LIPAN – The Tolar Rattlers were still within striking distance of Brock at halftime of their Class 2A boys bidistrict basketball playoff contest at Lipan High School, but the state-ranked Eagles were only starting to fly.
Brock erupted for 29 points in the thid quarter – more than the Eagles scored in the first half – and eventually won 78-46.
The loss ended the season for 17-10 Tolar and moved perennial powerhouse Brock (27-6), ranked fifth in the state, into the area playoff round.
Tolar trailed by only eight points (26-18) with 1:40 left in the second quarter, but Brock’s relentless pressure defense and outstanding depth was too much to overcome.
“Brock’s got so many weapons,” Tolar coach Kent Caruthers said. “They’ve got so many of them, it’s hard to shut them down. They’ve just got another one to step in. That’s why they’ve got such a good team.
“They get in your face, and put a lot of pressure on you. We struggled with that a little bit.”
Zack Hasegawa scored 13 points to lead Tolar offensively, while teammates Ty Johnston and Tyler Pruitt added 11 each.
“In the second half, it kind of snowballed,” Hasegawa said. “But we competed until the final buzzer. They had a couple of fast breaks, which got their momentum going.”
Jacob Phillips, Tolar’s 6-4 senior post, said that although the second half slipped away, he was pleased that the squad never quit.
“We kind of got out of control as a team,” said Phillips, who scored six points. “If we could have played together, we could have stopped it. It just didn’t quite happen for us. I’m real proud fo the team for hanging in there the whole game.”
Tolar senior Landon Morris, who suffered possible high ankle sprain with 57 seconds to go in the first quarter, and was unable to return. Caruthers said that was a big blow to overcome because of what he had been providing this season.
“Landon Morris is like a spark plug for us,” Caruthers said. “Him getting hurt tonight hurt us a lot.”
The Rattlers were facing only a four-point deficit (13-9) before the play that resulted in the injury to Morris.
Tolar will lose five of its 10 varsity players to graduation.
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Brock 15 13 29 21 – 78
Tolar 9 10 12 15 – 46
Tolar (17-10) scorers – Zack Hasegawa 13, Ty Johnston 11, Tyler Pruitt 11, Jacob Phillips 6, Dakota Endsley 3, Riley Osterman 2.
Brock (27-6) leading scorers – Lance Ewell 17, Harris Jowell 15.
Free throws – Tolar 12-22; Brock 14-24.
Tolar 3-pointers – Johnston 1, Hasegawa 1.