NORTH RICHLAND HILLS -- Having gone just 3-5 in the first eight district games, Birdville had its back against the wall. Seven games later, the Hawks still have a shot at the playoffs.
That chance comes because the Hawks dusted off Saginaw Boswell, 48-37, in a District 6-4A game Friday at Birdville High.
The win keeps Birdville (14-15, 9-6) in a tie with Saginaw (19-9, 9-6) for the fourth and final playoff spot. They split their 6-4A games.
Birdville faces sixth-place Fort Worth Carter-Riverside in the season finale on Tuesday, while Saginaw is at home against seventh-place Fort Worth Eastern Hills.
Boswell (21-10, 13-3) already had secured a playoff spot heading into Friday's game.
"We started our playoffs about eight games ago," Birdville coach Jeff Fitch said. "We didn't really have any margin for error. We were so young early and the kids have really grown up a lot and found a way to win the close games."
The teams went back and forth all night, with Birdville leading 31-28 entering the fourth quarter. Jeremy Crane, who had a game-high 16 points, scored Birdville's first eight points of the quarter push the lead to 39-32 with 4:50 to play.
Ben Barnett, who had 11 points, then had back-to-back layups sandwiched between a three from Dedrick Berry, the only Boswell player in double figures, with 15, and the lead never was less than eight the rest of the way.
"Our defense has been good all year," Fitch said. "We're on track to set a school record for points allowed at about 44. Tonight was a good game to see that we stepped up, being as physical as it was."
In the fourth quarter, Birdville hit 7 of 13 shots, compared to just 3 of 12 for the Pioneers.
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