The easiest points in the world were the hardest to come by for the Killeen Kangaroos.
Jordan Marse hit a game-tying 3-pointer with eight seconds left and then Stefan Vidovic hit 6-of-7 from the free-throw line in overtime to lift Lake Travis to a 64-56 win over the Roos in a nondistrict game between former district rivals.
Killeen (1-3) led but as many as seven points in the second half, but hit just 2-of-6 from the free-throw line in the extra period and was 13-of-28 in the game.
“We had them right where we wanted, too, we just couldn’t finish the game,” said Killeen coach Reggie Huggins. “I know the guys are upset and frustrated; I’m upset and frustrated, but if this helps us get better at the end of the year, then we’ll be OK.”
Marse and Vidovic combined for 43 points for the Cavaliers (3-2) and all six of the team’s 3-pointers. Vidovic’s lone 3 tied the game at 51 with 1:31 left, but Brian Long answered with a layup at the other end for Killeen and Devyn Williams hit 1-of-2 from the line with 25 seconds left for a 54-51 Roos lead.
Marse, who hit three 3s in the first half, including a converted 4-point play in the first quarter, tied the game with his top-of-the-key shot with 8.1 seconds left. Killeen sophomore Demarius Cress missed a shot at the buzzer.
“We just didn’t execute,” Huggins said. “Free throws, the easiest part of the game, and we just didn’t get it done at the end. If we make any free throws, this game is over a long time ago.”
Melvin Anthony was 2-of-4 from the line and Akeem Harrison was 0-for-2 in the first 1:18 of the 4-minute overtime period to give the Roos a 56-54 lead, but the Cavs finished on a 10-0 run beginning with a pair of free throws from Vidovic that tied the game with just under two minutes left.
“In the third quarter, we had opportunities to go up 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 points — we’re in bonus, we’re in great shape — and we go for 0-for-2, 0-for-2, 1-for-2 and they come down and get a shot knock it down and the next thing we know, we’re back fighting again,” Huggins said.
Long led Killeen with 19 points and Cress added 17, including a buzzer-beating 3 at the end of the third that gave the Roos a 44-37 lead.
Vidovic led Lake Travis with 22 points and Marse hit five 3-pointers and finished with 21 points. The duo had 21 of the Cavaliers’ 28 points in the first half, but were largely contained in the second half. Marse scored Lake Travis’ first five points of the third quarter, but not until midway through the period.
The Cavaliers started the fourth on an 8-2 run that cut the Roos’ lead to 46-45 before Vidovic and Marse took over. The two scored Lake Travis’ final nine points of the game and 17 of 19 in the final 7½ minutes.