SOUTHLAKE -- Keller clinched a playoff spot, but not without some drama, by beating District 4-5A rival Southlake Carroll 49-46 at the Dragon Gym on Tuesday night.
Unlike the 21-point Keller victory in the first district matchup between the teams on Jan. 4, the second go-around came down to the last possession before the Indians could celebrate the win.
With 16 seconds left and Keller (16-8, 9-1 District 4-5A) hanging on to a 48-46 lead, a loose ball call went for the Indians under the Carroll basket. Protests from the Carroll bench ended with a technical foul called on the Dragons (13-11, 5-5).
Keller's Austyn Kennedy hit the first free throw but missed on the second to leave the Indians with a 49-46 lead.
The Dragons tied up Keller's ensuing inbounds pass, and the possession arrow gave Carroll the ball and a last chance to send the game into overtime with 3.9 seconds left.
Carroll's Daniel Brown pushed the ball down the court quickly, pulled up for the 3-pointer but lost the handle on the ball and missed his heave toward the basket as time expired.
Brown had a big hand in keeping Carroll in the game, spending most of the night giving Keller trouble inside and pacing the Dragons with 14 points.
Mike Opolski led the Indians with 13 points.
A combination of an aggressive Carroll defense and some confusion on Keller's offense forced the Indians into 14 turnovers that turned into 16 Dragons points.
But the Dragons had problems of their own, missing the front end of crucial one-and-ones in the fourth quarter.
The Dragons held the lead until midway through the second quarter and trailed 25-21 at the half.
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