Hallettsville loses in final seconds to SA Cole
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SEGUIN - Ronnel Jordan dribbled at the top of the key. The San Antonio Cole senior was looking at the basket, with an eye on the evaporating clock in the right corner.
Ten seconds remained and Jordan was still waiting to pull the trigger on a shot that he hoped would decide Saturday's Region IV-2A final between Cole and Hallettsville. Finally, with six seconds left in the 52-52 game Jordan unleashed a 3-point attempt from well behind the arc.
It was long. In the scramble to secure the rebound a foul was called with .26 seconds remaining.
Andre Terrell scored three points all afternoon for the Cougars, but the final point was the game-winning free throw to lift Cole to a 53-52 victory.
"Honestly, we didn't have anyone on the floor that could stop him from getting in the lane and getting a decent shot. I was thinking 'What is he thinking shooting it out there,'" said Hallettsville senior Trevor McGee. "I thought Logan Herrington was going to be on the line because the ball came off and the guy jumped all over his back to get the rebound."
Terrell's free throw was the tenth lead change of a game, where both teams endured scoring droughts.
"At the end everyone points fingers. I don't know how many we missed in that fourth quarter, but that hurts us right that there. You can't blame it on anything," Hallettsville head coach Steven Davis said about the loss.
"The first shot you miss in the first quarter is just as important as the last shot you miss or make. I am proud of the team. There is only one team that's happy at the end of the year. We can be proud that we accomplished something no one thought we were going to do."
McGee (8-19 FG) led Hallettsville with 20 points in his final varsity game. At the buzzer Brahmas head coach Steven Davis gave McGee a big hug - in part consolation, part gratitude -for his effort Saturday and throughout the season.
Jordan (6-13 FG) finished with a game-high 25 points.
Hallettsville trailed 50-42 with 3:38 remaining. They went on a 10-3 run the rest of the way without starting point guard Dazaun Silgero, who fouled out trying to block Jordan from a layup.
Pressure defense, McGee's offensive scheming and pivotal free throws from Dalton Herrington helped the Brahmas back into the game.
Cole head coach Herb More said his team had not endured a press defense like the one Hallettsville employed Saturday. More said his team was trying to play at Hallettsville's pace at the outset rather than letting all five Cougars touch the ball before shooting.
He added it took time for his Cougars to get adjusted to that defense, as well as get into the game because they expended a lot of mental and physical energy in Friday's win over Jarrell.
Hallettsville led 30-28 at halftime after McGee buried a 3-pointer from the wing. The Brahmas sprinted to the locker room with enthusiasm. They could not maintain that momentum in the third quarter as they went 6.48 without a basket.
In that scoreless stretch Cole senior guard Bryce King came off the bench to knock down a trio of 3-pointers to energize the green and gold supporters - just like he did in Friday's regional semifinal win.
Cole led by seven at the end of the third quarter. That lead expanded to nine early in the fourth. The Brahmas were on the precipice, but were too stubborn to lose in such a way.
"Teamwork, we didn't want to lose this game," is how Hallettsville senior Anthony Vesely described the comeback. "We felt like we had a lot of heart in this game. We knew if we worked together we could win. At first they started getting frustrated with each other and we picked it up and decided to work as a team. We made a big run and made it interesting."
McGee's turnaround jumper inside the lane tied the game at 50 with 1:48 remaining. When Cole forward Kendrick Taylor slipped on the ensuing possession, the Brahmas had a chance to take their first lead since there was six minutes remaining in the third.
Hallettsville took a 51-50 lead on a free throw with 1:10 remaining. The Brahmas, who shot 59.7 percent from the line entering Saturday's game, had four free throw attempts inside the last 90 seconds of the game and missed three of them.
Vesely finished with seven points. Sophomore Dalton Herrington scored 17 points and Brandon Davis (3-4 FG) came off the bench to add six points in his final game.
"They told me before the game they had an AED out here and I felt I was going to need it. I thought I was going to need a defibrillator," More said. "I am proud of the kids. We stepped up and played good defense down the stretch."