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Dilley’s bucket vaults Bonnette to 31-30 tourney win

December 18, 2018

A 7-0 run that bridged the third and fourth periods by Berry Miller Junior High’s seventh-grade A boys team appeared to put Bonnette Junior High on the fast track to defeat.

The San Jacinto Invitational 7A contest snapped an 18-18 deadlock, producing the largest deficit by either team.

But the Bobcats put together their own little streak and it arrived at the best possible time - at the end of the game.

Caleb Dilley drained a dramatic 3-point goal with 48 seconds to play and his clutch shot held up the rest of the way, sending the Bobcats past district rival Berry Miller 31-30 in Bobcats Gym 2 Saturday afternoon.

Trailing 30-26 with 2:02 to play, Isaiah Gregoire connected for a couple of points from the free-throw line and Dilley finished it with his bucket from the left side.

“I’ve made two 3s, but this was my first three for a game-winning three. My feet were set. It was great. I felt it too. I just knew it was going in,” Dilley said.

Berry Miller had chances to erase Dilley’s heroics, but the club missed two free-throw attempts on top of a turnover and a last-second shot that went astray, resulting in Gregoire collecting the victory-clinching defensive board.

“I knew we had to do it. We’re down by two, I shot the three and we’re up by one and we won the game,” Dilley said.

Bonnette began its rally from its seven-point deficits of 25-18 and 27-20, thanks to six straight points. A misfire and a putback, a Jaden Mercado score and more points from Gregoire closed the gap to 27-26.

Berry Miller stalled the Bobcat’s momentum enough to score the next three points, but the team also missed three free-throw attempts. For the entire fourth, Berry Miller was an ice-cold 1-for-6 from the foul stripe.

The victory allowed Bonnette to finish the 16-team tournament with a 2-2 record. Earlier Saturday, they lost to Pearland South and its pressure defense 43-21 in the consolation semis.

On Friday, the team opened with a 22-12 loss to Marshall Junior High, followed by a 25-24 win over Pasadena Miller later Friday.

Barbers Hill South went on to win consolation with a convincing 43-17 triumph over Pearland South.

Winning the tournament was Vincent, which defeated Friendswood Junior High 50-34 for the prize.

Deer Park Junior High was also in the seventh-grade A tourney and the Fawns went 1-3.

The guys opened with a 36-29 win over Alvin, before losing to that same Vincent team. Then in the race for fifth place, the Fawns lost two close games, falling to La Porte 44-42 and to Baytown Junior High 30-27.

ravery@hcnonline.com

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