It was Friday the 13th, so one team had to be unlucky.
Fortunately for Sweet-water’s still-undefeated Mustangs, it was the visiting Bangs Dragons who saw a last-second 3-point attempt rim out as Sweet-water escaped with a 48-47 win at Mustang Gym.
With two key players out, Sweetwater — which is 5-0 — overcame a four-point deficit over the final 2:10, including a game-winning shot by Rhett Torres — who led the Mustangs with 14 points — with just two sec-onds to play. Sweetwater trailed 47-46 when De’andre Gatson drove to the basket and fed Torres for the go-ahead shot. Bangs’ 3-pointer at the buzzer failed, allowing Sweetwater to get its fifth win in as many games.
Sweetwater led by four, 38-34, with 5 1/2 minutes left before Bangs turned the tables with a 10-2 run to go ahead 44-40. But Sweetwater scored six un-answered points, tying it on Marquees Jenkins’ layup and leading 46-44 after two Dylan Bennett free throws. Bangs went back up 47-46 on a 3-pointer, however, with 11 seconds to play until Sweetwater finally won it at the end.
The Mustangs had to play the last part of the game without Kaleb Hoover, who scored 11 points but had to sit out the last two minutes due to an injury. They are also still without Michael Hunt — who is the son of coach Al Hunt — and has yet to be activated after a preseason hand injury. But Sweetwater is still winning, though it was down to seven healthy players at the end Friday. The Mustangs led 15-10 after one quarter, but saw it turn into a 26-24 deficit by halftime.
Sweetwater used a 6-0 run at the end of the third quarter to turn a four-point deficit into a 34-32 lead, setting up an exciting finish that saw the lead change hands four times over the final 4:16.
“We had a great effort but we dodged a bullet,” Al Hunt said. “I liked how our guys came off the bench and played after Kaleb got hurt. We had spurts where we’d do things right, but then we’d mess up and they’d come back on us.”
Sweetwater also got 12 points from Bennett, while Gatson and Jenkins each had four and J.P. Poe three. It was a bad night at the line for both teams — Sweetwa-ter was 5-of-15 and Bangs 0-for-4. The Sweetwater boys and girls both play at Colorado City on Tuesday.