COPPELL — A loud, pro Braswell crowd left Coppell High School silenced as the Bengals (26-10) fell to defending state champs Mansfield Timberview 40-36 in the 5A Region I Area round.
Lezeric Bailey led the scoring for Braswell with 10 points while the Wolves (26-8) were led by 14 points from Joey Madimba.
“Our kids had a great opportunity play in a big high school basketball game,” coach Nick Sekeres said. “That was a lot of fun. I was very confident defensively we would do a good job, it just came down to what kind of shots we would hit. In the fourth quarter, a couple turnovers, we got a little loose.”
A quick inside dish to Bailey started the scoring from the field for Braswell. RJ Jones responded with a 3 a short time later to tie the game at nine. The Bengals held an 11-9 lead at the end of one.
The second quarter went over three minutes without a bucket. Both teams scrapped under the bucket as it was apparent second chance opportunities would be big. Timberview had the biggest momentum shift late in the second as Jared Washington rebounded a missed free throw, completed the bucket and drew the foul completing the three-point play to make it 20-20 at halftime.
Bailey would start the scoring for Braswell in the second half. Timberview would rally back to pull the score to 25-25 with 3:52 to play in the third quarter before a second three of the quarter from MJ Leslie put Braswell up 30-25 and forced a Timberview timeout. Leslie finished with six points.
Madimba rallied with a bucket inside on the Wolves’ final possession of the half to enter the fourth down three as Braswell led 32-29.
Madimba played difference maker down the stretch. He went down on defense and came back the other way on a strip-and-score to force a Braswell timeout with the Wolves up 35-32. Braswell would get within four but Timberview extended the lead late. Braswell scored just four points in the final frame.
“It’s hard to win a ballgame like that,” Sekeres said. “I’ve got three seniors and two kids who have been with us from day one, when we were practicing in the parking lot trying to figure out how we’d play 5A varsity basketball. They’ve been through it all, and to be here at the end of it for the seniors, and everybody really, although this was the only the second round this had that big game feel. You could make a case that we were among the top showing in our region, we knew this was a big game. Our kids had a great opportunity.”