JENNIFER FIERRO • PICAYUNE STAFF
BURNET — Twenty-two seconds remained, and the Burnet High School boys basketball team had possession of the ball against Liberty Hill on Jan. 30.
Though the Bulldogs (14-12, 5-1) trailed 48-47, the Panthers (21-8, 5-1) made plays to escape with a 50-47 victory. It was Burnet’s first District 8-3A loss and tied the two teams for first place in the standings.
But the Bulldogs didn’t panic until Liberty Hill’s Conner Lowe stole the ball at the top of the key and drew a foul.
With four seconds left, Lowe did what he was unable to do 18 seconds earlier: hit both ends of the one-and-one, even when a timeout was called between attempts.
Burnet inbounded the ball and took a shot at the top of the key. But the ball bounced off the backboard and the front of the rim as the horn sounded.
Bulldogs head coach Roy Kiser reflected on all 32 minutes in his post-game comments.
“The bottom line is,” he said, “we didn’t play defense. We gave up more points than we can. The key to our defense is taking things away, and we didn’t do that consistently enough.
“It came down to executing our defense, and we didn’t do that.”
The game began with each team answering the other’s scoring run with Burnet leading 13-7 with one minute 56 seconds left in the first quarter.
But the Panthers countered with an 8-0 run in the last 90 seconds in the first for a 15-13 advantage.
Burnet senior post Clayton Baumgart hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key to start a 12-0 run in the second. By the end of the half, the Bulldogs led 30-21.
Liberty Hill outscored Burnet 14-9 in the third and 15-8 in the fourth.
The Panthers were 7 of 10 from the foul line, all in the second half; Burnet was 11 of 16 for the contest. But Liberty Hill scored five 3-pointers with four coming from senior Tristan Heidelberg, who connected on three in the first quarter.
ON OFFENSE: points – (Burnet) Clayton Baumgart 15, Chase Mardis 10, Colton Stevens 10, Derek Kiser 8, Joe Parker 4; (Liberty Hill) Tristan Heidelberg 14, Callen Mikulencak 12, Conner Lowe 11, Zach Lord 7, Aedan Welch 4, Slater Foust 2
RECORDS: Burnet is 14-12 overall and 5-1 in District 8-3A; Liberty Hill is 21-8 overall and 5-1 in district.
UP NEXT: 8 p.m. Jan. 31, Burnet at Llano, 2509 Texas 16 South in Llano; 8 p.m. Jan. 31, Liberty Hill at Lampasas, 2716 U.S. 281 South in Lampasas
DISTRICT 8-3A STANDINGS:
Liberty Hill, 5-1
Liberty Hill girls 60, Burnet 41
BURNET — The Burnet High School girls basketball team lost 60-41 to Liberty Hill in a District 8-3A contest Jan. 29.
The Lady Dawgs (16-11, 4-4) led 12-8 after the first quarter and 26-24 at the half. Burnet got several steals but weren’t able to convert all of those into points.
“We were doing what we needed to do to keep the game close,” Burnet head coach Doug Messer said. “We didn’t let as many fly from the perimeter.”
The Lady Dawgs had 13 turnovers, eight in the first quarter. The Lady Panthers (7-1) recorded steals but weren’t finishing plays in the first half.
That changed in the third quarter.
Thanks to 15 points from junior guard Ashlee Walker, Liberty Hill, which connected on six 3-pointers during the period, outscored Burnet 23-6 for a 47-32 lead. The Lady Dawgs never recovered.
Walker finished with 31 points, including seven 3-pointers and was 6 for 6 from the foul line, to lead the way.
“You have to take your hat off to them,” Messer said about the Lady Panthers. “They move people around; it’s easy to lose them. Walker got hot in the third quarter. I told our players to keep playing, try to keep your heads up. We made them play, we made them earn it.”
Burnet travels to Llano, 2509 Texas 16 South, for a 6:30 p.m. tipoff Jan. 31.
DISTRICT 8-3A STANDINGS:
Liberty Hill, 7-1