For three of the four quarters his team played against Fort Worth Dunbar, Trimble Tech boys basketball coach Wendell Ivory couldn't have asked for anything more.
But the one quarter his team didn't excel coincided with Fort Worth Dunbar rallying to tie the game at 31 with just under a minute remaining in the third quarter.
The Bulldogs then settled down and returned to what worked in the first half -- getting to the free-throw line -- to outscore Dunbar 22-14 in the fourth quarter and claim a 55-45 nondistrict victory Tuesday night at Billingsley Field House.
After making 12 of 14 from the foul line in the first half, Trimble Tech (4-3) attempted only four free throws in the third quarter as Dunbar rallied from a 25-18 halftime deficit.
The Wildcats (2-4), who made 6 of 29 field-goal attempts in the first half, went 6-of-16 in the third quarter as they drew even at 31 on a 3-pointer from Donald Harris.
"We kind of got caught up in the hype there and got away from what was working for us in the first half," Ivory said. "We're a young and inexperienced group and it showed. I just kept telling them don't panic and start doing what we did in the first half. Dunbar is a good team and we knew they weren't going to quit."
Da'Lante Brooks hit a 3-pointer to start the fourth quarter to give Dunbar its first lead at 34-33 since leading 16-14 a minute into the second quarter.
But the Bulldogs rallied back as 6-foot-4 junior wing Dewaylon Clark made a 3-pointer and then converted a three-point play while driving to the basket to give Trimble Tech a 39-36 lead.
The Bulldogs led the rest of the way and sealed the victory by making 7 of 11 free throws in the fourth quarter.
Chasten King led Tech with 14 points, Clark added 12 and 6-6 sophomore wing Spencer Franklin had 11 including seven of his team's first nine points.
Dunbar was paced by Anthony Ashley with 10 points.
"They showed resilience in the fourth quarter and that's what its all about," Ivory said. "We're just trying to build confidence and games like this do that. This is what builds character and going into district is what we need."
We welcome your comments on this story, but please be civil. Do not use profanity, hate speech, threats, personal abuse, images, internet links or any device to draw undue attention. Comments deemed inappropriate will be removed and repeated abusers will be banned. NOTE: If you log in using your Twitter account, your comments will be signed using the name on your Twitter profile, NOT your Twitter user name. Read our full comment policy.