With five minutes left in their basketball game against last-place Western Hills Tuesday, the Granbury Pirates appeared headed to their fourth consecutive victory.
The Cougars, however, had other plans.
Western Hills, which came into the game winless in District 7-4A after the first half of league play (0-7), finished the game with a 14-3 run for a 55-52 upset of the visiting Pirates.
The loss dropped the Pirates (9-13 overall) to 4-4 in district and into a third-place tie with Southwest and Arlington Heights. Trimble Tech (8-0) leads the district and has a commanding three-game advantage on runner-up Aledo (5-3).
Meanwhile, South Hills and O.D. Wyatt also climbed back into the playoff chase, each now 3-5 after upsets of Aledo and Arlington Heights.
“Seven teams are now going, ‘Hey, we’ve got a shot,’” said Granbury coach David Breazeale. “Seven teams are legitimately in the race, that’s what tonight did.”
The Pirates had difficulty with the Cougars’ 6-foot-6 post man LaDarius Bell, who finished with 26 points. Had he not gotten in foul trouble, it might have been worse, said Breazeale.
“We just could not get a stop. He’s extremely mobile, and they’re quick and can shoot,” said Breazeale.
“It’s amazing they don’t win more. I’ve been worried about them.”
Granbury led 49-41 as the final five minutes began. Then, the Cougars (4-9 overall) scored 12 straight points.
Clay Brawner hit a 3-pointer to pull the Pirates within 53-52 with just a few seconds left, but Granbury was forced to foul. The Cougars made both free throws, and the Pirates were left without any good looks for a possible overtime-forcing 3-pointer.
“This one hurts,” said Breazeale. “But we’ve got plenty of time to fix it. We have to start Friday (last night).”
The Pirates were hosting Southwest, which beat Granbury 79-49 in Fort Worth in the first half of district. Next week Granbury travels to Fort Worth to play Trimble Tech Tuesday and hosts Aledo Friday in perhaps their two biggest games of the season.
B.B. King led Granbury with 13 points, followed by Jacob Taylor with a dozen points on four 3-pointers, and Clay Brawner with 12 points. Brawner also dealt out seven assists and grabbed six rebounds, while J.D. Hohnstreiter also had six boards.
The Pirates hit as many 3-pointers (6) as they did 2-point shots (6). They actually scored their most points at the free throw line, connecting on 22 of 27.
“I don’t think it was overconfidence on our part. They just played a flawless fourth quarter,” said Breazeale of Western Hills.
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Western Hills 55, Granbury 52
Granbury (9-13, 4-4 in 7-4A) scoring – B.B. King 13, Jacob Taylor 12, Clay Brawner 12, Mitchell May 7, J.D. Hohnstreiter 4, Will Brawner 3, Ryan Suitt 1.
Western Hills (4-9, 1-7) leading scorer – LaDarius Bell 26.
Granbury 3-pointers – Taylor 4, King 1, C. Brawner 1.
Granbury rebounds – Hohnstreiter 6, C. Brawner 6.
Granbury assists – C. Brawner 7.