For three full quarters and 90 percent of the fourth the Runnin' Rams trailed in a district contest against Castleberry High School on Tuesday, but 19 points from leading scorer Carlos Gray held the Lions' lead at 10, and the Rams reacted in the final frame.
With 4:30 on the clock, the Rams used a four-minute span to outscore the Lions 11-3 and tie the game at 54-54.
Leading the charge was forward D'ija Kennedy with a steal and monster dunk at the other end to cut the deficit to seven. The junior hit four of five fourth-quarter free throws, while Gray converted a steal into an easy two points then nailed a deep three pointer to tie the game.
But almost as soon as the Rams tied things up, their second district win began to slip away. On the final two possessions the Rams turned the ball over twice. Forced to foul, they watched Castleberry junior Edgar Espitia convert at the free throw line. A late Hail Mary three pointer from half court by Luis Hernandez gave the Lions a 61-54 win.
For the Rams, along with 24 points from Gray, Kennedy scored nine and senior guard Isaiah Hockenhull had eight. Elsewhere, seniors Christian Ramsay and Lance Crawford scored five points apiece, and junior Khalil Thompson finished with three.
Castleberry improved to 4-2 in District 7-4A play with a half game lead over fourth place team Lake Worth at 3-2. Leading the district pack are Kennedale at 5-0 and Benbrook at 4-1. Tuesday's loss drops the Runnin' Rams to 1-4 in conference and 5-17 overall.
Junior Varsity & Freshmen Rams
The Rams junior varsity and freshmen squads both fell to Castleberry on Tuesday. The JV Rams struggled in a 64-33 loss, and the freshmen team's comeback fell short, 48-45.
Held to less than 10 points a quarter, what little offense the JV had came from Rams Mathew Pierce and Drew Huff with six points each. Additionally, Zachary Delgado and Brandon Garnett both scored five points, and Justin Bell finished the game with four.
The freshmen Rams overcame a 12-point first quarter deficit on Tuesday. The Rams used a 14-6 advantage in the third quarter to cut Castleberry's lead to one, 39-38, but the Lions were able to hold on in the fourth.
Leading the Ram comeback effort were Cambren Morrison with 17 points and Cameron Michels with nine. Ram Ethan Oliver scored nine points, and Jashawn McKinney had four.