Fossil Ridge and Northwest battled to the end Friday night in Keller, with the Panthers coming out on top, 65-64.
The Texans (5-2) had been tied for first in district 4-5A with both Keller (6-1) and Fossil Ridge (6-1). After two straight losses, the Texans are in third alongside Richland.
The Panthers’ victory Friday was hard fought against the previously fifth-ranked Texans.
Northwest’s Taylor Johnson and Josh Tatum led all scorers with 21 and 17 points respectively.
Fossil Ridge made a better showing at the free-throw line, sinking 85 percent of their shots compared to Northwest’s 72 percent.
The Texans seemed in control through the first period, jumping ahead by five early on. The Panthers took control in the second, forcing Northwest to play catchup. They ended the first half ahead 35-32.
In the third, the Texans fell further behind at 48-40 but ramped up their efforts in the fourth to get back into contention, scoring 24 points to the Panthers’ 17.
Tatum scored 15 of his 17 points in the fourth period to close out the game.
The Panthers’ Chris Kovakou scored 16 points. Bryce Jackson and Cameron Montgomery scored a dozen points each for Fossil Ridge.
After two consecutive games against their toughest foes, the Texans are looking at a lighter workload this week.
They faced off against Haltom (2-5) Tuesday night at home. Northwest demolished the Buffaloes 90-44 in their last meeting.
Friday night, the Texans play Carroll (3-4) in Southlake. They slew the Dragons 47-44 in December, earning coach Mike Hatch his 500th victory.