LONGVIEW — Liberty-Eylau booked its fourth trip in six years to the Class 3A Region II tournament with a 55-52 overtime victory over Kilgore on Tuesday at Pine Tree High School.
The game was tied 34-34 going into the final eight minutes of regulation and there were five lead changes in the fourth quarter.
Kilgore’s Hector Peralez buried a long 3-pointer with 36 seconds left in regulation to put the Bulldogs on top 46-45.
Javon Rigsby converted 1 of 2 free throws with 20 seconds left for L-E, the final points of regulation.
In the extra period junior guard Rashaan Donelson swished a 10-footer with 3:11 left, and added a layup at the 2:28 mark to put L-E up 50-46. A free throw by Kwan Curry followed, but Xavier Gaona kept the Bulldogs’ hopes alive with a long trey.
L-E (14-13) iced the game with free throws from Donelson and Rigsby. Nick Orange bombed home a 40-footer at the buzzer to account for the final score.
Orange led Kilgore’s offense with 18 points and 12 rebounds, with Gaona contributing 11 points.
That wasn’t enough with L-E winning the battle on the boards 46-40. Junior Davion Hall, a Baylor pledge in football, led all players with 14 rebounds and added 10 points and 10 assists for a triple-double.
Rashaan Donelson led the Leopards with 14 points, 11 in the second half, including six in the OT. Curry finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds.
Kilgore (16-15) started the game slow, missing its first seven shots as the Leopards built a 7-0 cushion. However, Conrod netted the first of 10 Bulldogs 3-pointers and L-E’s lead was only 23-19 at halftime.
L-E advances to play Dallas Madison Friday night in Commerce at 8 p.m. Pleasant Grove tips off action Friday against Wilmer-Hutchins.
Class 3A Region III Quarterfinal
At Pine Tree HS
Liberty-Eylau 55, Kilgore 52, OT
Liberty-Eylau 14 9 11 12 9 — 55
Kilgore 10 9 15 12 6 — 52
LIBERTY-EYLAU — Muldrew, 8; Donelson, 14; Curry, 13; Rigsby, 9; Monroe, 2; Hall, 10.
KILGORE — Gaona, 11; Davis, 6; Justices, 2; Peralez, 6; Conrod, 9; Orange, 18.
THREE POINT GOALS — LE: Muldrew, Donelson, Rigsby. K: Gaona (3), Davis (2), Peralez (2), Conrod (2), Orange.
RECORDS — Liberty-Eylau 14-13; Kilgore 16-15
NEXT UP — Liberty-Eylau vs. Dallas Madison, 8 p.m. Friday, Texas A&M-Commerce.