Last year, Austin LBJ rode the wave of emotion from
the passing of an assistant coach just before the Fort Worth
Coca-Cola Tournament all the way to the event’s championship.
This season, the Panthers (6-8, 0-1 in 5-5A) gave the
Jaguars everything the defending champs could handle in the first
round, but came up a little short in the 52-50 overtime loss.
But the drama really started with 1:50 left in the
fourth quarter when Sawyer Golden hit a three-pointer to tie the
game at 40.
The Panthers took the lead at 41-40 with 1:18 left
when Josh Tobolka hit a free throw after a technical foul. Golden
hit two more free throws with 1:10 left to stretch the lead to
The Jaguars pulled to within one with 44 seconds left
and took the lead by one point with just eight seconds left on the
Midlothian put the ball in the hands of its leading
scorer Cody Meyers with a chance for the win. As time expired, he
was fouled on a potential winning lay up that couldn’t find the
bottom of the net.
Meyers had two untimed free throws to pull of the
dramatic win. He sank the first one, but the second hit the iron
and rimmed out sending the game to overtime tied at 44.
“We had our chances in the fourth, that’s all you can
ask for,” Midlothian coach Glenn Hartson said. “He missed a couple
free throws earlier, but if I was going to have anybody at the
line, it might as well have been Cody.”
But the coach doesn’t think the game should have come
to that point as the team turned the ball over too many times in
the fourth quarter, including one stretch of four straight
“Our guard play was bad. When people put pressure on
our guards, we have to know what to do with it,” Hartson said.
“They have to be more confident and that comes from within.”
The coach noted the team’s ball-handling miscues is
what cost it the game.
“Missing that free throw didn’t cost us the game.
Turnovers cost the game,” Hartson said. “We’ve been battling that
all year and it’s going to continue to be a battle.”
In the overtime period, Colton Rapp hit a
medium-range jumper with 1:32 left to tie the game at 48.
The Panthers used its next possession to take a a
Meyers hit a lay up with 10.1 seconds left to pull
back to within one point.
The Panthers had to foul and Austin LBJ hit just one
of the free throws to take a 52-50 lead with eight seconds left on
Meyers got the ball on the Panthers’ ensuing
possession, he almost lost it at half court, but recovered by the
time he got to the paint.
Instead of taking a tough lay up, he dumped off to a
team mate, but the shot was blocked and rolled out of bounds with
0.7 seconds left on the clock.
Midlothian had one last shot to win, the Panthers
tried a tip to Meyers, but the play was unsuccessful as the
Panthers suffered the tough loss.
Meyers led the team with 15 points, eight of which
coming in the fourth quarter and overtime.
Golden’s big three with two minutes left in
regulation was the last of his 13 points, but he drew a big
charging penalty in overtime to give his team a chance to win.
Midlothian plays again Jan. 3 at Duncanville at 7:30
Contact Billy at firstname.lastname@example.org or
Mirror correspondent Jason Sutherland contributed
on this report.