Irving Nimitz ruins L.D. Bell’s shot at playoffs

Posted Friday, Feb. 07, 2014  comments  Print Reprints
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Hurst L.D. Bell’s playoff chances took a blow Friday night.

Irving Nimitz, seeking its second postseason appearance in three years, rolled out a relentless attack on its way to a 54-53 District 6-5A win at Nimitz High School.

The win broke a fourth-place tie for both teams and gave Nimitz the series sweep.

According to both coaches, even if the two teams finished tied for fourth next Tuesday, Nimitz will advance based on its district sweep of Bell.

“That was a big win for us,” Nimitz coach Joel Donaldson said. “We just traditionally haven’t been as good for a long time, but we’re changing that now.”

Despite the final score, the game was in hand for the Vikings (10-13, 7-6) most of the night.

Nimitz had three turnovers in the final 23 seconds and Bell (15-13, 6-7) hit a 3-pointer as the buzzer sounded.

Nimitz was 7-of-10 shooting from the floor in the first quarter and built as much as a 13-point lead in the first half.

Bell got as close as seven points in the third quarter when Davis Steelman made a 3-pointer to draw within 41-34.

The Raiders drew within 49-44 in the fourth quarter.

“We showed a lot of defensive pressure at the start and that’s the kind of team we are,” Donaldson said. “You have to tip your hat to them because they were fighting for their own spot in the playoffs.”

Randall Wright had 17 points and Jared Jenkins had 16 to lead Nimitz.

Akeem Black had 14 points to pace Bell and Christian Davis had 13.

Nimitz made 10 free throws, but didn’t make a basket in the final quarter and finished 15-of-35 from the field.

Bell was 23-of-44 from the field and 8-of-15 in the final quarter.

Davis scored nine points in the final quarter, including five in a furious final stretch.

After a Steve Pace layup, a quick turnover allowed Davis to drop in an easy layup and bring the Raiders within 54-50.

Nimitz was able to get the inbound up to near mid-court in the final three seconds, but another turnover allowed Davis to fire off a final 3-point attempt at the buzzer.

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