LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - The Lufkin Panthers are hoping their basketball season goes past Friday night.
The team will take a 12 game winning streak into their Area Round matchup against Mesquite Poteet. Poteet took out Ennis in the Bi-District round 70-51. Lufkin did not have an as easy way to round 2, beating Lindale 49-47.
The Eagles squandered an opportunity to upset the 16-5A district champions by missing three straight free throws with a half second left in the game. "I was scared at the moment,” Lufkin senior “Snoop” Hurts said. “I thought we were going to lose"
Junior Natron Wortham had missed two free throws right before that, that would have put the game out of reach for Lindale.
"I felt bad,” Wortham said. “I was hoping it didn't end like this."
Head Coach JT McManus did not think a foul was committed and had to have faith that his team would pull out the win.
"You are in a helpless situation right there,” McManus said. “You don't want to root against kids but you are hoping in that situation that he misses those and we have a chance to advance. "
Not even 24 hours after the win over Lindale, the Lufkin team was in their locker room at Panther Gym looking over Poteet tape and trying to find a way to win and advance to the Regional Quarterfinals.
"This time of year, we try to rest,” McManus said. “Our kids spent a lot of energy so we are trying to let their legs rest. Today we will watch film and on Tuesday we will do a normal practice.” One thing the team is wanting to fix is their offensive production. The past two games have seen Lufkin score 43 and 49 points. The team is up for whatever challenge they get. "We just want it bad,” Hurts said. “We defend. We play hard and find a way to win."
The game between Lufkin and Poteet will tip off at 7 p.m. Tuesday night from East Texas Baptist University.