Game-Ending Run Propels Liberty-Eylau’s Boys to 67-61 First-Round Win Against Crandall
LONGVIEW — Rashaan Donelson did his best Reggie Miller impression in Monday night’s Class 3A Region II bi-district basketball playoff.
The Liberty-Eylau guard scored the final seven points of a game-ending 14-0 run that propelled the Leopards to a 67-61 win against Crandall at Spring Hill High School.
Donelson tied the game 61-61 with a free throw at the 1:44 mark, then pump faked a defender and hit a go-ahead three-pointer from the left wing with 59 seconds remaining. After a Crandall turnover with 25 seconds to play, Donelson dribbled 13 seconds off the clock before being fouled. He hit 3 of 4 free-throw attempts in the final 12.4 seconds to to seal the win.
“I just jacked that one up,” Donelson smiled and said about this go-ahead triple. “I’m glad it went in.”
Liberty-Eylau plays Brownsboro in a 3A Region II area playoff later this week at a site and time to be determined.
Crandall, which failed to score the game’s final 3 1/2 minutes, fought back from a 30-26 halftime deficit and 37-31 third-quarter hole, taking over the fourth quarter to lead 61-53 with fewer than four minutes left in the game. That was around the time Crandall guard Ryan Long, who made 6 of 7 field-goal attempts and scored 15 points, fouled out of the game. Then came Liberty-Eylau’s 14-0 game-ending run, which started with a Davion Hall free throw with 3:18 remaining.
Donelson scored a game-high 18 points and had four rebounds and three steals. Hall, a highly touted class of 2014 football recruit who recently committed to Baylor, had 12 points, seven rebounds, and three steals before fouling out.
Crandall guard Isaac Russell, who hit his first seven shot attempts, had a big performance with 19 points and nine rebounds. Teammate Austin Pryor added 12 points, four assists, and three boards. Post Nathan Kirbie had seven points and a game-high 11 rebounds, which helped Crandall garner a 36-26 edge on the glass.
Liberty-Eylau guards P.J. Muldrew and Keith Wynkoop each scored 10 points. L-E forward Kwan Curry had nine points and a team-high nine rebounds.
Crandall shot 55.8 percent from the field (24-for-43), but struggled from the free-throw line, where the Pirates made 7 of 16 attempts. Liberty-Eylau, which shot 40 percent from the field (22-for-55), didn’t shoot particularly well from the charity stripe, but earned almost twice as many trips, resulting in a 17-for-30 performance.