In a game that could have gone either way, the Flour Bluff Hornets had just enough to break Calallen's four-game winning streak Friday, beating the Wildcats 42-39.
"It hurts. You don't want to lose any district game," said Calallen head coach Jeff Crews. "I knew coming over here it was going to be a hard-fought battle."
In the fourth quarter, Calallen had many opportunities to win the game, but free throw misses were a key factor in its loss.
With Flour Bluff ahead, 34-31, Wildcat Dustin Vaughan was at the free-throw line with a chance to cut the lead to one. Vaughan finished the game with 10 points, nine rebounds and three blocks.
After missing both shots, Hornet Adrian Washington grabbed the rebound and ran a fast break to score the lay-up, extending Flour Bluff's lead to 36-31. Washington finished with only five points, but attacked the boards with 13 rebounds.
With less than 1:30 left in the game, the Hornets were up 39-35.
Washington was at the foul line and missed both shots.
Vaughan grabbed the rebound and the ball made its way to Michael Conroy, who scored the easy bucket, cutting Flour Bluff's lead to two points with 1:18 left. Conroy finished the game with six points and 13 rebounds.
With no shot clock in high school basketball, the Hornets drained 61 seconds off the clock before Flour Bluff's Anthony Alberto finally got fouled with 17 seconds remaining.
Alberto made both shots, putting Flour Bluff back up by four, 41-37.
Calallen's Scott Ryan made quick work with little time, scoring a field goal for the Wildcats. With 7.6 seconds left, Calallen was down, 41-39.
Alberto was quickly fouled again with 6.3 seconds to go. He missed the first free throw, but made the second, forcing Calallen to go for three.
Crews called a timeout with 2.3 seconds left.
Down to one more shot opportunity, Conroy inbounded the ball to a wide-open Belford.
Belford shot from three-point range as time expired, but the ball bounced off the outside rim and missed the hoop.
"I thought our kids hung in there," Crews said. "We kind of hurt ourselves missing free throws and easy shots. If we made those, it would have been a completely different ball game."
Flour Bluff's Jasmine Evans was the leading scorer in the game with 13 points. Clint Ramey also had a productive game for the Hornets with 10 points and eight rebounds.
With the win, the Hornets put themselves in a three-way tie for the District 31-4A lead with Calallen and the Tuloso-Midway Warriors, all with 4-1 records as of Friday night.
The Wildcats played the Robstown Cottonpickers Tuesday night. Calallen will play the Warriors at Tuloso-Midway High School Friday night at 8.
In their last meeting, the Wildcats beat Tuloso-Midway, 74-44, Jan.15.