It would have been corny as all get out, but it would have been fitting for the Baytown Lee and Ball High teams to warm up with the song, “Anything you can do, I can do better.” It was how the game played out down to the final seconds.
Ball High’s Nigel Green hit a pull-up jumper with two seconds remaining to break a tie and lift the Tors to a 68-66 lead. The Ganders were unable to get a shot off on two inbounds plays to allow the Tors to escape with a win and improve to 5-0 in District 22-5A. Green, Giovanni Janke and Darion Henry each scored 13 points to lead a balanced attack.
The first quarter set the tone for the game with six lead changes. But it was just an appetizer for a thrilling fourth quarter that took the crowd through an emotional roller coaster.
The Tors led 44-42 going into the final frame. The biggest lead in the contest had been five points, but Ball High managed a seven-point lead with about five minutes left in the game. Each time Lee nipped some points off the lead, Ball had an answer.
A big 3-point shot by Ja’Kenan Davis gave the Ganders the momentum they were looking for. Julian Laubach hit a lay-up to pull Lee within 60-58. Moments later, Adrian Boston converted a conventional three-point play for a 61-60 lead. That was the cue for Janke to step up with a 3-pointer and two free throws to give Ball High control of the game.
That control did not last as Boston hit a put-back to tie the game at 66-66 with less than a minute in the game. There would be no celebration for the home team as Green hit his pull-up jumper to ice the game.
Both teams struggled to keep the other out of the paint. The Tors did enjoy a height advantage and gave Lee fits on the offensive boards, scoring 16 first-half points off of rebounds.
The Ganders switched between an extended zone and man in an effort to rebound the ball. Lee gave as good as it got in the paint on the other side of the floor. Davis got into the heart of the defense at will and scored a game-high 23 points. Ball High did limit Ganders sharpshooter Montrel Motton to 13 points, two of which came in the second half. Laubach added 11 for the Ganders, which fell to 2-3 in district.