PFLUGERVILLE — The Ellison Eagles had the ball in the hands of one of their most athletic players and on their familiar home court, perhaps the rolls would have gone their way.
But on Saturday, the Eagles were the visitor and the ball feel out on a last second basket to force overtime.
Despite having two cracks at a tying basket by junior small forward Malik Malone, the Eagles fell just short in a 62-60 loss to Pflugerville in the Pflugerville Panther Holiday Classic at the Panther Gym on Saturday.
“I think it was two good teams playing and one team had to win and one team had to lose and that’s what happened,” Ellison coach Alberto Jones said.
Ronnie Edwards led Ellison with 22 points while senior center Fred Jackson added 12 and freshman center Isiah Jasey chipped in 10.
The loss gave Ellison (8-4) second place at the tournament. Malone and Edwards were named to the all-tournament team.
But for Jones, a battle against a good team on the road can be valuable before Tuesday’s District 8-5A opener at home against Harker Heights.
“We know that Pflugerville’s a heck of a team so I think it gives us confidence that we can go into a tough environment, play a good game and have a chance to win it late,” Jones said.
The Panthers led 62-60 with 10 seconds remaining, but Ellison had the ball and a shot to tie it or get a winning basket.
Malone took the ball and drove off the left side into the paint, but his shot attempt was blocked by Panther post Darren Henderson out of bounds.
The Eagles retained possession and Malone took the inbound pass at the three point line with five seconds remaining.
Malone drove into the lane, put up a shot attempt that hung at the rim, but did not fall in. A last ditch tip in attempt was not strong enough as the Panthers celebrated winning their home tournament.
“That was pretty much it, get the ball to Malik,” Jones said.
“I told him that if you feel comfortable shoot it, if not, take it to the rim. He took it to the rim and got a couple of decent looks, but it didn’t go in.”
Malone finished with nine points.