WACO — Heading into the fourth quarter of their Sweet 16 contest against perennial power DeSoto, the second-ranked team in Texas, Harker Heights trailed 36-30.
The DeLaney brothers, seniors Josh and Cameron, two of the key cogs in the Knights machine, took the court with fire in their eyes.
“I did not want this to be the last game of my high school career,” said Josh.
“We wanted to give it everything we had,” said Cameron.
And that’s what they did.
With 7:22 to play, Josh swished a 17-footer, and the DeSoto lead was 36-32.
With 5:30 left and DeSoto up by six, Josh made a steal at half- court, drove hard to the hoop, got fouled, then canned both freebies.
Cameron grabbed his third rebound of the quarter with four minutes left.
With DeSoto up by six and 3:13 to play, Cameron drove past two defenders, hit a running 5-footer and the Eagle lead was 42-38.
DeSoto pushed its lead back up to six by the two-minute mark.
With 1:55 to play, Josh made a backcourt steal, drove coast to coast past three defenders, canned his layin and DeSoto’s lead was 44-40.
DeSoto then closed out the game with an 11-3 run and advanced onward with a 55-43 win.
Cameron ended the contest with a team-high 11 rebounds, nine points, one block and two steals.
Josh had a team-high 16 points, four boards and three steals.
“Cameron gave it everything he had tonight, like he always does,” Josh said. “This was a ‘Cameron night’ of basketball.”
“This was another great night of basketball by Josh,” Cameron said.
“It’s what we always expect out of him — giving it everything he has.”
And so the high school careers of the DeLaney brothers are over.
“While my high school career is over,” said Josh, “I will always be proud that the word ‘Knights’ was on my jersey.”
“I am extremely proud that I got to play my high school basketball at Harker Heights,” Cameron said. “I’m very proud to be a Knight.”