CORINTH — When the buzzer sounded to end the third quarter of Friday night’s game between Lake Dallas and Trophy Club Nelson, it didn’t look like the Falcons were going to be able to claw their way back into the District 5-4A contest.
Through three quarters, the number of Lake Dallas field goals could be counted on one hand as they trailed 26-6.
Yet, Lake Dallas had taken the Bobcats out of their element by slowing the game down, and when the fourth quarter rolled around, the Falcons struck quickly and made the long and final eight minutes quite entertaining.
Nelson’s lead withered down the stretch but the Bobcats held on for a key 44-28 victory at Lake Dallas on Friday night.
With the win and Guyer’s victory over Denton, Nelson (22-4, 8-1 district) and Guyer are tied for the lead in 5-4A, with Denton trailing by a game. Lake Dallas is currently out of the playoff picture and needs to win four of the next five to have a shot at making the postseason.
“We didn’t care if it was an 8-to-6 game,” Lake Dallas head coach Josh Welch said. “We would have been happy with whatever score. We just wanted to be within range in that fourth quarter and I felt like we were.”
Nelson head coach Scott Curran said he was well aware of Lake Dallas’ plan to slow the pace of the game.
“They just tried to hold the ball to keep it close, and we turned it over early in the game and let them hang around,” Curran said. “[Welch] did a good job of controlling the pace and the tempo and slowed it down to give them a chance.”
Coming into the fourth quarter, the Falcons (10-19, 2-7) had scored their points on two field goals and two free throws. Reality Jackson’s baseline layup right before the buzzer spared Lake Dallas from going scoreless the entire quarter.
When the fourth quarter opened, the Falcons’ offense started to knock down shots. Lake Dallas went on a 16-5 run and cut the lead down to nine points.
Later in the quarter, Nelson head coach Scott Curran was whistled for a technical with 1:51 left after calmly disagreeing with an official. Lake Dallas took the opportunity to cut the lead to eight, but Nelson’s Keyunta Watkins knocked down free throw after free throw to cement the win.
Watkins finished a game-high 18 points and Thomas Williams scored 12 for Nelson in the win. Lake Dallas was led by C.J. Harris’ seven points and six points each from Kaleb Wright and Josh Jackson.
With the Falcons on the outside of the playoff picture, Welch said his team can find a way to sneak into the postseason, but the schedule provides Lake Dallas with no favors from here on out.
“There’s not an easy game in our district, and that’s the bad thing about our district,” Welch said. “It’s attainable, but it’s very tough to do also.”
Trophy Club Nelson 46, Lake Dallas 31
In the first portion of the doubleheader, Nelson cruised to a district victory over Lake Dallas behind Shaila Wolter’s 14 points and Madison Edwards’ 12 points.
The Lady Falcons’ offense was disrupted by Nelson’s 1-2-2 zone and forced Lake Dallas (8-21, 5-6 district) to hoist shots from the perimeter.
“We just had one of those nights where we couldn’t get shots to go down,” Lake Dallas head coach Jonathan Lee said. “We shot under 25 percent, and we put up more 3-point attempts than 2-point attempts, and that’s not really a good recipe to win a game.”
Lake Dallas was led by Ashley Haynes’ 11 points, while Megan Tamplin chipped in with nine points. Megan Dando had 10 rebounds to go along with three points on the evening.
Nelson head coach Darren Wilson said he was proud of the way the Lady Bobcats (19-9, 8-3) were able to limit Lake Dallas’ offense.
“Defensively, I thought we played them really well,” Wilson said. “We held them to one shot for most of the game.”
The Lady Falcons trailed by 10 at halftime and despite picking up its offense in the second half, Lake Dallas couldn’t overcome the deficit.
“We felt like we could compete with them after the last time we played them,” Lee said. “They really got us out of our game and tried to make us shoot a lot of 3-pointers. We kind of fell into that trap.”
Trophy Club Nelson 44, Lake Dallas 28
Nelson 8 3 15 18 — 44
Lake Dallas 1 3 2 22 — 28
Nelson — Keyunta Watkins 18, Thomas Williams 12, Chris Nickells 5, Cale Popovich 3, Ethan Davis 2, Emmanuel Nzekwesi 2, Dallas Schoen 1.
Lake Dallas — C.J. Harris 7, Kaleb Wright 6, Josh Jackson 6, Lorren Bassett 4, Dom Giovanni 3, Reality Jackson 2.
Trophy Club Nelson 46, Lake Dallas 31
Nelson 11 9 11 15 — 46
Lake Dallas 5 5 11 10 — 31
Nelson — Shaila Wolter 14, Madison Edwards 12, Sydney Smallwood 7, Belarie O’Connell 6, Abbey Reed 5, Rachel Burkhart 2.
Lake Dallas — Ashley Haynes 11, Megan Tamplin 9, McKenzie Harrison 5, Megan Dando 3, Erin Slater 3.