— By GREG WEBB
When Tony Banks’ long heave beyond midcourt beat the buzzer at the end of the opening period, the 3-point crowd pleaser gave the Weatherford varsity the lead for good in a District 3-5A match with Arlington Sam Houston. And though no one had an inkling at the time, the shot would end up as the winning margin, as the Kangaroos collected their first district victory of the season with a 44-41 win.
The long shot had a positive following effect on the next period as Weatherford completed a 14-6 second-quarter run to build a 10-point lead by halftime. An active WHS defense kept the number of open looks for the Texans, and subsequently their shooting percentage, way down in the period.
While the points margin ebbed and flowed through most of the second half, a nasty turn of events in the closing minutes had the Roo faithful wondering if they would enjoy a win on this night.
In the third quarter, though Weatherford increased its lead to 12 to begin the frame, the Texans began to chip away at the Roo advantage, coming to within four points midway through the period.
Coming off the bench, Tyler Scoggin was the recipient of a pair of nifty feeds under the basket and completed the layups to end the scoring in the quarter, with WHS back to an 8-point margin.
Banks 8-foot jumper and Collin Boswell’s successful free throws began the final period, with Weatherford back up by 12. Over the next five minutes of the match the teams traded blows, but Sam Houston still had a 10-point deficit with just over two minutes left in the game.
The Texans began finding the basket with more regularity down the final stretch, but the telling factor was their full-court press that coerced some errant passes by the Roos.
Houston had four possessions in a row and went on an 8-0 run.
Weatherford head coach Brian Miller called three time outs during the span, trying to compose the Roos.
“It’s been a while since we have been in a game we were in a position to win,” Miller said. “And I really think the boys were just hoping the clock would run out over those last two minutes, when we were up by 10, instead of finishing it out like we had played through most of the game.”
Weatherford found a temporary respite when Ryan Merrill was free under the basket, increasing the Roo lead back to four with less than thirty seconds to go.
But the Arlington team answered right back with a 3-pointer, and with 10 seconds and change left on the game clock, the Roos needed to play keep-away a bit longer.
The “fouls to give” before getting into the bonus worked against the visiting Texans, as three intentional infractions merely took time off the clock instead of getting Weatherford to the free throw line, and a chance for another Sam Houston possession.
By the time Houston finally sent Banks to the free stripe to shoot a one-and-one, there were less than four seconds left. Banks calmly hit both opportunities and the Texans last desperation was for nought.
“I think the good thing that came from tonight was that, even though we let them back into the game, we did hold on for the win,” Miller said. “We did what we had to do in those last seconds and hit the free throws when we needed to.
“ We haven’t played very well in district, so this is a good thing to build on.”
Collin Boswell led the Roos with 11 points, while Banks and Merrill added eight apiece.
Sam Couch had a handful of points, with Lane Guest, Scoggin and Connor Turan each had four points.
The Lady Roos improved to 5-4 in district play, with little resistance from Arlington Sam Houston’s Lady Texans, as the WHS girls won in a walkover, 66-28.
Nine different WHS girls got on the scoreboard, with Abbye Shearmire’s 16 points the game high on the night. Kaelin Davis followed with nine, while Kyra Hasley and Jada Lewis had eight each.
By the end of the first half, Weatherford had already built a 23-point advantage and the Lady Texans never made a serious run at changing the outcome. The Lady Roos’ 5-4 mark leaves them in a tie with North Crowley for the fourth playoff seed, with five games left in district play.
The Weatherford varsity teams will host Arlington Bowie on Tuesday, with the Lady Roos set for a 6 p.m. tip.
More Friday results:
Aledo 56 FW South Hills 44
Springtown 66 FW Diamond Hill 40
Peaster 87, Alvord 26
Poolville 86, Perrin 17
Aledo 70 FW South Hills 24
Springtown 75 FW Diamond Hill 11
Brock 53 Paradise 18
Poolville 54 Perrin 47
Editor’s Note: Read the full stories for Poolville’s Homecoming Night games on-line at www.weatherforddemocrat.com.