A last second desperation three point shot rimmed out as the Wildcats’ Basketball Team eked by Byron Nelson, 52-49 in overtime in Trophy Club Tuesday afternoon (November 26). A Wildcats’ inbound pass with just 8.6 seconds left in overtime was intercepted by the Bobcats and their 6-6 junior post Jesse Iweze tossed up a three point prayer that was just about answered. After playing to a 43-43 tie in regulation, the Wildcats outscored Bryon Nelson 9-6 in overtime. Wildcat Grayson McClure hit four clutch free throws during the overtime. Lamodrick Johnson had a basket and a free throw and Cameron Kahn hit a basket. The Wildcats won despite having a two point fourth quarter. Day Day Hall got the Wildcats lone fourth quarter basket. Luckily the Bobcats only scored 8 points to tie the score. The big quarter for the Wildcats was the third, which saw them outscore Bryon Nelson, 21-16. The quarter featured a barrage of three point baskets from the Wildcats including four from McClure. At one point, the Wildcats led 41-31. Points were hard to come by in the first half. The Wildcats trailed 8-7 after one quarter and then led by one, 20-19 at the half. McClure led the Wildcats with a game high 19 points including 5 three pointers. Hall had 10 points before fouling out late in the game. Kahn scored 7 points including a three. Johnson and Justin Brock scored 5 points and Brock hit a three. Justin Haire and Boo Wilkerson worked tirelessly on defense and both scored 3 points on a made three pointer. Byron Nelson was led by freshman Finley Bizjack with 15 points including 4 three pointers. The Wildcats, ranked #4 in Class 5A, improved their season record to 3-0. After Tuesday’s win, with a big smile on his face, Wildcats Basketball Coach Clark Cipoletta quipped that his kids are going to kill him by going down to the wire every game. Two of the Wildcats three wins have been by 2 and 3 points in overtime. All kidding aside, Coach Cipoletta said he was proud of his team because they faced a lot of adversity Tuesday. He said Day Day Hall did not have it going as he usually does especially trying to finish near the basket. He said Cameron Kahn only played about 10 minutes due to foul trouble. Coach Cipoletta said some calls did not go the Wildcats’ way. Still he said the team stuck it out. He added a team of winners found a way to win. They also survived that two point fourth quarter. Coach Cipoletta said the Wildcats played one of their best games defensively. He also liked the way the Wildcats ran offensive sets in the half court. Coach Cipoletta acknowledged the team did not execute late in regulation. He said senior Grayson McClure played an outstanding game and perhaps his best game ever. Coach Cipoletta said McClure deflected praise from himself and credited his teammates for setting good screens for him. Coach Cipoletta also praised the defense and rebounding of sophomore Justin Haire who played heavy minutes due to Kahn’s foul trouble. To his credit, Kahn played a lot of the fourth quarter and all of overtime with 4 fouls but did not foul out. The Wildcats big players inside stifled the big players inside for Byron Nelson. After Thanksgiving Day off, the Wildcats will practice Friday and then will meet Port Allen, Louisiana from West Baton Rouge Parish Saturday at 9 a.m. in the Duncanville HoopFest.
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