The Brownfield Cubs made their first finals appearance in four years at last week’s Fibermax Caprock Classic and basketball fans got their money’s worth Saturday night in the Rib Griffin Center on the Lubbock Christian University campus.
The Cubs defeated Hale Center, Slaton and Idalou to advance to the championship game, where they met up with the Abernathy Antelopes, currently ranked second in the state at the Class 2A level.
Brownfield took an early lead in the contest and maintained it through most of the first half.
The Cubs were on top 14-10 at the end of the first quarter and 33-20 heading into halftime.
The third quarter saw Abernathy hit their stride as they outscored the Cubs 13-7 to narrow Brownfield’s lead to 40-33 to start the final frame.
The Antelopes went on a scoring run and rebounding blitz in the fourth quarter to take their first lead of the game with four minutes to play.
The game was nip and tuck for the remainder of time.
With just under a minute left in regulation, junior Cub Sha’Colby Hill hit a nothing-but-net three pointer from the corner to knot the score at 48-all.
That shot came after he sunk three straight free-throws after taking a foul behind the arc in the opposite corner on the previous possession.
Abernathy had the ball as the seconds ticked away and got two good looks to win the game, but neither shot fell when the final buzzer sent the game into overtime.
In overtime, the Cubs couldn’t get anything to fall, putting just two points in the book on a pair of free throws by Hill.
Abernathy added six points and took the win, 54-50.
Head Coach Dustin Faught was disappointed with his team’s performance in the closing minutes of Saturday night’s game.
“I think we built a nice lead and then got complacent,” he said. “We’ve got to work on that and stop letting up before the game is over. That’s what hurt us over the last few weeks when we had a little dry spell. We’re just not playing hard for four quarters and you’ve got to do that.”
Hill had a career night in the championship game, leading all scorers with 27 points.
He added five assists, six rebounds and three steals against the Antelopes.
Jordan Demps, also a junior, was good for seven points and an assist.
Eliseo Salas, a senior, scored five points in the game, with three assists and a pair of rebounds.
Alex McCreary, a sophomore, had two points.
Korey Nolan, Malcolm Rainwater, Jezreel Griffin and Josh Fininen all had two points.
Hill, Salas and Nolan were named to the All Tournament Team for their outstanding play throughout the three-day event.
The tournament, in its 55th rendition this year, is the largest high school basketball tournament in the nation.
More than 90 varsity teams compete over three days and play at least four games each in more than a dozen gyms throughout Lubbock.
Proceeds benefit the charitable works of Lubbock’s Ambucks club.
The Brownfield Cubs won the small school bracket in 2008 and the big school bracket in 2009.
The Cubs hosted Snyder on Tuesday and are back in action Friday in Andrews.
They start district play Jan. 10 when they host the Lamesa Golden Tors in Cub gym at 8 p.m.