watch us play instead of just looking at the score, it’s a little bit different. We’re not bad; we’ve just faced some good teams.”

At Bolivar (N.Y.), Jan. 2:

Port Allegany (76)

Card 10 2-3 22, Smoker 0 0-1 0, Stuckey 13 4-5 39, Smith 1 0-2 2, McNeil 1 0-0 2, Edgell 3 0-1 6, Moses 2 1-2 5. Totals: 30 7-14 76.

Bolivar-Richburg (62)

Rauch 0 0-2 0, L. Danaher 2 2-2 6, Crump 1 4-6 6, Evingham 4 2-4 10, Faulkner 1 0-0 2, R. Danaher 6 2-3 15, Scott 0 0-2 0, McDonald 2 4-4 8, Jones 5 0-0 15. Totals: 21 14-23 62.

Port Allegany 11 39 56 76

Bolivar-Rich. 16 29 46 62

3s: PA 7 (Stuckey 7); B-R 6 (Jones 5, R. Danaher). Fouls: PA 8, B-R 14. Fouled out: None.

JV: Port Allegany, 57-32

Galeton (57)

Griffin 8 5-6 21, Shuemaker 5 2-5 12, Brooks 6 6-11 18, Shutt 2 0-0 4, Stover 1 0-0 2. Totals: 22 13-22 57.

Port Allegany (48)

Card 6 3-3 16, Stuckey 6 2-2 16, McNeil 0 0-0 0, Smith 1 0-0 2, Edgell 2 1-1 5, Moses 4 1-1 9. Totals: 19 7-7 48.

Galeton 11 21 40 57

Port A 16 25 39 48

3s: G 0; PA 3 (Stuckey 2, Card). Fouls: G 12, PA 14. Fouled out: None.

JV: Port Allegany, 59-14