LENORAH — Grady did its best to deliver the knockout punch to Sands in a matchup of two top 10 teams.
It was the Mustangs, however, who delivered the final blow.
In a wild back and forth contest, No. 9 Sands upended No. 10 Grady 48-47 Tuesday at Wildcat Gym in Lenorah in District 8A, Division II action.
Both teams are playoff bound, but the win gives Sands the easier path to the district championship, especially since the Mustangs beat Grady at home earlier this season.
“Us coming into their house and winning a game is huge,” said Sands head coach Billy Grumbles, whose team is undefeated in district play at 10-0. “I don’t know how long it’s been since we’ve won over here, but from here on, we should go on to win the district championship.”
Caleb Thomasson, Blake Thomasson and Bert Ybarra were huge for the Mustangs. Caleb led with 16, while Blake and Ybarra had 10 apiece.
Grady’s Shane Teague and Jacob Rodriguez had 17 and 13 points, respectively, but this one came down to the last few plays of the game.
With 5:16 left in the game, Grady was hanging on to a 44-43 lead, but a big shot from Landon Parker at the 4:55 mark in the fourth sent Sands past Grady by one and the Mustangs never let go of the lead.
The backbreaker was Caleb’s layup at the 1:57 mark to give the Mustangs a 48-44 lead. Teague answered with a 3-pointer and the Wildcats got themselves in a situation where they had the last shot of the game.
Branson Richards brought the ball up the court in the final seconds of the game, hoping to get a shot off or get fouled, but neither happened.