CYPRESS – There were seven lead changes in the Wharton Runnin’ Tigers’ Class 4A Region 4 bi-district game at Bridgeland High School against the Navasota Rattlers, Tuesday, Feb. 25.
It was a one-point lead with 4:05 left in the game that mattered the most as Wharton, which placed fourth in District 25-4A, held on to defeat Navasota, which won a title outright in its district. Apparently the 1st vs. 4th seed didn’t matter as the Runnin’ Tigers won, 58-55.
It was a Fred Jones three-point basket that gave WHS the final lead of the game, forcing Navasota to call a timeout.
Joerell Davis then scored a free throw and a basket for a 52-48 advantage.
Navasota kept forcing the issue, staying within two points of Wharton’s lead. The final 20 seconds were nail-biting as everyone in the stands stood and watched the game clock. (Visit www.journal-spectator.com to view the final seconds of the game).
The game didn’t start out close at all.
Navasota scored on a basket to give it a 2-0 lead, but then the Runnin’ Tigers came out pressing, forcing turnovers, resulting in offensive points on their end. Glover R’detric’s three-pointer gave his team a lead that would last into the third quarter.
Wharton was up by 12 points three times in the first half, the first coming in the explosive first quarter.
The Rattlers did not quit and in scoring back-to-back baskets twice, helped them get back in the game, trailing 28-26 at the half.
Although emotions were high, both teams never had players get in foul trouble. Navasota had five team fouls to Wharton’s six in the first half.
In the third quarter, the biggest lead Navasota could muster was in the first 90 seconds, as the Rattlers took a 32-28 lead.
Inside five minutes to play for a chance to advance to the area round, Navasota couldn’t take advantage of 48-43 lead. WHS responded with threes from James Jones and Fred Jones. It was a lead they would never relinquish.