With 2:24 left in the final quarter, the Slidell Greyhounds held a six-point lead over the defending state champion.
That’s when Slidell senior guard Isaac Davis, who led all scorers with 28 points, 11 rebounds and five steals, fouled out.
Slidell never scored again, and Roxton clawed their way to a 62-60 win at Tuesday night’s Class 1A Division 2 regional quarterfinal at Van Alstyne High School.
Roxton’s Kalyl Mcguire dropped in a layup with 10 seconds left to clinch the playoff win.
The Greyhounds were already short-handed after senior forward Colton Perkins, a strong presence under the basket, fouled out with almost six minutes left in the game.
“After me and Isaac fouled out it all went downhill from there,” Perkins said.
“Davis and Perkins having to go to the bench, fouling out, that was the difference,” said Slidell head coach Todd McCormick. “But the guys out there still gutted it out.”
“I think that’s the best game we ever played, defensively and offensively,” Davis said. “We played together, we played as a team.”
The Greyhounds’ gutty performance helped them take a 32-27 lead into halftime when junior guard Khristian Talamantes sunk a long-range three at the buzzer. Talamantes had nine for the night, including a pair of treys.
The second half featured a flurry of lead changes, as Slidell’s undersized players (the tallest being 6’1″) battled against Roxton’s 6’5″ James Black, 6’5″ Brazos White and 6’6″ Dreikus Green.
Slidell junior guard Tyler Maynard racked up 14 points, shooting 56 percent from the field. Perkins had five, and senior Heyden Crane had four.
Black and Mcguire led Roxton in scoring with 18 each.
Slidell was trailing 50-51 with six minutes left when Davis converted back-to-back downcourt steals into easy layups. His aggressive, dominating performance built up a six-point lead for the Greyhounds and put them moments away from a spot in the regional tournament.
“I couldn’t ask for anything more,” McCormick said. “They did everything we asked them to do. They executed the game plan. They played their hearts out these last two games. It’s the toughest group of kids I’ve ever been around.
“I’ve never seen kids work so hard in the offseason to get where they are at. It’s unbelievable how hard they’ve worked to get us here – just an inch from the regional tournament.”
“We played amazing,” Perkins said. “I’m so proud of my team, and I wouldn’t trade any of them for the world.”
It was an emotional finish to the season for all the players, coaches and fans – but especially for the three seniors.
“It’s not a good feeling at all,” Davis said after playing his final game for the Greyhounds. “But I hope I played well enough to serve as an inspiration for the younger players.”
Slidell finished the season with 28-8 record.