CALIFORNIA — The No. 6 seed Hornets fell short in their attempt to topple the No. 3 Spartans in first-round play at the 85th-annual California Tournament late Tuesday night.
Fulton (6-5) — which has lost two straight — trailed 21-17 after one quarter and 37-35 at halftime. Moberly took a 59-51 lead into the fourth quarter and held on for the victory despite being outscored by the Hornets 23-17 over the last 8 minutes.
Junior forward Tyler Sayler — who connected on 10-of-18 shots — tallied 21 points to guide five players in double figures for Fulton, which shot 55 percent (31-of-56) as a team. Senior guard Taeon Logan logged 16 points, senior guard AJ Reid provided 13, junior forward John Adams had 11 and senior guard Anthony Paine contributed 10.
"We battled hard all night to keep it close, but just couldn't get over the hump," Hornets head coach Justin Gilmore said. "Offensively, I thought our guys did a good job.
"We shot a good percentage and hit some deep ones."
Braedan Wetrich erupted for a game-high 35 points to spark three players in double figures for the Spartans, who shot 60 percent (32-of-53) from the field. Andre Bell added 18 points and Trey Koester finished with 13.
"Defensively, we struggled to shut down the middle and contain Moberly," Gilmore said. "They did a good job of attacking the rim and we just seemed a step slow shutting down the middle of the lane."
Fulton meets No. 7 seed California in the consolation semifinals at 9 tonight. The Pintos were whipped by No. 2 seed Warrensburg 65-40 in Tuesday night's first round.