— By GREG WEBB
AUSTIN – An inbound play with 2.8 seconds left was the Brock Eagles’ last-gasp attempt to complete an impressive second-half comeback at the Frank Erwin Center on Saturday.
Just two seconds earlier in the Class 2A Boys’ State Basketball title game, White Oak guard Kris Anderson broke a tie ball game with a floating layup, leaving Brock to depend on a drawn up inbound play to win or tie.
But Brock never got a shot off, as Tré Ewell hit the slick surface of the UIL emblem and Lane Southern’s pass sailed past the senior guard, as time expired. Down by double digits in the first half, the Eagles gave the Roughnecks a scare, and all they wanted in their second-consecutive meeting, but falling, 56-54.
Southern began the comeback after the halftime break, hitting a three to cut the Roughneck lead to six. Luke Hummel, who was the biggest threat for Brock from beyond the arc on the day, stroked another to draw the Eagles to within three. Hummel was 6-for-9 from 3-point land, finishing as Brock’s top scorer with 18 points.
At the midpoint of the quarter, Brock closed the gap when Dylan Carrigan nailed a long shot, knotting the score at 35-all.
Ewell took care of Brock’s first lead of the game since the opening minutes of the game with a lay up at 2:45 in the final period. Though the Roughnecks lead had increased to five just a couple of minutes earlier, Brock kept fighting back to keep the pressure on White Oak, hoping they would break.
But the Roughnecks endured.
Hummel hit yet another clutch three with less than a minute left. At 54-54, White Oak worked for the final shot out of the time out, resulting in the go-ahead layup.
Ewell added 13 points for Brock and brother Lance Ewell, very effective inside at the start of the game, had 12.
Brock ends its year with a 32-7 overall mark, and for the second-straight year is the Class 2A runner-up.
Although both teams revealed the nerve factor in the first quarter of a Class 2A semifinal at the UIL Boys State Basketball Tournament on Friday, timidity gave way to defensive energy as the contest wore on. The Eagles took the lead for good midway through the final period, and though the margin was far from comfortable, Brock stymied the Wildcats’ offense to win the semifinal match, 56-51.
The start of the game was a bit sloppy at both ends, but sweeter for Brock in the early going, as they led by seven at the close of the opening period. But Idalou’s height and opportunistic rebounding reversed the trend in the second quarter, giving the Wildcats the advantage at the half. Idalou finished the game with a 40-24 rebound advantage.
“We just weren’t getting after the ball in the first half,” said head coach Jeff Bell. “I think we started getting more aggressive on the boards in the second half, and may have done a better job of blocking out.”
Sophomore Lance Ewell played a significant role in turning the rebound fortunes and finished with 10 boards.
Ewell led Brock scoring with 16 points, Southern, Cockburn and Carrigan each threw in nine points. Micah Thornton came off the bench to add eight.