Critical free throws in the final minutes allowed the Austin Maroons to outlast the Lehman Lobos 57-49 Friday at Bales Gym in a play-in contest to decide the final 25-6A playoff spot.
With the defeat, Lehman’s (16-16) historic 2019 campaign ends one win shy of reaching the playoffs.
Austin (15-15) used a strong third frame to catapult past Lehman and keep the Lobos at arms’ length.
The Maroons, which led 27-25 at intermission, outscored Lehman 14-6 in the third quarter, which expanded their lead to 41-31.
Austin led 43-33 with six minutes left in the game before the Lobos fought back.
Guided by Nijah Collier and Zackary Harris, Lehman chipped away at Austin’s lead, cutting it to 45-42 with three minutes to play.
Adept Maroon free throw shooting, however, kept Lehman from drawing any closer.
Austin went 14-of-16 from the charity stripe in the fourth frame; the Maroons were 17-of-20 from the free throw line in the game.
Harris finished with a team high 12 points, while Cameron Jones had nine points.
A full story on Friday’s game can be found in this week’s Hays Free Press.