After spending quite a bit of time on the road lately, Sweetwater High School’s two varsity basketball teams finally got a chance to play in front of their home crowd on Tuesday.
The result was a crowd-pleasing sweep of the teams’ doubleheader at Mustang Gym against former district rival Brownwood.
The Sweetwater girls got the ball rolling, so to speak, as they began the double-header with a 53-38 win over Brownwood for their 10th victory of the season.
Then the boys completed the sweep by overcoming a one-point deficit in the final two minutes to knock off Brownwood, 63-60.
Sweetwater (10-7) trailed Brownwood 12-8 after one quarter in the girls contest, but went on a 17-0 tear over the first seven minutes of the second period and never looked back. The Lady Mus-tangs led 27-16 at halftime and 40-25 after three quar-ters, enjoying leads of bet-ween nine and 19 points throughout the second half.
“I was real happy with the way the girls handled their zone in the first half,” said Sweetwater coach Al Miller. “We did a good job of moving the ball and got a lot of easy baskets. We still need to work on handling man pressure and reducing turn-overs. But overall, it was a great win for the girls and it was the first time our seniors have beaten Brown-wood at the varsity level.”
In fact, Brownwood was completely dominant in the teams’ two games a year ago, winning both district games by an average of nearly 40 points. But the Lady Mustangs, after a bit of a slow start Tuesday, took their first lead (14-12) on a shot by Taylor McPherson with 5:37 left in the second quarter and built their lead to 13, 25-12, on a pair of free throws by Janell Walker to end the 17-0 run before Brownwood finally scored with only 50 seconds left in the opening half.
Kendra Crosson paced Sweetwater with 19 points. Suede Shirley (12) also hit double figures. Also contributing points to the vic-tory were Kelsi Crosson with seven, Walker and Kathleen Campbell with five, Kayla Chowning with three and McPherson with two.
The boys’ game started much like the girls. Down 17-16 after one quarter and 22-18 early in the second, Sweetwater went on a 14-4 run to open up a 32-26 lead at halftime.
However, the Mustangs (4-6) had a much tougher time closing the deal before emerging victorious over a Lions team that had also dealt them two losses in district play last season.
Down 37-28, Brownwood used a 17-8 run to pull into a 45-all tie late in the third period and led 60-59 when Bryant McDaniel scored with 1:54 to play. However, the Mustangs would not be denied. Isaiah McGee regained the lead, 61-60, when he hit a jump shot with 1:07 remaining in the game. Free throws by Rhett Torres and Dylan Bennett — Bennett’s coming with only 7.3 seconds to play — were the only points after that and McDaniel missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer.
Bennett finished with a team-high 22 points. Mich-ael Hunt had 14 and McGee 10, while Torres and Jack Poe had five, Tre Taylor four, Cole Maxwell two and Quentin Wetsel one. Sweetwater suited up just eight players, but expects to have two of them back from injury soon. “We’re a really young team but we hung in there,” said coach Al Hunt, “and got the win.”