In his own words, Granbury coach David Breazeale is glad basketball is not a “five-quarter sport.”
“We’d be in trouble,” he said after the Pirates experienced defensive difficulties again in the final quarter of a 66-56 win over Fort Worth Western Hills at the James Wann Sports Center Tuesday.
The good news for the Pirates (14-11, 5-3 in 7-4A) is that they had built an 18-point bulge through the first three quarters (52-34).
The win kept the Pirates alone in fourth place in district as the second half of league play got under way. They are two games up on Aledo for the final playoff berth.
The Pirates defeated Aledo 75-72 in Granbury on Jan. 8. They meet again Friday in Aledo.
The Pirates withstood a furious rally by Western Hills (2-18, 0-8) as their lead was trimmed to nine points with just under four minutes to play.
Granbury held on with a strong performance at the free throw line, hitting 11 of 14 in the final quarter. Kevin Hennard was 7-for-8.
“That saved our soup,” Breazeale said.
“We cannot survive if we keep defending like this. That team’s 0-8 and has two wins all year.”
Nick Doughty led Granbury with 17 points and six rebounds. Jacob Taylor added 14 points, including nine on a trio of 3-pointers.
The Pirates trailed 13-11 after the first quarter, but took command of the contest with a 22-8 run in the second quarter.
With the exception of the final quarter, the Pirates controlled all phases of the contest. They had a higher shooting percentage (41 percent to 40 percent), hit more free throws (24-16), had a 22-16 rebound advantage and forced 16 turnovers opposite 10 of their own. However, four of Granbury’s turnovers came in the fourth period.
“We’re in a good position (in the standings), but we’ve got to fix this fast,” Breazeale said.
“We needed to be 5-3 when the game was over and we are,” said assistant coach Josh Jones.
“We didn’t get to 5-3 how we wanted, but we are nonetheless. But I sure would like to see us figure out what’s happening in the fourth quarter, because I think it would make us an even better team.”
The Pirates are two victories away from clinching their first winning season since 2003-04, and they are seeking the program’s first playoff berth since 1999. Ironically, the 2003-04 team would have reached the playoffs under the current format as they were fourth in district, but only the top three advanced then.
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W. Hills 13 8 13 22 – 56
Granbury 11 22 19 14 – 66
Granbury (14-11, 5-3 in 7-4A) – Nick Doughty 17, Jacob Taylor 14, Jimmy Hodges 9, Collin McCann 7, Kevin Hennard 7, Brandon Fichter 7, Clay Brawner 5.
3-pointers – Granbury 6-14 (Taylor 3, McCann 2, Brawner 1), W. Hills 6-17.
Rebounds – Granbury 22 (Doughty 6), W. Hills 16.
Free throws – Granbury 24-33, W. Hills 16-22.