By ERIC VICCARO
The Nocona High School boys’ basketball team has played a maddening style during games at D.L. Ligon Coliseum in Wichita Falls this season.
On Nov. 29, the Indians lost a close one to Holliday during the small-school third-place game at the Fantasy of Lights Tournament. Nocona was down to the Eagles 61-46 before mounting a furious comeback that fell short 65-62.
It was a near carbon copy during the Midwestern State University Classic this past Saturday.
Brady Tackett scored on a follow with 6 minutes, 15 seconds to go in the fourth quarter, giving Windthorst a 52-39 lead.
That’s when, like in the game against Holliday, Nocona rallied.
Kameron Hill began Nocona on the comeback trail with a putback basket. Then Brenton Vineyard followed with a 3-pointer from the wing. All of a sudden, Windthorst’s lead was in the single digits.
While Nocona’s defense forced Windthorst into missed layups and turnovers, the Indian attack was relentless.
Hill converted a nifty scoop shot. Cristian Ibarra then stole a Windthorst pass and made a scoop shot from nearly the same spot Hill made his.
With 3:40 to go in the fourth, Hill pecked at the ball, swiped it and raced coast to coast for a layup. Windthorst was clinging to a tenuous 56-55 margin.
Vineyard canned his second 3-pointer of the quarter from the baseline to make the score 60-all with 2:13 left in the final frame. Hill then stole another Windthorst pass and scored two. Nocona briefly had a two-point lead with 1:38 remaining in the fourth.
“We were able to work our way back into it,” Nocona head boys’ basketball coach Tyson Mankin said. “But, we had to expend a lot of energy. We didn’t play our best game.”
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Nocona’s Kameron Hill drives through the lane to the basket during Saturday’s Midwestern State University Classic game versus Windthorst at D.L. Ligon Coliseum in Wichita Falls. Windthorst defeated Nocona 68-62. (News photo by Eric Viccaro)