Hallsville Bobcats Claw Past Longview Lobos, 64-60
When the dust settled Tuesday night in the regular-season finale at Lobo Coliseum, Hallsville emerged the winner.
Now the Bobcats have something else to settle before the postseason begins.
Behind a 15-point fourth quarter from Blaine Parker and 4-for-5 shooting at the free-throw line inside the final 30 seconds, Hallsville closed the regular season with a gritty 64-60 win over Longview to wrap District 15-5A action.
Entering Tuesday, the Bobcats sat square with Texas High at 11-2 in 15-5A play, one game behind Marshall and one game ahead of Mount Pleasant to round out the playoff-bound teams from the district.
With the Bobcats' win, paired with Texas High's 73-65 win over Mount Pleasant, the two will meet for a playoff seeding game with a time and place to be determined. Marshall clinched the district title and the No. 1 seed with an 89-64 win over Sulphur Springs.
To set that up, Hallsville erased a seven-point fourth-quarter deficit on Tuesday night, rallying from down 58-51 with under three minutes to play.
"It was an exciting way to end the regular season," Hallsville head coach Rusty Walker said. "We knew that Longview was going to play hard tonight and they did. They played very well.
"We're used to these close games, we've done it throughout the season. They stepped up tonight with a lot of grit in a scrappy, physical game. We just kept playing."
Parker finished with a game-high 26 points -- 18 coming in the second half -- for the Bobcats, who trailed by one, 39-38, after three quarters of action. The junior added five rebounds and five steals as well.
Nolan Johnson added 15 points and three assists for Hallsville while Coleton Lasseter finished with six points.
Hallsville jumped to a 7-2 lead before a three from Cavness capped an 8-2 run in the first quarter to put the Lobos on top -- a lead they held until the final minute of the third quarter.
Chris Timberlake drained a three to put the Bobcats ahead, 38-37, before Cavness found Kaland Johnson (seven points, five steals, four assists) to give Longview a 39-38 lead heading to the fourth.
Smith had back-to-back jumpers as Longview built its largest lead of the night at eight, 46-38, with 6:31 left.
Trailing by seven with 2:41 left, Johnson hit a pair from the line, Parker went coast-to-coast off a defensive rebound and completed a three-point play at the line and Lance Hardman had a steal a bucket in a 7-0 Hallsville run to tie it 58-58 with 2:09 left.
Parker, who finished with three steals in the fourth quarter, hit a free-throw to put Hallsville ahead by one before a quick bucket from freshman Cameron Starling put the Lobos back on top with 48 seconds left.
After a technical foul on Longview, Parker hit two-straight from the line and, off the bench, Matt Mowery added two more to put Hallsville ahead, 63-60, with 29 seconds left.
Bren Dawson and Johnson had steals inside the final 20 seconds before Johnson sealed the four-point win with a free throw.