Trimble Tech made a lot of 2-point shots and free throws, and Granbury hit a bunch of 3-pointers.
But ultimately, Tuesday’s District 7-4A boys basketball game at the James Wann Sports Center, won 52-46 by Tech, came down to a 5-point play.
With Tech leading 38-37 and 5:12 left in the contest, Granbury was called for a foul to send a Tech player to the line for a 1-and-1 situation.
However, in protest to the call, a Granbury player slammed the ball on the court and received a technical foul.
Tech hit three of four free throw attempts, got the ball, and scored. Just like that, the Pirates found themselves down 43-37.
“In a game that is low-scoring and tight, a 5-point play is disastrous,” said Granbury coach David Breazeale.
“That means we’ve got the ball and we’re down one with five minutes to play. Who knows what happens?”
The loss dropped the Pirates (15-12 overall) to 6-4 in District 7-4A. They are alone in fourth place, a game behind Arlington Heights for third and a game ahead of Aledo in the chase for the postseason.
The top four teams advance to the playoffs, somewhere the Pirates have not been since 1999.
Granbury was playing at Aledo last night. The Pirates defeated the Bearcats 75-72 when the teams met in Granbury on Jan. 8.
Tech (18-7, 9-1), meanwhile, all but wrapped up a postseason berth. They are a game behind O.D. Wyatt, who dealt them their only league loss and against whom they have a rematch remaining.
If the Pirates defeated Aledo for a second time last night, it all but assured Granbury of a postseason berth. The Pirates would need only one win or an Aledo loss to get there as they would own a tiebreaker against the Bearcats, led by former Granbury coach Steve Smith.
If, however, Aledo won, the teams would be tied and would have split their district contests. Granbury has games remaining at Arlington Heights, at South Hills and home against Wyatt. Aledo has games at home against Tech and South Hills and visits Heights.
“This is a game I had circled,” said Breazeale.
The coach had reason to believe his team could pull off the upset. They lost their first meeting in Fort Worth 53-36 when, despite a strong defensive effort, they only shot 30 percent.
But they only shot 38 percent Tuesday, staying in the game largely because of going 6-for-15 from 3-point range.
“We got better shots in Fort Worth than we got tonight,” said Breazeale. “They made it hard for us to shoot here. In Fort Worth we just missed a lot of shots.”
Nick Doughty of Granbury led all players with a double-double, scoring 17 points and grabbing 11 rebounds, continuing his strong play in district. He was the only Pirate in double figures.
Tech, meanwhile, had very little trouble hitting shots from short range in the second half. The Bulldogs were 12-for-16 from 2-point range in the final two periods to go with hitting 12 of 15 foul shots, including 10 of 13 in the fourth quarter.
“They made their babies and a few jumpers – and that foul shooting…” said Breazeale.
Tech hit seven of eight 2-point shots in the third quarter and appeared to be on the verge of pulling away when the Bulldogs went up 28-21. However, Collin McCann came off the bench and hit back-to-back 3-pointers, followed by a trey from Clay Brawner, all in less than a minute and a half, and the Pirates regained the lead, 32-30.
The teams entered the final quarter tied at 32, and again McCann hit from long distance for a 37-36 Pirate lead. It would be their final lead of the night.
Once again the Pirates gave up 20 or more points in the fourth quarter, something that has plagued them in recent games.
The second half was a stark contrast to the first half for Tech, which was just 6-for-21 from the field in the first two quarters. The Pirates couldn’t capitalize, however, going just 5-for-16 themselves and missing half of their eight free throws.
“The first half was a tale of two coaches who know the opponent well,” said Breazeale.
“What happens against quick teams is they spread the floor and go to pick-and-roll basketball.”
The Pirates came out strong, leading 9-2 after an opening quarter they dominated. They outrebounded the Bulldogs 13-4 in that period, finishing the night with a 29-19 advantage, including 9-6 on the offensive boards.
“When you outrebound a team that’s that athletic, the effort’s there,” said Breazeale. “I can’t fault our guys’ effort tonight.”
Tech took a 16-15 halftime lead on a 3-point shot at the buzzer. It was one of only two treys they hit all night in 15 attempts. Granbury was 6-for-15 from 3-point range.
“Defensively, we started out just like we had to,” said Breazeale. “We stopped everything.”
The Pirates are still in control of their own destiny. In fact, whatever the outcome last night at Aledo, if they win out and have to win a play-in game against the Bearcats, the Pirates control what happens to them.
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Trimble Tech 2 14 16 20 – 52
Granbury 9 6 17 14 – 46
Granbury (15-12, 6-4 in 7-4A) scoring – Nick Doughty 17, Collin McCann 9, Brandon Fichter 8, Clay Brawner 6, Jacob Taylor 3, Klint Keating 2, Jimmy Hodges 1.
Trimble Tech (18-7, 9-1) leading scorer – Jerrick McCallum 12.
3-pointers – Granbury 6-15 (McCann 3, Fichter 1, Brawner 1, Taylor 1), Tech 2-15.
Rebounds – Granbury 29 (Doughty 11, Fichter 7), Tech 19.
Free throws – Granbury 10-17, Tech 14-17.