Mesquite Storms Back from Double-Digit Deficit to Beat Longview 59-57 in District 12-5A Showdown
MESQUITE -- Longview owned the second and third quarters Tuesday night at Mesquite, but the Skeeters started fast and finished even better.
Mesquite erased a 14-point deficit with less than 6 1/2 minutes remaining to upend Longview 59-57 in a District 12-5A boys basketball game matching the two remaining teams with unbeaten league records.
The victory gives Mesquite (15-8, 5-0) sole possession of first place in 12-5A, while Longview (15-11, 5-1) enters the second round of district play in second place. Longview outscored Mesquite 29-14 in the second and third periods, but the Skeeters claimed a 25-15 fourth-quarter advantage.
Mesquite took its first lead since the third quarter on an Alex Cooper fastbreak layup with 1:19 remaining for a 58-56 lead. Longview point guard Stephon Anthony cut that lead to one when he split free throws with 35.4 seconds to play. The Lobos missed a transition floater with 15 seconds left and still trailing by one point, then couldn't get a shot off on their final possession following Mesquite's Davion Keys' 1-for-2 free-throw trip.
All of Mesquite's points came from three players: Cooper, Keys, and Rashard Higgins. Cooper scored a game-high 25 points and had seven rebounds and three steals. He made only 6 of 22 field-goal attempts, but hit 11 of 12 free-throw tries, including 10-for-10 in the second half. Keys had 18 points and nine rebounds, including 12 points and seven boards after halftime. Higgins, who scored 16 points, led Mesquite to a 20-13 lead after one quarter thanks to 12 points in the first frame.
Forward Jordan Whitaker led Longview with 16 points and eight rebounds. He scored 10 points in the second half, when he and reserve guard D'Keilan Lynch spearheaded Longview's third-quarter run that led to the Lobos building their double-digit lead. Lynch had 12 points, four steals, and three assists.
Lynch's three-point play off a steal with 2:36 left in the third gave Longview a 36-34 lead. Sixteen seconds later, he got another steal and hit a floater, sparking what became a 15-0 run that ended with the Lobos leading 48-34 with 6:17 remaining in the game.
Longview forward Dorian Leonard had 12 points and eight rebounds, while point guard Anthony added nine points and four assists.
Longview fell behind by nine points early in the second quarter, 22-13, but took command of the game by outscoring Mesquite 35-12 during the next 17 1/2 minutes. That led to the aforementioned 48-34 lead with 6:17 to play.
But Mesquite rallied. Down 50-38 with 4:50 remaining, the Skeeters got a bucket to cut the Lobo lead to 10, then Cooper converted a four-point play off a deep top-of-the-key three-pointer to narrow the gap to 50-44 with 4:14 to play.
The teams traded points on five consecutive possessions, leaving Longview with a 55-51 lead with 2:14 remaining. Cooper was fouled shooting a three-pointer with two minutes left and hit all three shots, cutting Longview's lead to 55-54. Leonard split free throws on the next trip or a two-point lead, but Cooper tied the game 56-56 on the ensuing possession with two free throws at the 1:40 mark.
That set up Cooper's go-ahead bucket off a Dameon Gamblin steal and assist with 1:19 remaining, and Longview's failed attempts regaining the lead in the final minute.
Longview is off Friday before hosting Mesquite Horn on Tuesday to start the second round of 12-5A play.
Mesquite 59, Longview 57
Mesquite High School
Longview -- 13 14 15 15 -- 57
Mesquite -- 20 8 6 25 -- 59
Longview (15-11, 5-1) -- Jordan Whitaker 16, Dorian Leonard 12, D'Keilan Lynch 12, Stephon Anthony 9, Zaycoven Henderson 4, J'Mycal Hasty 2, Cadell Williams 2.
Mesquite (15-8, 5-0) -- Alex Cooper 25, Davion Keys 18, Rashard Higgins 16.