SALADO — Gatesville may be undersized compared to other basketball teams, but if they’re ever down in a game, the Hornets warn the doubters to never count them out before the game ends.
Tyler Lewis scored 30 points and the Hornets closed out the Coach Smith Memorial Tournament on Saturday and claimed the third-place prize with a 54-49 win over 2A-No. 9 Thorndale.
“I love the way we competed,” said coach Thomas Winkler. “We haven’t seen all four quarters put together, but we did today.
“We played as hard as we could, as well as we could, and I like that. I like seeing a complete game.”
Lewis, a senior, led the Hornets’ offense on the first day of tournament play, but played off the boards in Gatesville’s 65-59 Friday win over Jarrell before posting 30 points on Saturday.
“Our initial goal was to make it to the championship game,” said Lewis. “We lost early, but we didn’t let that stop up and we looked on the positive side and saw that we could go get third place.
“So we strapped up our shoes and went and got third.”
The Hornets trailed throughout the early going, but senior Tyler Hallman cut Thorndale’s six-point lead in half with a shot from the corner with just a second remaining in the first quarter, 15-12.
The Bulldogs responded at the start of the next period with a 3-pointer from sophomore Michael Herzog.
Gatesville senior Anthony Costas answered with a deep 3 of his own, and a layup from Lewis on the next possession gave the Hornets a one-point lead in the middle of the period, 22-21.
Costas dropped another 3-point bucket from the left corner to push the Hornets (6-1) further ahead.
Lewis dribbled through Bulldog defenders up the middle of the key for a basket that had Gatesville sitting ahead 31-26 at halftime.
“I’m happy to be in a position to help this team win at all costs,” Lewis noted.
The Hornets stayed ahead throughout the second half but were unable to create more than a five-point cushion.
Gatesville started the fourth quarter ahead 40-37, but the Bulldogs quickly caught up behind a pair of free throws from junior Jagger Rubio.
A layup from senior Sam Reaves put Thorndale back on top for a brief moment before a jumpball on the next play put the Hornets back in control and Lewis added another three points to regain the lead, 45-43.
Costas dropped one last bucket from the top arc in the middle of the quarter. The senior guard had back-to-back steals that resulted in the Hornets scoring as they closed out the win.
“Hopefully this gives us the confidence to go in and know that we can beat really good teams at any time,” Lewis said.
While their only loss of the tournament coming against tourney host Salado on Thursday, the Hornets aim to take the momentum from this weekend into their next tournament.
“One of our goals is to get to the finals of a tournament, so that’s what ahead for us next,” said Costas. “Get to the finals of the Glen Rose Invitational.”
GATESVILLE 54, THORNDALE 49
Neumeyer 8, Herzog 7, Bernstein 2, Ivy 8, Kovar 2, Ruio 4, Reaves 18, Pausewang 0, Gerren 0, Schefell 0, Terry 0.
Mueller 3, Sheets 0, Costas 9, Leblanc 2, Lewis 30, Jones 3, Williams 0, Trotter 0, Hallman 7, Johnson 0, Poynter 0, Floyd 0.
Thorndale 15 11 11 12—49
Gatesville 12 19 9 14—54
3-Point Goals—Thorndale 2 (Ivy, Reaves), Gatesville 5 (Costas 3, Lewis, Hallman). Free throws—Thorndale 6-8, Gatesville 6-10. Fouled Out—None. Total Fouls—Thorndale 13, Gatesville 12. Technicals—None.
Records—Thorndale 5-2, Gatesville 6-1.
SATURDAY’S BOYS BASKETBALL
- TAPPS 4A NO. 4 Lubbock Trinity Christian 60, Lampasas 35
Corpus Christi Coaches Association Tournament
- Harker Heights 44, CC Ray 27
Mansfield ISD tournament
- No. 1 Denton Guyer 63, No. 17 Shoemaker 60
Marble Falls Subway Classic
- Hutto 69, Copperas Cove 59
Salado Coach Smith Tournament
Salado 50, CC Flour Bluff 45
- Gatesville 54, Thorndale 49
South San Antonio ISD tournament
- Killeen 52, Keller Central 49