Basketball: Last-second putback brings Atascocita’s season to an end
LA PORTE - Atascocita seniors Dylan Dawson and Joe Rollins watched the clock wind down to zero as Atascocita’s season came to an end at Bulldog Center Tuesday night.
The Eagles had just lost a heartbreaker to No. 13 Beaumont United in a Class 6A bi-district playoff game. No. 13 Beaumont United rallied from a 10-point deficit to defeat Atascocita 49-48 and advance to the area round.
The Eagles end the season 25-10.
“It’s heartbreaking for our guys, especially for our seniors,” said Atascocita head coach David Martinez. “I wanted this one for them.”
United’s Jaylen Subject hit his first free throw and then missed the second free throw. Timberwolves guard Kason Harrison picked up the rebound and put the game winning basket in with 7.6 seconds left in the game.
Harrison finished with 18 points for the Timberwolves.
“I thought we played great,” Martinez said. “We played good enough to win it, we just didn’t win it. That last play at the end we had the ball in our hands and somehow another guy knocked it out and scored.”
The Eagles led by as many as 10 points, but the Timberwolves made their comeback at the end of the third quarter by knocking down 3-pointers.
“They hit three 3s, and it really hurt us,” Martinez said. “They got hot with some 3s that they needed. We had the lead before that, but they just made more plays.”
Subject knocked down a 3-pointer to tie the game at 39 to start the fourth quarter. The fourth quarter had seven lead changes.
Dawson led the Eagles with 12 points and Nick Gazelas added 11 points.
It has been a tough season for Atascocita.
The Eagles finished in fourth place in District 22-6A, lost five district games and lost for the first time at home in six seasons.
Atascocita had won four district titles in a row and that streak was snapped. However, the Eagles made the playoffs for the 6th straight season under Martinez.
Martinez admits that there were some challenges this season.
“I don’t know if I have ever faced as much adversity as I have had this year,” Martinez said. “It’s been one thing after another with injures. It seemed like it never ended, and it was always something. We never quit, we just kept figuring it out, and next man up. We used several different lineups all year long. That’s probably what I will remember the most about this season is the adversity we faced this year. It’s been tough.”
The Eagles will return a young core that gained experience this season.
“We have a young group that’s going to be really good with some time,” Martinez said. “They have had to battle though some tough times and find their identity. They will be fine.”
Martinez acknowledged that his senior class, which includes Rollins, Dylan Smith, Gazeles, Mason Noah and Kenyon Green, was a special group to coach.
“These seniors were on varsity when we went to state in 2016,” Martinez said. “They have had highs and lows, but I’m proud of what they have done for our team.”