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Jim Ned edges Brock in seesaw area round matchup

Feb. 22—COMANCHE — Following a successful, undefeated district-championship season, the Brock Eagles basketball team entered the postseason. The Eagles opened their playoff run with an impressive 61-40 win over Iowa Park earlier this week and faced off against the Jim Ned Indians on Thursday night in the area round of postseason play at Comanche High School.

Brock was able to control most of the first half and fended off any runs by Jim Ned through most of the contest and even held an 11-point lead in the third quarter. Despite that, Jim Ned closed the third quarter on an 8-0 run and saw its momentum carry over into the fourth quarter, ultimately escaping with a 54-49 win.

Jim Ned got in front 6-2 in the opening minutes of the game, but a baseline jumper from sophomore Colt Matlock and a 3-pointer from junior guard Austin Lavender gave Brock a 7-6 lead with 3:40 to go in the first quarter. Matlock made a layup with 47 ticks remaining in the frame that put the Eagles in front 11-10, and junior guard Cale Pogue hit a free throw with less than six seconds left that made it 12-10, but Jim Ned beat the buzzer from 3-point territory to give the Indians a 13-12 advantage entering the second quarter.

In the second frame, Brock opened up on a 6-0 run to take an 18-13 lead and, when Jim Ned cashed in from long range, sophomore guard Jacoby Boxell countered with a triple of his own that gave the Eagles a 20-16 lead in the middle of the quarter. Pogue's midrange jumper on Brock's ensuing possession gave the District 8-3A Region I champs a 22-17 advantage and forced a Jim Ned timeout with 3:33 left before halftime. Brock entered the locker room at intermission with a 26-23 lead.

The Eagles came out of the locker room and soared into the third quarter with an 11-3 scoring spurt — capped off by a Boxell 3-pointer with 5:03 remaining in the quarter — that stretched Brock's lead to double figures at 37-26. The Indians regrouped during their timeout and closed the third quarter on an 8-0 run, which meant Brock's lead had shrunk to 37-34 with one quarter to go and the second-round title on the line.

Matlock opened the fourth quarter with a pair of free throws that pushed his team in front 39-34 with 7:10 remaining. After that, though, Jim Ned came back with an 8-2 run to reclaim the lead at 42-41 — the Indians' first lead since they led 13-12 at the end of the first quarter. In the face of the shocking comeback, Brock continued to fight. Matlock split a pair of free throws that tied the score at 42-all with 3:25 left. When Jim Ned cashed in on a driving layup on their ensuing offensive possession, Boxell took the ball up the court and walked into a clutch 3-pointer at the top of the key that put Brock in front 45-44 with 2:28 to go. Boxell countered the next Jim Ned bucket with a driving layup of his own on the next Brock possession, which gave the Eagles the lead once more at 47-46 with 1:50 remaining.

Despite their best efforts, Jim Ned took the lead for good at 49-47 on a 3-pointer just four seconds after Boxell's layup, and the Indians were able to salt the game away at the free throw line, winning by five points and advancing to the regional quarterfinals.

The season came to a close for the Eagles (28-9, 14-0) as the team continued its streak of a district title and at least one playoff win for the seventh season in a row.