Clark Cougar Sports


by on Mar.02, 2011, under Basketball

Cougars come close

In what could be a NISD instant classic, the Clark Cougars varsity boys basketball team lost on a last second shot to the Taft Raiders in the third round of this year’s playoffs.  A low scoring game full of missed opportunities,  Taft advances to the regional tournament with a 35-33 win over Clark.

Before the game started, Clark was already behind as Taft was awarded a 2 shot technical foul which put the Cougars down 2-0.  Taft then went up 4-0 before Niko Maxwell drove to the bucket for two. A Taft three pointer as the buzzer ended the first quarter was a sign of things to come as the Raiders led 14-8.

The Cougars roared back and tied the game at 14 apiece with six minutes left before the half but could never get a lead.  Four straight offensive rebounds  by Taft at the end of the half helped them maintain a lead, going into the locker room 21-17 over Clark.

The third quarter ended with Taft holding onto a 27-25 lead.  In the 4th quarter, both teams tightened up, missing shots and free throws.  With 1:36 left, Taft went to the free throw line with a 32-29 lead.  Making the front of a one-and-one, the score was 33-29.  Clark’s Kyle Rutledge got a one-and-one chance on the other end with 1:15 left and made the first of his but a rebound and foul of Ansley Benjamin gave Clark another chance on the line.  Ansley also made the front half of his one-and-one and Clark was behind 33-31 with 1:15 left.  Taft went to the free throw line next, missing. With :42 seconds left, Clark had another chance at the line, but missed.  Taft had another chance to put it away at the line but walked away from the free throw line empty as well with :36 seconds left.

With :17 seconds left, Ansley Benjamin grabbed a rebound, made the put back and tied the game 33-33.  Getting back quickly on defense, the Cougars watched as Taft’s Marshall Harris waited patiently near the Taft bench and then pulled up and sent his shot through the net with no time on the clock, ending the Cougar’s season.  The Cougars never led in the game.

For Palacios, Rutledge and the seniors who came from Hobby Middle school, they had seen this before.  Harris, playing for Stevenson, had an identical last second shot defeating the Hobby Hawks at the buzzer for the win.

The Cougars finish a spectacular season 25-9 and 13-3 in district, tied for 2nd.
We’re proud of you, boys!

Express News article

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