TEXARKANA, Texas — Liberty-Eylau's grit led to a 59-56 win over Gilmer in a boys varsity District 15-4A basketball game on Senior Night at the Rader Dome on Tuesday.
"We played a great team game," Leopards head coach Dewaski Davis said. "We had some people step up and give us some valuable minutes; it was huge for us. We just have to feed off each other and make sure we don't make it hard on ourselves. They did a great job tonight.
"We want to keep staying focused, not fouling and just playing basketball."
Senior Tahj Stewart finished with 19 points for Liberty-Eylau, while Takylan Hampton and Tracy Revels each had 11. Revels led the Leopards in rebounds with seven.
Liberty-Eylau (4-12, 4-5) shot 46 percent from the field on 23-of-50 shooting and were narrowly outrebounded, 36-35. The Buckeyes knocked down 21 of 57 shots as they shot 37 percent from the field.
Revels converted a traditional 3-point play to give the Leopards a 52-51 lead with 3:39 to go in the fourth. Stewart's 3-ball gave Liberty-Eylau back the lead, 55-54, with 1:52 to go in the game.
Revels hit a putback as the Leopards took a 3-point lead, 57-54. Gilmer hit an uncontested layup to make it a 1-point game, 57-56, later in the fourth. With seconds left, Stewart hit a pair of free throws to make it 59-56. The Buckeyes heaved a last-second 3-point shot, but it was offline as the final buzzer sounded.
The Leopards went into the locker room at the half up, 29-28. Stewart drained a shot from 3-point land to give Liberty-Eylau a 32-28 lead. Gilmer put together a 13-4 run midway through the third and took a 42-38 lead.
Jaydin Hampton drove in for a layup and Revels hit a layup to inch the Leopards closer, 45-43, after the third quarter.
Takylan Hampton knocked down a pair of charity shots to start off the second for Liberty-Eylau. The Leopards went on a 12-5 run as they crept back into the game but still trailed, 24-22. During the run, Stewart and Hampton each drove in for a layup, Hampton had a second layup, Jaquan Roberts made a layup and Roberts swished in a soft floater.
Liberty-Eylau shot 50 percent from the field in the first half on 12-of-24 shooting, while Gilmer hit just 11 of 32 shots for 34 percent. The Buckeyes had more turnovers in the first half, 10, compared to the Leopards' nine.
Stewart paced the Leopards in the first quarter in points (four) with a layup and a jump shot. Gilmer took a 19-10 lead into the second quarter.
Liberty-Eylau seniors Stewart, Takylan Hampton and Damian Henderson were honored before the game on Senior Night.