SHERIDAN - In a game of highs and lows the Sheridan Blackhawks boys' basketball team was able to outduel the Elwood Panthers to a 65-62 win.

The Blackhawks (4-7) weathered some storms but fought tooth and nail with the Panthers (3-10) to get their first win since Dec. 12.

Juniors Chris Roberts and Jake Chesney took over the game for the Blackhawks in the fourth quarter. Combined, both hit seven of the Blackhawks nine field goals in the final period.

"They played well and we need those guys to play well," head coach Chris Schrank said. "We have to have guys play to their abilities and those guys are capable of doing it."

Both players looked more than capable on Saturday night. Roberts shot 70 percent in the game and Chesney scored 15 of his 17 points in just the second half.

"I was happy to see those guys take the lead and go get it," Schrank continued. "Because for a couple of weeks we kind of lacked that and it makes us a little more dynamic when guys are creating for others."

However, the game could have easily gotten away from the Blackhawks during the third quarter. Clinging to a one-point lead, the Blackhawks missed their first three shots from the field in the third and were unable to keep the Panthers from scoring.

The Panthers attempted nine shots in the third period and they hit all nine of them. Most of the looks that they were getting were easy jumpers and layups but they also managed to hit two, contested 3-pointers from the corners.

The cool down began for the Panthers at the end of the third quarter after Chesney hit a 3-point runner to end the period.

The Panthers continued to cool off at the beginning of the fourth quarter. They missed their first two looks at the basket and began to force some ill-advised shots.

At the opposite end of the court the Blackhawks were just beginning to heat up. They went 9-for-15 in the final period, hit some clutch free throws towards the end and finally got some things to go their way in the victory.

"We finally got a break to go our way in the very end," Schrank stated. "It seems like all the breaks have been going the other way and I think that had to do with our effort. We made them go our way."

After the Blackhawks had cut the previous deficit of nine points to two the Panthers were forced to call a timeout with just 2:13 left to go in the game.

Out of the timeout the Blackhawks gave up a quick score to the Panthers but responded with an easy layup at the other end. They caused the Panthers to cough up the ball on the inbounds and put it in to tie the ballgame up at 62 with just 1:20 left.

The Blackhawks took a three-point lead with less than 30 seconds remaining and held the Panthers to one, contested 3-point shot in those final seconds.

"We picked up the intensity and tempo a little bit," Schrank explained. "We forced them into some situations that made them uncomfortable and I think we made that break happen."

The Blackhawks are off until next Saturday where they will begin a tough stretch of games starting with Hamilton County rival Hamilton Heights.

After that matchup the Blackhawks will take on Class 2A No. 8 Lapel on Jan. 30 and a very good Northwestern team the following day.

Coach Schrank said after Saturday's game that a consistent effort is going to be key if the Blackhawks want to compete with these tough teams.

"We played really hard for four or five minutes in the fourth quarter," he stated. "We have to play like that all the time, we've got to eliminate those peaks and valleys and bring the effort all the time."