Boys Varsity Basketball · Killeen muscles back in fourth quarter to nudge Tigers 57-54

The Belton Tigers traveled to take on the Killeen Kangaroos on Friday night, in Tiger head coach Jason Fossett’s first trip back to Killeen in several years.

Fossett was the head coach for the Kangaroos from 2005-2012.

It was not the homecoming that Fossett was hoping for, as the Roos overtook the Tigers in the fourth quarter and held on for a 57-54 win.

Killeen improved their record to 14-14 overall and 5-7 in District 12-6A play.

The Tigers fell to 12-17 overall and 4-7 in District 12-6A play with five games remaining.

Josh Rardin scored the first three-pointer of the game for the Tigers with 6:45 to play in the first quarter. The Roos ran off seven straight points before Kayden Downs scored the next five points to give Belton an 8-7 lead.

Ben Jones sandwiched a pair of baskets around a Cortez Ivie basket to tie the ball game at 12-12. T.J. Johnson hit a field goal and Jones’ tip-in with one second remaining in the quarter gave the Tigers a 16-12 advantage going into the second quarter.

Johnson scored 11 of Belton’s 15 second-quarter points, as the Tigers managed to sustain a four-point lead at the half, 31-27.

The Tigers were able to continue to take advantage of Johnson’s successful shooting, as he scored the first six points of the second half. Downs drained a field goal, Jones swished a three-pointer, and Luke Bramlett hit a field goal with a second remaining. Belton still led Killeen at the end of the third quarter, 44-40.

Killeen’s hot shooting became a dominant force in the fourth, as they put together a 15-6 run over the first 7:10 of the quarter to take a 55-50 lead with 50 seconds left in the game.

Mario Lockett scored a basket with 23.8 seconds to play. Lockett and Downs forced a loose ball turnover that Rardin scooped up and put in the bucket with 17.1 seconds to play to pull to within a point of Killeen, 55-54.

But a foul at midcourt gave Ivie two free-throws that he cashed in. The Tigers could not get a clean shot at the basket for the tie and ended up with the tough three-point loss.

Ivie led all scorers with 21 points for the Roos.

Johnson led the Tigers with 20 points. Downs and Jones each had nine points for Belton. Rardin also had seven points for the Tigers, who will host Ellison on Tuesday night.