There is no question the Borger vs Pampa rivalry has a history almost like no other in the Texas Panhandle. But Borger Bulldog fans who have watched Borger teams compete in Class 3A over the past decade, understand there is something about losing to the Perryton Rangers that a times seem to sting a little more than to losing to the green and gold.
On Tuesday evening, the Borger Bulldogs were fighting for their playoff lives in their final home game of the season against the Perryton Rangers.
The game was an entertaining contest that featured the Bulldogs getting off to the fast start, while the Rangers became the hot team in the third period.
Three free throws by Borger’s Jamon Hearon made it look as if the game was headed to overtime with the score tied at 42-42 with five seconds to go.
But a foul on the Bulldogs with 1.7 seconds left sent the Rangers to the free throw line where they broke the hearts of Bulldog fans by hitting both shots to leave Tex Hanna Gym with a 44-42 win in District 1-3A play.
In the first two district meetings, the Rangers proved to be a team who knows how to get to the free throw line. That was the case again on Tuesday as the Rangers converted 14 of 23 free throw attempts, while the Bulldogs were 7/11 from the charity line.
A three pointer by Grant Boren started a strong first period by the Bulldogs, with Hearon, Seth Rawlinson, Kolter Newton, and Dillon Carrillo making baskets to give Borger a 14-5 lead after the first eight minutes of play.
Bulldog foul trouble in the second period opened the door for the Rangers to pull back to within two points, 16-14, at the 3:50 mark.
However, the Bulldogs maintained the lead and went into the halftime break holding a 21-16 lead.
Six Bulldog turnovers in the third period helped the Rangers gain some momentum and take a five point lead of their own going into the fourth period, 26-31.
But the Bulldogs continued to play tough and eventually took back the lead, 35-33, off a three pointer by Newton with 4:30 to go in the game.
In the final four minutes, the game saw three ties and three lead changes including the Rangers holding a 39-40 lead with 1:20 to go.
Good defense by the Bulldogs caused a Ranger turnover with 44 seconds left, but the Bulldogs would fail to convert by missing two jump shots.
Perryton would use two free throws to build a three point lead, 39-42 with ten seconds left. But with five seconds on the clock, the Rangers would be called for the foul on a Hearon three point attempt sending the junior to the free throw line.
Hearon would nail all three shots but a Bulldog win proved not to be in score on this night.
The loss sends the Bulldogs to 1-6 in district play and eliminates them from clinching a playoff berth with two games left in district play.
The Bulldogs will travel to Pampa on Friday looking to win the season series with the Bulldogs and Harvesters splitting the first two games.
Game stats: 2PT-13/20 for 65%; 3PT-3/12 for 25%; 16/32 for 50%; 7/11 for 64%; Total rebounds-Borger 25 Perryton 23; Turnovers-Borger17 Perryton 13
Borger individual stats: Jamon Hearon 10 pts 5 rebs 1 ast 1 stl; Cameron Maxwell 2 rebs 3 asts; Dillon Carrillo 5 pts 2 rebs 1 ast 1 stl; Tyrell Haynes 6 pts 5 rebs 1 blk; Kolter Newton 7 pts 1 reb 1 ast; Grant Boren 6 pts 6 rebs; Aaron Smith 2 pts; Daniel Salinas 2 pts 3 rebs 1 blk; Seth Rawlinson 4 pts 3 rebs 1 stl 1 blk.