MAGNOLIA — With under a minute to play, the Nederland Bulldogs held a slim lead and appeared destined to be in Katy at the regional tournament on Friday.
That’s when the ball, and Nederland’s season, slipped away.
Georgetown forced two steals in the final minute, converting layups each time and stealing a 41-36 victory over Nederland at Magnolia West Tuesday in a Class 4A Region III quarterfinal game.
“It just wasn’t meant to be,” Nederland head coach Brian English said. “It was a hard-fought game. Both teams played great defense. It was kind of a grind, which we expected. We feel like we let one get away. That’s the way it goes.”
Nederland only had two more turnovers than Georgetown, but they both proved pivotal.
With the Bulldogs up 36-34 with 1 minute, 33 seconds left in the fourth quarter, Nederland forced a bad Georgetown shot and rebounded the miss. The Bulldogs made it over halfcourt, but quickly lost the ball as Eagle senior guard D’Andre Day popped it loose on the perimeter and cruised for a layup to tie the game at 36-36.
On the ensuing possession, Nederland didn’t even make it to halfcourt before Georgetown’s trap forced another turnover and senior Jacob Vick cruised to the rim for a layup and foul. After he hit the free throw, the Eagles led 39-36 with 17 seconds to play.
“We had our chances with a minute to go,” English said. “We had a couple little mistakes at the end cost us. They just got out there and made plays. Our two seniors had the ball and we were trying to get the last shot. I didn’t think we were in any kind of bind. They just got a tip and a steal. We didn’t want to shoot too early. They just made good plays at the end.”