The Jefferson City Jays have been resilient this season.
They showed that again Monday when they cut an 18-point deficit to six in the second half.
But missed shots for the Jays and free throws for Father Tolton halted the rally as the Trailblazers came away with a 63-47 victory in the Joe Machens Fantastic Four Tournament at Fleming Fieldhouse.
"We went a little bit of a run there," Jefferson City coach Tony Phillips said.
A pair of free throws for Jevon Porter at the 1:53 mark of the third quarter put Father Tolton ahead 42-24.
By the end of the third quarter, the Jays were within 13, thanks to a Koby Sands layup off a DaShawn Webster steal being sandwiched between a layup and 3-pointer for Sterling DeSha.
The Jays' press continued to work into the fourth quarter. Michael Onunkwor stole the ball away and DeSha made free throws at the other end to pull the Jays within nine with 6:27 remaining.
"For us to be successful we're going to have to press and run and and get back to those things," Phillips said.
A quick steal for DeSha and a kick-out to Keith Driver for corner 3 closed the gap to 48-41. DeSha hit from the wing on the Jays' next possession to make it 50-44 midway through the fourth quarter.
DeSha scored 12 points, Onunkwor had 11 points and nine rebounds and Kevion Pendelton added nine points.
"I though he was relentless," Phillips said of Onunkwor. "He competes. I just think that his best is yet to come."
Jefferson City couldn't get any closer. Jevon Porter scored a second-chance bucket, Jarod Aholt made a 3 following a steal and Tahki Chievous made 6-of-6 from the free-throw line to close it out.
Porter finished with 30 points and 14 rebounds, Chievous scored nine of his 13 points at the free-throw line and Evens Appolon added 12 points and nine rebounds.
Porter made 12-of-17 inside the arc and only attempted one 3.
"We did a good job running him off," Phillips said. "That was kind of our game plan was to close out to the right hand, make him put it on the deck, help's gotta come early, double it. We didn't do a terrible job on him."
Jefferson City never led, trailing 7-2 less than two minutes in and 14-6 with 1:29 left in the opening quarter.
The Jays then scored six points off turnovers to only trail 16-12 after the first quarter.
Father Tolton began the second quarter on 14-2 run and led 30-18 at halftime.
Porter closed out the run with a second-chance bucket.
"That's where they killed us," Phillips said.
Father Tolton (4-0) will take on Helias (4-1) at 2:30 p.m. today in the tournament.
Jefferson City (1-6) will continue play in the tournament at 7:30 p.m. today when it faces Blair Oaks (4-2).
"They star in their roles," Phillips said of the Falcons. "Whatever (coach) Ryan (Fick) asks them to do they do it to the best of their ability."