If you're going to lose because of a buzzer-beating 3-pointer, it's probably better that it happen in November than later in the season when wins and losses count for so much more.
That's the silver lining Ryan can take from Tuesday's 54-51 nondistrict loss to Grapevine at Billy Ryan Gym. The Raiders had just rallied from 11 down to tie the game with 20 seconds left, but Grapevine's Spencer Bowers killed the comeback when he swished a 3-pointer as time expired.
On the play, Grapevine took the inbound pass on the far sideline with 3.5 seconds left and swung it around the perimeter to Bowers, who barely got the shot off as the buzzer sounded.
Grapevine (4-4) made nine 3-pointers. Six were from Jaxon Ryan, who finished with 18 points.
"I'd rather it not happen at all," a smiling Ryan coach Bryce Overstreet said of the buzzer beater. "We dug ourselves a hole through three quarters, but I was pleased with our effort in the fourth."
Ryan (2-1) trailed 41-30 through three quarters but opened the final frame with an 11-3 run to trim the deficit to three. Grapevine had a four-point lead with 2:40 to play, but Jay Wilson scored back-to-back buckets to tie the game. Wilson's second score of that surge came after a Grapevine turnover.
Grapevine briefly reclaimed the lead before Wilson again tied the score with 20 seconds left. That was the last shot the Raiders were able to take. Grapevine missed its next shot with 6.4 seconds left but maintained possession of the ball and eventually set up for Bowers' game-winning shot.
Wilson, a sophomore, finished with 15 points. Juniors Tashawn Banks and Joe Dickenson added 14 and 10 points, respectively, while Tre Evans chipped in with nine.
Grapevine got 14 points from Carter Maxwell. Davie Brauer and Austin Tremayne added eight points apiece. Bowers scored six points, on 3-pointers.
Overstreet said things could have been different had his team played better earlier.
"We dug ourselves a hole with turnovers and letting them get too many offensive rebounds," Overstreet said. "We have a lot of guys who played junior varsity last year. They just lack that experience and have to continue to get better."
STEVE GAMEL can be reached at 940-566-6869 and via Twitter at @NewspaperSteve.
Grapevine 54, Ryan 51
Grapevine (4-4) — Jaxon Ryan 18, Carter Maxwell 14, Davie Brauer 8, Austin Tremayne 8, Spencer Bowers 6.
Ryan (2-1) — Jay Wilson 15, Tashawn Banks 14, Joe Dickenson 10, Tre Evans 9, DeAngelo Williams 3.