With their season on the line, the Lovelady Lions lost a district showdown with Grapeland, 76-62, on Tuesday, Feb. 17 in the LHS gym.
Going into the game, Grapeland and Centerville were tied for first place in District 20-2A at 7-2, while Lovelady and Slocum were tied with 6-3 records.
Centerville defeated Slocum in its district finale, so Centerville and Grapeland remained tied for first place and set up a district playoff Friday to determine the district championship. Since Slocum swept the Lions in district, they will be the district's third place playoff representative in the state playoffs.
In the first quarter of the Lovelady-Grapeland game, the score was tied 11-11 until the Sandies went on an 11-0 run that put them ahead 22-11.
In the second quarter Grapeland opened up a 17-point lead, but back-to-back treys by Lovelady's Hunter Murray quickly trimmed it back to an 11-point margin.
Lovelady closed out the second quarter with a 9-0 spurt that included three straight buckets by Alfred Simmons. A free throw by Lion Courtell McQuirter cut the lead to 38-32 at halftime
The Lions were still within seven late in the third quarter until Grapeland canned five unanswered points to carry a 55-43 advantage into the fourth.
Lovelady closed the gap to eight with 6:00 left but were unable to get any closer down the stretch.
The Sandies were led in double figures by Jaques Faulk with 26, Riley Chipman with 17 and Jason Walker with 11.
Simmons paced the Lions in double figures with 27 points, followed by Murray with 9 and Emanual Williams with 7.