The Bucks, who finished the season with a 27-2, was defeated by the Brownfield Cubs 62-57 in the Class 2A Region I tournament played at Midland College’s Chaparral Center.
Even though the Bucks came up short in their efforts to play for a trip to the state tournament, it does not take away from the historic season that the team had and the success that came with it.
“The team success has been a journey,” said head coach Rob Ogle. “Starting in the spring of 2013 with all the after school pick up games, spring league in Abilene and the team camps in Eula and Azle.
“To be successful, you have to work at ‘it’.. Whatever ‘it’ is,” said Ogle. “These kids did just that with a 27-2 season record, back-to-back district champions, bi-district champions, Area champions, Regional Quarter Final Champions and were able to reach the Regional Tournament for only the second time in school history. I am very proud of this group of young men. They are a very special group.”
Friday’s game featured a very quick team in Brownfield and that speed ended up being a difference maker in the outcome of the game.
“Brownfield’s team speed was a huge factor,” said Ogle.
“We knew going in to the game that they were extremely fast and that there was no way we could simulate that kind of speed in practice. It took us about three to four minutes to adjust to their speed but by then, we were already down.”
“I feel like the kids played their hearts out,” said Ogle. “I could not ask any more of them. To be down twice by as much as 14 points and to have an opportunity to tie the game under a minute to play speaks volumes for the fight and determination of our kids.”
The Bucks fell behind early as Brownfield started the game with a 6-0 run, but Rigo Gallegos ended the Cubs’ run with a two-point basket at the 6:10 mark of the first quarter.
Breckenridge cut the Brownfield lead to 17-11 with 1:21 remaining but trailed 21-11 at the end of the quarter.
The Bucks got to within one point (27-26) following a three-pointer by Caleb Spoon with 3:13 to play in the first half, but Brownfield finished the first half with a 7-3 run as the Bucks trailed 34-29 at halftime.
A quick three-pointer by Spoon on the opening possession of the second half cut the deficit to 36-32.
Trailing 42-37 with 2:45 remaining in the third quarter, the Bucks shooting went cold as Brownfield was able to stretch the lead to 49-37 following a 7-0 run.
Spoon connected on a two-point basket while being fouled and would sink the free-throw to complete the three-point play.
Brownfield added two points with just two seconds remaining in the third quarter and the Bucks trailed 51-40 heading into the final period of play.
Breckenridge cut the deficit to 10 points (56-46) with 3:40 remaining in the game following a basket by Gallegos.
The Bucks cut the Brownfield lead to three points (60-57) with 19 seconds remaining with a three-pointer by Mateo Ramirez and a two-point basket by Gallegos.
The Cubs connected on two free-throws to seal the game with 13 seconds remaining in the game.
Breckenridge got one last chance to score but a two possession differential proved to be too much as they fell victim to a 62-57 defeat.
The Bucks connected on 19 of 53 shot attempts from the floor for 35 percent and were eight of 30 from behind the arc for 26 percent.
Brownfield had a 37-31 rebounding advantage over Breckenridge.
Spoon led the Bucks with 20 points, while Gallegos added 12 points and Ramirez scored 11 points.
Clay Boaz and Alain Franco each tossed in six points and Aaron Brooks added two points for the Bucks.