Jamie Calahan tried to call timeout. The Cleburne girls basketball coach, with his team’s season down to 10 seconds, thought one of his players got possession of the ball in the middle of a scrum near the basket. The referees ruled otherwise, calling a jump ball, giving possession back to Canyon, which held a 53-50 lead.
Cleburne fouled, and Canyon sank both free throws, finishing off the Yellow Jackets 55-52 in the Class 4A Region I semifinals Friday at The Coliseum.
Cleburne, which knocked off No. 2 Aledo to reach Friday’s game, was down 47-38 with 5:36 left in the game when it started to mount a rally. Courtney Jeffcoat hit a bucket and then made two free throws. Akarian Morgan followed that with a pair of free throws to get Cleburne within three.
The Jackets stayed within that distance until the 1:22 mark of the fourth quarter when Jazlin Jones knocked down two free throws to cut the Canyon lead to 51-50.
That’s when Madison Parker, who scored Canyon’s first 10 points, finished strong, hitting two free throws to push the Eagles’ lead to three before Cleburne (27-8) lost the jump ball with seconds left.
Parker led Canyon (31-4) with 20 points and seven rebounds. Bria McCullough had 19 for Cleburne.
Parker proved to be the Jackets’ Achilles’ heel, putting Canyon ahead 10-9 with 27 seconds left in the first quarter.
A turnover left Canyon with another look before the buzzer. Bailey Byrd took advantage of it, hitting a 3-pointer to give Canyon a 13-9 lead.