LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - No matter what sport it is, Lufkin and Nacogdoches always have good games. Thursday night was no different when the two schools met up at Panther Gym.
Lufkin would win the varsity basketball game 53-51 after KeVonte Hurts would make two free throws with just 4 seconds left in the game. The Dragons had a shot at a game winning three-pointer but could not capitalize at the buzzer.
Nacogdoches led the game in the first half by as many as 10 points thanks to the hot shooting of Nick Smith who had 10 points at the break. The Dragons were also able to connect on 6 three pointers. They took a 27-23 lead into the locker room.
In the second half, the Pack would come alive and by the start of the fourth, the team had a 39-37 lead.
The game would remain close and would eventually come down to the Hurts free throws.
"We won which is a good thing," Lufkin Head Coach J.T. McManus said. "We lost our last two games in overtime and didn't close very well. I thought we did some better things down the stretch. The guys found a way to win."
The Pack will now move on and play at College Park on the 12th to start district play.
"We got a tough start,"McManus said. "We have guys that have not experienced that yet. We have two straight games on the road so that will be tough. We do have four straight days of practice so we got to continue to get better each day and see where this ends up."
Zay Shankle led the Panthers with 11 points. The team shot 69% from the free throw line.
For the Dragons, Michael Little led the team with 11 points. Nacogdoches shot 62% from the line.
Nacogdoches falls to 9-13 on the year and will host 4A #1 Center on Monday night. Lufkin improved to 10-7.