DIBOLL — A wild night at Lumberjack Gym had a little of everything. Diboll’s Jathen Garcia nailed a 3-pointer from beyond halfcourt to force one overtime in a game that eventually went into a second extra frame.
Unfortunately for Diboll, the Central Heights Blue Devils put Diboll’s district title-clinching hopes on ice for another night by taking a 76-66 thriller.
Central Heights’ D.J. Ransom scored a game-high 27 points in the Blue Devils’ win. Devante Caldwell added 14 points and Drew Hiebert had 12.
Javaughn Luster led Diboll with 19 points, while Daris McMillan added 13.
Diboll entered the game needing a win to clinch the district title but faced an uphill climb from the opening minutes as Central Heights led by double digits in the first quarter before eventually leading 18-10 after the first eight minutes.
Diboll cut that margin to 20-19 on a Herbert Gums’ layup late in the second quarter, but Central Heights’ Jackson Flynn nailed a 3-pointer just before half to give the Blue Devils a 25-20 lead at the break.
The third quarter was all Diboll as it scored the first 13 points to take its first lead of the game. Luster scored 9 points during the run and McMillan had the other 4 as Diboll led 33-25. The ’Jacks led 37-32 after three quarters.
Central Heights recovered and appeared to be on its way to the win when Caldwell nailed a dagger 3-pointer with 4 seconds left, making it a 54-50 game.
Diboll stayed in it with two Luster free throws before Central Heights’ Trey Huddleston made a free throw to make it 55-52 with 3 seconds left.
Garcia made his only 3 points of the night memorable ones as his deep shot sank through, tying it up and sending several Diboll fans on the court in a premature celebration. Diboll forced a second overtime when Percy Chavis made a free throw with 11 seconds left, tying it at 61-61.
However, the Blue Devils never trailed in the second overtime in the win.
Diboll will host Woodville for Senior Night on Friday.
Central Heights girls 50, Diboll 47 — Needing a win to wrap up a playoff berth, the Diboll Lady Jacks fell just short as they dropped a narrow 50-47 decision to the Central Heights Lady Devils here Tuesday night.
Ja’Dah Bussey led the Lady Jacks with 15 points, while Sy’Ria Garcia added 13.
Other Diboll scorers were Zayda Perez (7), A’Leiyah Rayson (4), Sarah Bosten, Maliyah Phipps and Amara Luster (2) and Skyler Martin (1).
The game was tied 8-8 after a quarter, and Central Heights led 23-18 at halftime and 34-32 after three quarters.