The Midlothian Panthersí basketball team tried to end 2013 on a high note with a non-district home game against Irving.
Unfortunately for Midlothian, the Panthers couldnít get enough offense in the fourth quarter to hang on and get the win as they lost 46-44.
The game was tied at 36 entering the fourth quarter, but the Mustangs scored the first seven points of the quarter to take a 43-36 lead with five minutes left.
Midlothian got on the board in the quarter when Adrian Gordon got a steal and drove the length of the court. He was fouled going up for a lay-up, but hit both of his free throws.
Irving hit just one of two free throws next time down the court to go up six. Then senior Wesley Smith was fouled attempting a shot and he hit a free throw to pull back within five at 44-39 with 3:50 left to play.
Midlothianís Daniel Dopson made a great defensive play as he drew a charge to get the ball back for Midlothian and appeared to change momentum for the Panthersí favor.
Brandon Klor hit a long jumper then drilled a three-pointer the next time down the court to tie the game back up at 44 with 2:37 left to play. The three-pointer was only possible thanks to a great effort on the offensive glass by Lance Tipton.
Irving dribbled out some clock and hit a shot with 1:50 left to go up 46-44. Midlothian turned the ball over its next time down the court with 1:30 left. The Panthers went for a steal to get the ball back, but Irving ate up another half-minute of time playing keep away.
Midlothian finally forced a shot and Klor pulled down the rebound to give the Panthers a shot with 52 seconds left. But Midlothian quickly gave the ball right back to the Mustangs on another turnover with 42 seconds left.
Once again, Midlothian tried to get a steal before finally deciding to foul with 13 seconds left. The Panthers got a break as Irving missed both free throws and Tipton hauled in the rebound.
The Panthers raced down the court to try and find a last-second, heroic shot, but coach Terrance McCloud called a time out with five seconds left to slow things down and set up a play.
Midlothian inbounded the ball and got a good look from the hot-handed Klor, but his three-pointer for the win banged off the rim as time expired. Itís almost better that he didnít hit is because as he lined up his shot, he was called for a travel and the basket wouldnít have counted had he made it.
Klor finished with 14 points to lead all scorers. Irving had eight different players score, three of them contributed nine points.
Russell Smith scored nine points and Marshall added eight. Gordon scored seven, Wesley Smith added four and Tipton contributed two points.
The Panthers (5-9, 0-2 in 7-5A) are now finished with non-district play and will take to the court again at 7:30 p.m. Friday in Mansfield (0-2 in 7-5A). Even though there will still be 11 games left after Fridayís contest, an 0-3 hole will be extremely difficult to climb out of in this district.
District 7-5A has three teams ranked in the top-25 in the state, DeSoto, South Grand Prarie and Duncanville and talented teams like Mansfield Timberview and Grand Prairie as well.
Midlothian has already lost to Duncanville and lost a three-point heartbreaker to Grand Prairie. It will likely take nine wins in the Pantheir final 12 games to make the postseason.
Midlothian girls fall to Weatherford
The Midlothian girls basketball team played a Monday afternoon, road contest due to the holiday break, but like the boys, the Lady Panthers couldnít get the win.
Midlothian traveled to Weatherford and suffered a 58-41 loss to finish its non-district schedule.
The Lady Panthers started off in a hole down 17-12 after the first quarter and couldnít dig out of it. The Lady Kangaroosí lead grew to 12 at halftime. Midlothian cut it to 11 after the third quarter, but Weatherford finished strong to get the victory.
Lauren Pachall led the charge for the Lady Panthers as she scored 14 points. Meghan Turner added 13.
Brooke Geeson scored four. Jenna Price and MacKenzie Sweeney both contributed three points. Kaylee Goerig and Morgan Huffstutler scored two apiece.
The Lady Panthers (8-10, 1-3 in 7-5A) will take to the court again at 6 p.m. Friday in Mansfield (0-4 in 7-5A).