The Killeen and Harker Heights boys got a reprieve from District 8-6A play over the holiday break, but the two schools didn’t take a break.
Each competed Tuesday and Wednesday in the second annual Bo Burgess Classic.
Harker Heights defeated Austin Eastside Memorial 75-44 before falling to Class 5A No. 25 Bryan Rudder 81-78 in overtime Tuesday.
The Knights lost another overtime game Wednesday 72-65 to fourth-ranked Cedar Hill.
Killeen toppled Bastrop Cedar Creek 61-32 to open play Tuesday, then lost to Houston Redemption Christian Academy 64-56.
The Kangaroos dropped their third contest 78-45 to Cedar Hill Wednesday.
Then, to finish off the tournament — although it did not count toward league play — the Knights and Roos squared off at Harker Heights.
In a game that went back and forth throughout, Killeen emerged victorious in a 56-52 decision after outscoring Harker Heights 12-5 in the final three minutes.
Six-foot-3 junior Trayvon Todd spearheaded the run for the Roos (10-8) with six points, and he finished the contest with 14 points, four rebounds and one assist.
Killeen head coach Reggie Huggins said both Todd and senior Markel Carlton are expected to provide a strong presence inside, and they did so throughout the tournament.
“I think, right now, we are really playing solid in the paint,” Huggins said. “We’ve just got to get our wings and our guards to get better – execute better in those spots.”
The Knights (9-9) led 13-9 after one quarter of play, and they had a 27-15 advantage with two minutes, 21 seconds remaining until halftime. But the Roos exploded and finished the second period on a 10-2 run to pull within 29-25 at the break.
Todd scored six points during the outburst.
To begin the third stanza, Killeen senior Thomas Robinson scored the first two points on a layup after his own steal, but Harker Heights replied with five consecutive points on two free throws from senior Chalanc Bennett and a 3-pointer from the right wing by junior Dillon Gooding.
The Roos then had four different players score during a 7-0 run to tie the game at 34.
The Knights replied with a 7-0 run of their own to recapture a 41-34 lead.
Gooding recorded a 3-point play after being fouled while making a teardrop in the lane and making the subsequent free throw. Senior Adhante Margrum sunk one free throw, and Gooding capped the run with a trey from the right wing in transition.
Harker Heights held the lead for the remainder of the contest until the three-minute mark in the fourth, and that is when Killeen made its final push for the win.
Dekelvin Garrett registered 12 points, six rebounds and one assist for the Roos, while Robinson added 11 points, three rebounds and an assist.
Gooding tallied 16 points and four rebounds for the Knights, and senior Johnathan Chatman had 14 points and one board.
Despite the loss, Harker Heights head coach Celneque Bobbitt found plenty to take away from the two-day tournament.
“I’ve seen what I need to see with these kids,” Bobbitt said. “We rectified our turnovers somewhat. But right now, we’ve just got to nail down the basics, and that’s just the fundamentals of this game.
“It’s possessing the ball, limiting your turnovers and making free throws.”
Harker Heights was just 19 of 37 from the free-throw line against Cedar Hill, but improved to 12 of 20 against the Roos.
Seventh-ranked San Antonio Wagner won the Bo Burgess Classic after defeating Redemption Christian 59-51 in the title game Wednesday night at Killeen High School.
Harker Heights returns to action on Tuesday at 7 p.m. against San Angelo Central at home.
Killeen also resumes play Tuesday against eighth-ranked Waco Midway at home at 7 p.m.