If Brownwood thought that its last district game at Mustang Gym for at least the next two years would be easy, Sweetwater had them thinking otherwise by gameâ€™s end Tuesday.
Unfortunately, close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. As a result, the playoff-bound Lions (5-1) left with a 57-48 win that kept them in contention for a share of the District 5-3A title. But it took clutch free throw shooting at the end for Brownwood to finally hold off Sweetwater (1-6), which twice got within four points until the Lions hit 7-0f-8 from the line in the final 1:07 to seal the win.
Down 29-20 at halftime and by 11 early in the third quarter, Sweetwater fought back and got within five (50-45) when Taylor Jones hit his third 3-pointer of the second half with 3:33 left. Kaleb Hoover then cut the lead to four by hitting a free throw, and a basket by Dylon Adames again cut it to four, 52-48, with 51.4 seconds to play. Sweetwa-ter was forced to foul, how-ever, and Brownwood came through by scoring its last five points at the line.
â€śI thought we had a really good effort,â€ť coach Al Hunt said afterward. â€śWe played well enough to win tonight.
â€śWe played hard at both ends of the court. Our kids were able to hang in there and stay with them.â€ť
Jones scored 13 points to lead Sweetwater, which has an open date Friday before ending its season next Tuesday when it travels to Snyder. Kaleb Hoover scored nine, Dylan Bennett seven, Tino Martinez and Adames six, Cole Maxwell four and Gabe Medellin three. Sweetwater actually had a one-point edge from the field, but Brownwood hit 11 of 20 free throws to Sweetwaterâ€™s 1 of 4. It was the final home game for Jones, Adames, Martinez, Medellin, Anthony Palacios and Patrick Palacios, though the latter didnâ€™t play due to an injury that ended his season last month.