Every time the Broncos and Tigers tussle, it has come down to the wire. Monday night’s semifinal matchup was no different.
For the third time this season, Irving College was able to withstand a late push by Boyd, winning 38-36 to advance to the District 1 tournament finals.
Two wins, by a combined five points, in the regular season over Boyd helped Irving College earn the top seed in the District 1 tournament. The Broncos were hoping to get the last laugh Monday, and they nearly did.
Boyd sliced a nine-point deficit in the fourth quarter to just two in the final seconds. Gage Harris, who scored a game-high 22 points, drilled a 3-pointer with nine seconds left to get the Broncos within striking distance.
The Broncos threw together a full-court press, hoping to force an Irving College mistake. They got it.
The Tigers tipped an errant pass out of bounds, giving Boyd the ball back at halfcourt with four seconds to play. Boyd took a timeout to draw up a play, which hoped to give Harris one last look.
Harris was able to wiggle free from a double team to catch a pass down the sideline. He set his feet and lofted a potential game-winning 3, but the shot just missed the mark.
It was a tough loss for the Broncos, who scored the first eight points in the contest. Irving College answered with a 24-4 run that spanned most of the first half, ultimately building a double-digit advantage it held most the second half.
A Tiger victory seemed all but sealed when Spencer Stubblefield scored on a run-out layup to make it 38-31 with two minutes to play, but Boyd almost came back with its final push.
Leo Casteneda led Irving College with 12 points, while Stubblefield finished with 10. Trace Taylor and Mathew Roller added eight points each.
Bryant Ralph finished with eight points for Boyd, followed by Connor Andrews with four and Jack Rhoten with two.
It was a big night for Irving College Monday, as the Lady Tigers also advanced to the finals. Irving College downed Bobby Ray 26-12.
Kaydence Smith dominated action, scoring 11 points – all in the first half – as the Lady Tigers led wire-to-wire. Lilly Cathcart added nine points, while Presley Green, Emily Gonzales and Ali Young scored two points apiece.
Alexia Ross scored eight points in Bobby Ray’s loss, while Zoe Curtis and Laura Sifuentes scored two points each.
The Lady Tigers met West Elementary in the finals Tuesday night (more coverage coming in Friday’s paper). The Lady Wizards, led by dynamic point guard Elly Bain, earned their spot with a 24-19 win over Hickory Creek.
Bain scored 16 points for West Elementary, while Haven Hasty chipped in six and Amaya Martin tallied two.
Maci McBride tried to lead Hickory Creek to the finals, scoring nine points in Monday’s narrow loss. Makenzi Haile was next with six, followed by Addison Steakley with three and Abby Graves with one.
The Hickory Creek boys team was able to punch its ticket to the finals, beating West Elementary 33-16.
Carter Simpson and Maddox Baker were a two-man wrecking crew for the Hawks, scoring 12 and 10 points, respectively.
Ayden Odineal added four points in the win, followed by Khiree Martin, Ethan Holder and Korbyn Harris with two points each. Camron Holder added one.
Scoring for West included Hector Marquez with seven, Deashawn Adams with five and Gabriel Cordova and Gage Cotton with two points each.