Graford had eight players score, none of whom reached double-digit points. Spanish exchange student Luis Conde Fernandez and senior Dylan Hart were tied for the team lead with six points – the day after Fernandez dropped 21, including a last-second shot to send the Ira game into its first overtime frame.
Tabor said Wild Valley's quickness ultimately did his team in, as Graford was never able to establish much offensive rhythm, despite a well-earned reputation as a fast team that pushes the ball up and down the floor.
Even though the 'Rabbits had Austin on their minds before the loss, Tabor said it was hard to be disappointed in yet another 20-plus win season.
"We talked about that after the game," he said. "There aren't many teams in the state that wouldn't have switched places with us. Only one team ends their season on a positive note; everyone else in the playoffs ends with a loss.
"We lost, but we lost to a pretty good team: a team that's probably the favorite to win state. You hate to lose, it's sad. But if you lose in the regional finals, obviously, you've done a lot right throughout the year."
Graford is a junior-laden team, which bodes well for next season, but the 'Rabbits will bid farewell to Hart and fellow senior James Burns.
Also leaving to take the long flights home over the ocean are junior exchange students Petr Vopinka of the Czech Republic, Paul Packheiser of Germany and Fernandez. All three were vital cogs in Graford's run deep into the postseason.
"They definitely helped us," Tabor said. "They were great teammates. It was fun watching them learn our style of the game. WE only hope they got as much knowledge and enjoyment from playing with us as our guys did from them."