The Bandera Bulldog Boys Basketball team played double overtime only to fall to the Llano Yellowjackets in the last seconds of the second overtime by one point. The final score was Bandera 68 to Llano’s 69 at the buzzer.
“We did a really good job of rallying through a slow start and fighting back from a fourth quarter deficit to give ourselves a chance at the end of the game. Ultimately, we turned the ball over too many times and missed too many easy scoring opportunities down the stretch,” said Head Coach Brady Keane.
“But games like that, as heartbreaking as they are, will do us a lot of good when the district season starts. Our team has experience in three overtime games now this season. I'm proud of how hard we played but we have to do a better job starting strong out of the gate and also closing games when we have the opportunity to do so,” he said.
In the first quarter, Bandera fell behind Llano by four points. Bandera scored for the first time at the 6-minute mark when Tyler Moore went to the foul line and earned two points. Moore fed the ball to De Marchi under the goal who put in a soft shot for two. Bulldogs Noah Barnett and Joseph Kennedy showed a lot of hustle. The first quarter was marked by several errors on both sides.
Llano came out ready to play in the second quarter and scored a basket in the first minute of play bringing the score to Bandera 6 to Llano’s 12. Noah Barnett scored a basket at the five-minute mark and brought the Bulldogs to within six points of Llano. De Marchi made a big block in the second quarter. He made another shot under the basket to bring the Dogs two more points. Gavin Ortiz made two three pointers from the baseline which put the Bulldogs ahead by one point at the half. Bandera went into halftime at 22 to Llano’s 21 points.
The third quarter continued as each team scored just enough to put them ahead by a point or two. The fight continued until the two-minute mark when Bandera led 34 to Llano’s 31. Bandera began to capitalize on Llano’s errors and brought the play to a high level. The crowd got a thrill at the 1.5 second mark when De Marchi threw a full court shot which bounced off the rim of the Bulldog’s goal. The Bulldogs trailed the Yellow Jackets by one point going into the fourth quarter.
De Marchi started off the fourth quarter with a goal followed by Noah Barnett’s two from the floor. At the four-minute mark, Bandera trailed Llano by five. The Bulldogs showed their hustle by bringing up the score to Bandera 45 to Llano’s 48. At the end of the fourth quarter both teams were tied at 54.
Ryan Perez started out the first four-minute overtime with a beautiful drive through Llano’s defenders to the basket for two points. Perez’ ball handling and his effortless stroll to the basket showed just how skilled the Bulldogs are at offense. At the end of overtime, both teams were tied at 60 points.
Another two pointer by De Marchi put the Bulldogs ahead 62 to Llano’s 60. Tyler Moore suffered a setback when he fouled out. His dedication and fight showed as he was obviously upset that he could not finish the game with the Bulldogs. Perez made another beautiful drive to the goal where he scored an easy layup. The Bulldogs and Yellow Jackets fought for each point to make the final overtime play very exciting.
At the end, however, the Bulldogs could not make that last point needed to tie the game up again. They fell to the Llano Yellow Jackets at 68 to the Jackets 69. Even though the loss was hard after such intense play, it just showed that the Bulldog team has the heart and skill to go all the way to the top to become district champs.