Lindale Holds Longview On Final Possession For 63-62 Win In Class 5A Bi-District Round
TYLER -- Longview called its final timeout with 16.4 seconds remaining in Tuesday's wild Class 5A bi-district playoff game against Lindale at Tyler Junior College's Wagstaff Gymnasium.
Down 63-62 to the Eagles and inbounding at mid court, the Lobos talked over a plan that could save their season. But whatever was discussed in the huddle never materialized on the floor.
Lindale senior guard Garrett Sir Louis' pressure and near steal was enough to turn the play's point man around and panic Longview into a freestyle offense. The Lobos finally got a long look when leading scorer Trez O'Quinn took the ball outside the arc, but his shot hit the back of the rim and bounced off as the buzzer sounded.
Longview's players fell to the floor and Lindale's student section was on the court in a matter of seconds to celebrate the 63-62 final score and a ticket to continue the pursuit of a state championship.
"The first thing Coach told me not to do was gamble," Sir Louis said, laughing embarrassedly about what was coming out of his mouth next. "I ended up doing that anyway. It kind of worked out because after that they tried to get in the lane and then they had to kick it. They were just in scramble mode."
Sir Louis also started the longest minute of Lindale's season, although he couldn't immediately remember whether he made the game winning shot with all the adrenaline pumping.
With 59 seconds remaining and just after surrendering a lead that lasted six minutes, Eagles point guard Jordan Gray found Sir Louis for a bang-bang layup that held up as the winning basket.
A basket that propelled District 16-5A's third seed past District 15-5A's second-place team.
"It feels great," Sir Louis said. "It was a struggle at the beginning of this season. But we went to a tournament and really started playing well together and clicking on all cylinders. We've really come closer together and figured out how to win close games. Just like today."
The final seconds were torture for both sides and certainly tested their mettles.
After the score, Longview (18-12) rolled the ball in to conserve the clock against half-court defense from Lindale (19-11). O'Quinn took a shot that hit the backboard and was tipped twice before Lindale's Kale Ridge came down with it.
Ridge was immediately fouled and missed the front end of a one-and-one free throw situation with 35 seconds remaining.
Longview's Jaiden Smith recovered the rebound and the team called the timeout after working the clock down to ensure a reasonable amount of time for a final possession and no extra time for the opposition.
"The whole game was close and everyone played hard the whole game," Gray, who led Lindale with 25 points, said. "Coming into it, we were doubted to make the playoffs and then had to play a team ranked better in their district. But we knew we had a chance and we've been working hard all year. It's finally paying off."
The Lobos took their largest lead, 32-23, with just more than two minutes remaining in the second quarter. However, Lindale closed the half on an 8-0 run with 3-point scores from Laettner Greenhill and Dietrich Fry in addition to a basket from Ridge for a 32-31 deficit.
Tuesday's second half featured five ties and seven pull aheads, including a 45-45 tie at the end of the third quarter.
The Eagles led for about 2:20 of game time before creating a 16-6 run beginning at the 7:12 mark of the final period.
Gray scored 12 straight Lindale points during a three-minute stretch. Three consecutive treys and then an old-fashioned two point layup and a free throw after drawing a foul.
Ridge and Greenhill added two points each in the run for a 61-53 score with 2:44 remaining.
Longview was not about to give in though. And it almost got away.
O'Quinn scored for the Lobos their next trip up the floor. The team went to a hard press which yielded two steals and four points for a 61-59 game before the Eagles could even cross the half court line again.
Lindale then missed a shot and was called for a charge back on defense, but Longview missed two free throws that could have tied the game if both went down.
The Lobos caught a final break.
Gray had the ball stolen at mid court by O'Quinn with 1:19 remaining. O'Quinn took it to the rim for a score, drew a foul and hit the bonus free throw to put Longview ahead 62-61.
The Eagles' point guard got even with the assist to Sir Louis 20 seconds later.
"Jordan Gray came up huge for us again tonight scoring 25 points," Lindale head coach Scott Albritton said. "He has hit big shot after big shot for us this season and he came up big for us in the third and first part of the fourth quarter. But then I can't say enough for the guys around him. We had trouble scoring at the very beginning and somebody that hasn't scored all that much all year (senior guard Kolton Pierce) scores our first two baskets.
"This is just a complete team win with highlights of Jordan Gray and Laettner Greenhill hitting big shots. I'll tell you what, Dietrich Fry hit a huge shot at the end of the first half that brought us back and helped put us only down one going into half. I thought that was huge for us."
Longview started the game 6 for 6 at the free throw line. It finished shooting 11 for 19.
O'Quinn led the Lobos with 26 points. Antwone Anthony and Kyle Shields got into double figures as well with 12 and 11 points, respectively.
Greenhill scored a team second-best 15 points to round out Lindale's top scoring tier.
The Eagles' reward for taking down the Lobos is a likely date with Lancaster -- the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches' top-ranked 5A team -- in the next round.
Weather permitting, Lancaster will play Dallas Spruce today.
"You never know what can happen in the playoffs," Albritton said. "I can tell you this, we're going to fight our tails off for 32 minutes in that game. We're going to fight to the end because that's what we've been doing all year."
Lindale 63, Longview 62
Boys Class 5A Bi-District Playoff Game
At Wagstaff Gymnasium, Tyler
Longview 20 12 13 17 -- 62
Lindale 14 17 14 18 -- 63
LONGVIEW (18-12)-- Trez O'Quinn 26; Antwone Anthony 12; Kyle Shields 11; Mark Simmons 4; Jaiden Smith 3; Kaland Johnson 2; Kendall Jones 2; Dale Wallace 2.
LINDALE (19-11)-- Jordan Gray 25; Laettner Greenhill 15; Kale Ridge 7; Dietrich Fry 6; Kolton Pierce 6; Garrett Sir Louis 4.
THREE-POINT GOALS -- Longview: Shields (3), O'Quinn (2). Lindale: Gray (5); Fry, Greenhill.