A last-second shot by the Glen Rose boys rolled off the rim at the buzzer Tuesday night as the Stephenville Yellow Jackets held on for a 45-44 win over the Tigers.
The exciting District 8-4A contest was hotly contested, and the Tigers had three shots with a chance to take the lead in the final 29 seconds.
None of those shots fell, however, as the Tigers slipped to 2-5 in district and 9-19 on the season.
Dietrick James led the Tigers in scoring in that contest with 14 points and Ethan Hartman with 13. Both played crucial defensive roles in the Tigers’ press, which forced several turnovers in the second quarter and kept the game tight down to the wire.
“I thought our boys played awesome,” Glen Rose head coach Owen Clifton said, noting that the Tigers seemed to get more pumped with energy after their slow start in the first quarter. “We got some really good looks. We just missed some open ones. it was a must-win for us. We played great the rest of the way."
Last Friday, the Tigers lost on the road to a stout Waxahachie Life School boys squad, 62-33. Kelton Bernard led Glen Rose scorers in that game with 13 points, all in the final quarter.
In the Stephenville game, the Tigers were scoreless until James buried a 3-pointer with 4:13 to go in the opening quarter, cutting Stephenville’s lead to 10-3. James later got a steal and drove in for a layup that cut the deficit to 19-15 with 32 seconds left in the quarter.
In the third quarter, two 3-pointers by Bernard and one by Conner Hanson kept the Tigers even with the Jackets, and the score was tied at 34 going into the wild final quarter.
The Tigers forced a turnover and Hartman made a lay up under the basket to grab the lead, 38-36, at the six-minute mark in the fourth quarter.
Hartman’s second 3-pointer of the game put the Tigers back in the lead, 43-42, at the 2:50 mark. But Stephenville made a bucket inside to retake the lead, 44-43, 20 seconds later.
A free throw by Stephenville and one by Hartman made it a 45-44 game, but that’s when it got interesting.
On the press, James pestered a Stephenville player into turning the ball over on a travel call, but the Tigers then missed two field goal attempts.
After a steal, James ended up with the ball on the floor and called timeout with 15 seconds left, with Stephenville still owning its 45-44 lead. A tie ball was called with four seconds left and the ball went to Glen Rose. But the Tigers’ final shot — from near the free throw line — refused to fall in after dangling on the rim.
Stephenville won the boys game, also by one point, 49-48. Kason Keese led Glen Rose with 15 points.
Waxahachie Life, ranked No. 22 in the state by the TABC, the Mustangs rolled to a 24-2 lead in the first quarter, and were on top 34-8 later.
The Mustangs improved to 20-7 on the season and 5-1 in district.
The Tigers will be idle this Friday night on their district bye date, but will resume district play on Tuesday at Venus.
Clifton said he told his players they won’t have a chance to make the playoffs unless they can defeat Venus and continue to play well.
“We’ve got to win it,” Clifton said. “It’s a must win.”