Steve Smith was very familiar with the scenario.
A thrilling game came down to an exciting finish at the James Wann Sports Center.
Only this time the fans in the stands directly behind his bench weren’t pulling for his team.
Smith coaches the Aledo Bearcats now, Granbury’s foe Tuesday night – or rather the Pirates’ victim in a key 75-72 District 7-4A win.
Smith said he was impressed by what he saw in his former team, now coached by his good friend David Breazeale.
“When they play that hard they are capable of beating just about anybody,” Smith said.
The Pirates (12-9 overall) improved to 3-1 in district. They were hosting Fort Worth Arlington Heights last night with a share of the top spot in district on the line.
Meanwhile, Aledo (14-10 overall), fell to 2-2 in district and was playing a critical contest against Trimble Tech.
Breazeale believes there is still a good chance both he and his buddy will be taking teams to the postseason.
“Aledo’s not out of the playoffs, not at all,” Breazeale said.
Breazeale did, however, admit that had Aledo’s rally from 13 down to take a two-point lead in the fourth quarter stood, his team would have been challenged to shake it off.
“This would have been a hard locker room to go to if they came back and won,” he said.
But Granbury regrouped and went 6-for-7 from the field and 15-for-20 at the free throw line in the fourth quarter.
The Bearcats finally took the lead, 48-46, on a NBA 3-pointer from Taylor Johnson as the third quarter buzzer sounded.
Collin McCann and Jacob Taylor connected on consecutive 3-pointers 27 seconds apart midway through the final quarter to spark a 10-0 Pirate run. That put them up 64-56, and the Bearcats go no closer than the final margin after.
Johnson led all scorers with 34 points. The junior is being recruited by a host of major colleges.
“I told everybody I don’t care if we get out to a 54-0 lead, that kid will not let us run away,” said Breazeale.
Taylor led Granbury with 20 points, including nine in the fourth quarter.
Hennard’s 12 points led a Granbury bench that tallied 29. The Aledo bench posted 24.
Nick Doughty scored 13 points, grabbed numerous rebounds, stood out defensively and drew the praise of Smith.
“They catch and shoot in rhythm, and Doughty is the wild card,” Smith said. “His energy is limitless.”
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Aledo 7 16 25 24 – 72
Granbury 17 12 17 29 – 75
Granbury (12-9, 3-1 in 7-4A) scoring – Jacob Taylor 20, Nick Doughty 13, Kevin Hennard 12, Collin McCann 9, Kory Rafferty 8, Brandon Fichter 6, Jimmy Hodges 5, Clay Brawner 2.
Aledo (14-10, 2-2) leading scorer – Taylor Johnson 34.
3-pointers – Granbury: Taylor 4, McCann 2. Aledo: Johnson 3, Matt Dunn 2, Dawson Gates 1.
Free throws – Granbury 21-32, Aledo 11-19.