CORSICANA–The Eustace Bulldogs varsity basketball season came to an end Feb. 22 in the Bi-district round of the playoffs against the West Trojans at Coriscana High School.
After battling through four quarters, the two teams settled things in overtime as the Trojans narrowly defeated the Bulldogs, 55-52 in OT.
The Trojans had the momentum early in the game as they jumped out to an early 7-0 lead before the Bulldogs got on the board, courtesy of a three-point shot from Paxton Schwartz.
The Bulldogs would close the gap with two more three-pointers from Cooper Reeve and Christian Case as they trailed 15-9 at the end of the first quarter.
Jr Patek added an early layup in the second quarter as the Bulldogs still trailed 17-13. The Bulldogs would score just three more points in the quarter as the Trojans tacked on 13 points to take a 28-16 lead into halftime.
The Trojans added two more points to start the second half as they held an early 30-18 lead in the third quarter.
The Bulldogs began to make important defensive stops and transitioned that into offense as they picked up momentum that started with a three-pointer from Patek, with him also drawing an offensive foul later that gave the Eustace bench life.
A layup and two free throws from Jayson Losiewicz pulled the Bulldogs within five points after they trailed by 12 to begin the quarter. A layup from Cameron Winkles gave Eustace made it a one-point game entering the fourth quarter as the Bulldogs trailed 34-33.
Reeve knocked down two free throws and a short jumper to tie the game 37-37 early in the fourth quarter. Patek put the Bulldogs in front for the first time with 5:05 remaining in regulation, 39-38, forcing a West timeout.
Schwartz added another basket for Eustace before West tied the game on a three-point shot, 43-43. Schwartz put Eustace back in front late as they held a slim 45-43 lead in the final minutes.
A travel by the Trojans, followed by a technical foul, out Losiewicz on the line, where he hit one of two free throws to put the Bulldogs ahead 47-45.
Reeve drew a late foul for Eustace, hitting one free throw with 3.1 seconds remaining to give the Bulldogs a 49-48 lead. The Trojans returned the favor by drawing a foul with just 1.1 seconds remaining in regulation. After missing the first free throw, the Trojans tied the game and sent it to overtime.
After falling behind 52-49 and not scoring in the first three minutes of the four-minute overtime quarter, Schwartz got the Bulldogs within one with a three-point shot. It wouldn’t be enough as the Trojans sank two late free throws and Eustace was unable to hit their final shot, falling 55-52 in overtime.
The Bulldogs were led in scoring by Reeve who notched 16 points with Schwartz adding 13 points in the loss to West.
Patek added nine points with Losiewicz picking up seven points against the Trojans.
The Bulldogs wrap up the 2020-21 season at 15-6 overall after finishing second place in their district with a 10-2 record.