The Nocona Indians did not leave their playoff hopes to chance, taking care of business Friday night against Jacksboro.
The Indians won 56-46 to lock up the final playoff spot in the district in their final home game of the season.
It was senior night for Nocona as well heading into the crucial game. Coming off a tough loss to Breckenridge, a loss that night to the Tigers along with another win from Buckaroos would have put Breckenridge into the playoffs.
With Nocona having experience in play-in games the following two seasons and been on both sides of the results, it was important for the Indians to control what they could control.
The first quarter saw Nocona do that. Despite it being senior night, it was freshman Brady McCasland who set the tone on offense, scoring 10 of his team’s 13 points in the first quarter including two 3-pointers.
On defense, the Indians were contesting shots against Jacksboro inside and the Tigers were not making them pay with outside shots. Nocona led 13-6 heading into the second quarter.
Jacksboro’s offense picked things up in the second quarter. The Tigers got some second chance opportunities crashing the offensive glass while also knocking in a 3-pointer.
The Indians were driving into the lane and kicking the ball outside, but passes were not perfect allowing Jacksboro time to deny anything but a contested 3-pointer. Still Nocona’s diverse offense, four players made one basket, kept the Indians in front.
The Tigers kept the game close trailing 24-19 at halftime.
The third quarter was more of the same from both teams as neither team could get much of an advantage. The Indians started the quarter on a 7-3 run to expand their lead to 31-22 midway through.
Jacksboro closed the distance ending on a 10-5 run till the end of the quarter. Nocona still led heading into the fourth quarter, but the lead was cut to 36-32.
The Indians offense pulled away midway through the quarter, leading by double-digits. The Tigers did not have the firepower to come back as Nocona kept scoring at a good pace to keep the game from any dramatic ending. The Indians won 56-46.
To read the full story, pick up a copy of the mid-week edition of the Bowie News.