The Bobcats finished the year as a Region IV quarterfinalist with a season record of 30-5.
“We didn’t shoot the ball very well and us being in foul trouble didn’t help either. We almost came back and got them at the end,” said head coach Adam Wollam.
S-T started strong on Tuesday night and quickly built an eight-point lead at 13-5 as the first period ran down. The San Antonio Cole Cougars finished strong and hit the last basket of the quarter to trail by six, 13-7.
The second quarter began as the first. The Bobcats hit some outside shots and took advantage of some sloppy Cole ball-handling. The ’Cats were out front 21-9 before the Cougars got rolling again.
Cole continued to work inside to their big man, Kendrick Taylor, and began to chip away at the S-T lead. An 8-0 run by the Cougars brought them close, trailing by just four at 21-17. The Bobcats hit one final basket over the final minutes, but the Cole boys added eight markers to pull in front 25-23 at the halftime break.
The Bobcats were relying on their outside shooting and the Cole Cougars were banging inside to get their points. Brandon East and Zeke Huerta hit a few long-range jumpers in the third to keep the Bobcats competitive.
Bobcat sharpshooter Eric Schumacher was saddled with three early fouls and sat out most of the second quarter, but the S-T boys responded and kept it close.
The two teams battled tooth and nail over the third period and the ’Cats fought back to tie the game at 38 all as John Hernandez went inside to score just before the buzzer sounded.
The final stanza was a test of wills and skills. The teams battled back and forth with neither side gaining much of an advantage.
It was all square at 47-47 with 3:25 left to play. Kendrick hit two straight baskets and a plus one to give the Cole squad a 52-47 lead with less than two minutes to play.
The Bobcats rallied late, and two free throws by Erasmo Huerta with a little over 17 seconds left brought the Bobcats to within one, 54-53.
The S-T boys were forced to foul and Cole made good on their shots with just six seconds on the clock. It was 56-53, and there was still time for one last attempt, but the Bobcats would need a three.
Schumacher got the chance and a pretty good look for the tie, but the ball glanced off the rim, and the Cougars held on for the three-point victory.
Four Bobcats were in double figures. Schumacher finished with 14 points despite sitting out a good portion of the contest. Zeke Huerta recorded 13 points while Brandon East and Erasmo Huerta each hit for 11. Hernandez tossed in four points.
Schumacher recorded four three-pointers in the game. East had three and Zeke Huerta popped in two treys.
Cole’s Taylor led all scorers with 32 points in the Cougar victory.
“I am very proud of the players for the season we have had. They are a great group of guys that are fun to coach,” Wollam said.