Eagles Trim Longhorns 36-35
Lexington’s stout defense and opportunistic offense was just enough to send the Harper Longhorns home to the Hill Country for basketball season. The Eagles continue on to the Regional Quarterfinals as the only 25-AA team still playing.
The Eagles stout defense looked shaky at the start of the game as Harper jumped out to a 7- 0 lead before Lexington could erase the zero. With the Longhorns dealing Eagle leader Julien Clark misery, the Eagles turned up the defense a notch or two after Coach Tucker called an early time out to refocus his troops. Lexington seemed to own the game, because of its defense after the 7-0 start by Harper. Despite the dominating defense the Eagles could not open a commanding lead on the scrappy Horns.
After being down 7-0, Lexington rallied to 10-5 after the first period. From there the defense dominated, tiring the Horns as the Eagles rotated in 11 players. Harper was noticeably tired near halftime as Lexington opened a two-point lead 21-19, outscoring the opponent 16-9 in the quarter. A big reason for the Eagle scoring in the second quarter was Tevin Lovings ability to sneak away from his defender. Three times Lovings was open under the basket for passes from Anthony Robbins, Jason Washington, and Kelden Wren. The Eagles team play was paying dividends.
The third period was a tough defensive time for both teams as Lexington scored six and Harper five. The defense of both teams rose to the challenge. Lexington kept Harper scoring leader Jake Whitten from getting open three point shots, as the match-up zone the Eagles used confused the Horn offense.
As the fourth quarter unfolded, Lexington continued to pressure Harper. But the Eagle offense was still sputtering. Lexington scored nine points in the quarter, none more important than the two free throws Clark made with 18 seconds left in the game to give Lexington a 36-32 lead. Harper was able to inbound the ball and get off a shot. Lexington rebounded the ball, firing a long pass to Xavier Ward. Ward was fouled quickly sending him to the foul line with eight seconds remaining. A missed free throw allowed Harper to get the ball down the court, with Whitten sinking a three-pointer to close to 36-35 with 0.29 of a second left. Lexington had won because by rule, you cannot catch and score legally with less than 0.3 on the clock.
Lexington 36 Harper 35
|Lexington ( 20-13)||5||16||6||9||36|
|Lex- Wren 2, Ward 2, Lovings 10, Washington 4, Crumb 2, Clark 14,|
|Har-Alexander 6, Whitten 13, Randle 4, Martinez 4, Blaha 3,|