ALEDO — Mansfield Lake Ridge might have lost in the championship game of the Moritz Dealerships Holiday Classic on Saturday night, but the Eagles turned some heads.
Against Converse Judson, the state’s No. 2-ranked Class 5A team, Lake Ridge gave itself a chance to force overtime, but a last-second shot bounced off the rim and the Rockets (19-1) escaped with a 52-49 victory.
Lake Ridge, 13-3 and unranked in 4A, rallied from a seven-point deficit to start the fourth quarter.
“It was encouraging,” Lake Ridge coach Donte Wilson said. “We talk about doing the right thing every possession and being competitive. We don’t care about rankings or any of that stuff. We just want to get better, and I believe the rest will take care of itself.”
Lake Ridge came out firing behind Jacob Van, an Air Force signee who finished with a game-high 22 points. He scored all of the team’s first-quarter points for an 11-4 lead. But Judson went on a 9-0 run and led 25-18 at halftime.
Rayshon Winn scored eight second-quarter points and led Judson with 16 points.
The Eagles never took the lead in the fourth quarter despite cutting it to a point three times. Judson, leading 48-47, missed two free throws, but a Lake Ridge jumper missed.
Judson got a dunk from tournament MVP David Wacker, but Lake Ridge’s Julian Harris cut it back to one with 22 seconds left.
Julian Erickson hit two throws with 15 seconds left, setting up Lake Ridge’s last-second shot that missed.
• Mansfield 60, Arlington 49: In the third-place game, the Tigers used a 14-1 run in the first quarter to open a lead that never shrunk to less than 10 in beating the Colts (2-11).
The Colts (2-11) made one run in the second half, coming within 36-26, but Mansfield responded by going on an 8-0 run.
Abdel Adebo led Mansfield with 11 points and Mo Handy had 10. Micah Littlejohn, the team’s leading scorer, sat out with an injury from the previous game.
Arlington was led by Mike Howell with 13 points.
• Mansfield Lake Ridge 61, Mansfield 41: Lake Ridge (13-2) secured its spot in the final behind 27 points from Van.
Van scored 15 points in the first quarter, including three 3-pointers as Lake Ridge they opened a 25-17 lead over Mansfield (7-7).
• Keller Timber Creek 75, Haltom 58: The Falcons (7-8) claimed seventh place behind 29 points from Jon Hatcher.
Hatcher made all seven of his free throws in the fourth quarter. Haltom (2-11) was led by Isaac Bapeli, who made seven 3-pointers and ended with a team-high 26 points.
• Brewer 54, Burleson Centennial 42: Brewer (10-6) advanced to the consolation championship by doubling up Burleson Centennial in the first quarter.
Garrick Reynolds led the way with 16 points and Momo Hamza and Yanny Noulas added 13 and 12 points, respectively.
• Converse Jusdon 68, Arlington 21: Judson jumped to a 17-2 lead and cruised the rest of the way.
The Rockets made 12 3-pointers. Tony Allen had 17 points, including five from behind the arc. Tanner Leissner added 16.
• Lufkin 56, Eastern Hills 49: Lufkin hit just 5 of 10 free throws in the fourth quarter but it was enough.
The Panthers got 11 points apiece from Nick Garza and D.J. Williams.
Terrell Harrison led Eastern Hills (8-7) with 15 points.
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