SNYDER — Down by 15 before even scoring their first points, the Sweetwater Mustangs staged an impres-sive rally to cut Snyder’s lead to 46-43 after three periods of play. But the Tigers hit 12 free throws in the fourth quarter as they held on for a 60-50 win on Tuesday in the District 5-3A finale for both squads.
The most frequent Tigers’ visitor to the foul line was Malik Davis, who connected on 7-of-10 for Snyder in the final 83 seconds to ice his team’s first win in district play. Both teams finished with 1-7 records.
Sweetwater (10-21 over-all) was down 15-0 before hitting a free throw with 1:38 left in the first quarter, and finally hit a field goal 34 seconds later. But the Mustangs couldn’t slow Snyder, which was up by 20 (28-8) midway through the second period, until after intermission. Then they caught fire, outscoring the Tigers 20-4 to cut the lead to three entering the fourth quarter. But Sweetwater was forced to foul, and Snyder connected on 12-of-18 from the line down the stretch to hold off the Mustangs.
Before that, the Tigers built their lead largely on their ability to score from 3-point range. Snyder hit eight 3-pointers to account for over half of their total from the field, while Sweet-water hit six treys.
The Mustangs trailed by 19, 42-23, until a three-point play by Dylon Ada-mes, two-point field goal by Kaleb Hoover and 3-pointer by Dylan Bennett started their rally. But the Mustangs were still trailing Snyder 46-35 until Bennett sand-wiched two more 3s around a Hoover 2-pointer to com-plete the rally and make it a three-point game.
Hoover led the Mustangs with 21 points, which topped all scorers, and Bennett finished with 12 with all of his total coming on the strength of four 3-pointers. But after those two, the Mustangs didn’t get much production although Taylor Jones and Cole Maxwell also connected on 3-pointers.
Jones, one of five seniors who were playing their last game, scored six points. Tino Martinez scored four points, while Maxwell and Adames scored three and Anthony Palacios one. It was also the final game for Martinez, Gabe Medellin, Adames and Anthony Palacios. Another senior, Patrick Palacios — like Jones, Medellin and Adames a starter — suffered a season-ending injury that kept him out of the team’s last several games.
Jordan Gaines led Snyder with 16 points. Also hitting double figures were Robbie Rinehart with 12 — all of it coming on the strength of four 3-pointers — and Davis, who had 11 with nine of his points at the line.
Wylie (8-0) is the District 5-3A champion after Tues-day’s 79-50 victory over Brownwood, the No. 2 team with a 6-2 mark.
Big Spring (4-4), which was idle Tuesday, finished as the district’s No. 3 team going into the playoffs.