PATTONVILLE, Texas — Maud played stingy defense, won the battle on the glass and outlasted North Hopkins in a boys bi-district basketball game Saturday.
The Cardinals, the fourth seed from District 15-2A and making their first playoff appearance in 15 years, shot 34 percent from the field on 11-of-32 shots, held the District 16-2A champion Panthers to 28 percent (10 of 36) and snapped their 11-game win streak with a 29-27 Maud victory at Prairiland's Patriot Gym.
The Cardinals (14-13) advance to the area round next week. Maud held a 30-24 advantage in rebounding, including out-boarding the Panthers 10-5 in the fourth quarter. Both teams had 11 turnovers.
"The team that played the hardest and dominated the paint was going to win, and we're battle-tested," Maud coach Duncan Hudson said. "That may have been our 11th game that came down to the last minute. The guys responded.
"It started sluggish, we found our rhythm on defense, and we came up with some big rebounds."
Neither team was able to build any momentum on offense in the third quarter, when the teams combined to shoot 6 of 19 from the field. Two of those buckets were the third and fourth 3-pointers by North Hopkins' Kaden Ferrell in the game, and the Panthers held a 25-24 lead entering the final quarter.
Lane Sultz blocked a North Hopkins layup attempt with two minutes left to play to keep it within one, and on the ensuing possession Cason Lamb converted a layup to give Maud the lead (28-27) with 1:45 remaining. The Panthers missed their next four shot attempts and resolved to fouling to extend the game with 46 seconds left.
A 5-second call on a Cardinals' in-bounds pass gave North Hopkins possession. However, the Panthers mishandled a pass to give it back to Maud with 40 ticks left. The Cardinals hit a free throw on the front end of a one-and-one, and Haylon Dear grabbed an offensive board with six seconds left, following another North Hopkins foul, enabling Maud to run out the clock.
"We've been playing nine guys in double figure minutes all year," Hudson said. "We didn't play a couple of guys as much as I have been, but everyone of our kids gave us something today. That's what it's going to take; it's a team game, and it takes the team to be successful."
Twice in the first half the Panthers held a 5-point advantage, but Maud responded to a 16-11 deficit late in the first half with a 7-1 run to grab its first lead since the opening minute of the game.
Lamb drained a 12-foot jumper with 1.6 seconds left to give the Cardinals an 18-17 lead at intermission. The Cardinal defense propelled the rally, forcing five North Hopkins turnovers in the second quarter.
Lamb scored a game-high 17 points, Briley Barron had nine rebounds, and Tucker Sanders pulled down six boards.
The Panthers scored eight straight points after an early Lamb layup to go up six points, and after Lamb converted a traditional 3-point play from the foul stripe, the Panthers scored again to lead 10-5. Maud scored the next three points and turned that into a 6-2 rally to get within a point at 12-11 with 4:31 left in the second quarter.
Following a 4-point streak by NH, Maud closed the half with its 7-1 rally to hold the advantage at halftime.
The Cardinals shot 38 percent (6 of 16) in the first half, had five turnovers — compared to six by the Panthers — and led in rebounds, 13-12. North Hopkins shot 33 percent (6 of 18) in the opening half.
Kaden Ferrell hit four treys and scored 14 points to lead the Panthers.Carson Mathis scored eight and had 12 rebounds.