Killeen guard Devyn Williams envisioned himself doing this on playgrounds and at the Killeen High School gym many times in the past.
Calling out a play and telling imaginary teammates to clear out as the sounds of the basketball would echo along the bleachers. And those situations always wind up the same, with him hitting a game-winning shot.
But on Friday, the dream became a reality. Williams came up with a rebound and putback off the backboard at the buzzer to give Killeen a dramatic 44-42 win over the Belton Tigers on Friday.
“It was just overwhelming,” Williams said. “I was in the moment and just hit the shot.”
Demarius Cress led the Roos with 13 points, including three 3-pointers while Melvin Anthony and Mikell Clark combined for 15 points to help Killeen stay unbeaten at home.
Belton senior Braden Hammond led all scorers with 14 points.
“We’re playing against athletes, let’s face it,” Belton coach Charlie Lewis said. “They’re better athletically than we are and we’ve got to stay in front of them. We did too many things as far as taking chances, which hurt us, and they ended up getting easy baskets.”
Williams (15-6, 2-1 District 8-5A) finished with only two points, but they proved to be the biggest of the game.
After Anthony rebounded a missed shot from Hammond on Belton’s (5-12, 1-2) final offensive possession, the Roos had the ball with 45 seconds remaining.
Williams dribbled the ball near midcourt as time ticked down and he began driving into the lane with around 10 seconds remaining.
“We talked about it at halftime and whenever you drive, you’ve got to kick it and he kicked it to Dant’e (Ellis-Thomas),” Killeen coach Reggie Huggins said.
Williams passed the ball out to Ellis-Thomas at the near corner baseline for an open 3-pointer. Ellis-Thomas shot bounced off the rim and Williams came up with the ball on the ensuing rebound after a short scrum.
The senior calmly gathered his footing, nudged the ball up off the backboard and it fell in with no time remaining.
“It was more of a reaction,” Williams said. “I didn’t hear the buzzer go off so I might as well put it up to see if it goes in.”
Williams’ teammates immediately piled on top of him to celebrate the Roos second district win of the season.
The basket was the culmination of a back-and-fourth game that had 10 ties and 11 lead changes and no team led by more than six points.
“I’m glad he hit the shot, that’s all I’m saying,” Huggins said with a smile. “I’m glad he hit the shot.”
Hammond put the Tigers ahead 42-40 with 4:54 remaining, but it was the final basket Belton had the rest of the game. The Roos tied the game from the free throw line as Ellis-Thomas hit the second of his two free throws with 2:39 remaining to cut Belton’s lead to one and Anthony tied the game with 1:13 remaining with a free throw of his own.
Killeen visits Ellison on Tuesday while Belton looks to rebound at home against Shoemaker.
Contact Albert Alvarado at email@example.com