CEDAR HILL — In a back-and-forth battle that went into overtime, the Alvarado Indians fell short in a 69-65 loss to Dallas Wilmer-Hutchins in a Class 4A bi-district playoff battle Monday night at Trinity Christian High School in Cedar Hill.
Alvarado (18-4) built a 10-point lead early in the third quarter but foul trouble kept the Indians from adding to their lead while Wilmer-Hutchins made its move.
Senior guard Will Johnson, Alvarado's leading scorer, picked up his fourth personal foul with 6:58 left in the third quarter after being called for his third charge of the night. Less than a minute later, fellow senior starter Kobe Webb was called for his fourth personal foul, so the Indians were down two key starters with essentially one full half of basketball to be played.
Wilmer-Hutchins took advantage by out-scoring the Indians 21-8 in the third quarter, including an 11-0 run, to take a five-point lead into the final frame.
Alvarado Coach Franscisco Islas inserted both Johnson and Webb back into the game late in the third quarter, but both players — especially Johnson — had to be careful not to pick up that fifth foul. However, Webb fouled out with 45 seconds left in the third quarter trying to block a shot on a Wilmer-Hutchins fastbreak after an Alvarado turnover.
Despite the foul issues, the Indians managed to battle back in the fourth and retake the lead at 54-51 with 2:47 left on a clutch corner 3-pointer by Aaron Bennett. Alvarado extended its lead to five points at 60-55 with just over a minute left on a pair of free throws from Ka'Lon Johnson.
Even though the Indians were seemingly in a good position, up five points with less than a minute to go, Alvarado struggled putting the Eagles away. In the final 51 seconds, the Indians went 1-of-3 on free throws and committed two costly turnovers — and those miscues allowed the Eagles to have a chance, which they took advantage of.
Wilmer-Hutchins' Gene Marshall scored with 41 seconds left to make it 60-57. After an Alvarado turnover, the Eagles pulled to within one point as Marhsall scored again with 33 seconds remaining.
After Will Johnson hit 1-of-2 free throws with 19 seconds left, Marshall scored on a third consecutive possession for the Eagles to tie it at 61 with 11 seconds left.
Following an Alvarado timeout, the Indians' shot at the buzzer bounced off the rim as the game went into overtime.
In the extra frame, Wilmer-Hutchins scored on two of its first three possessions to take a 65-61 lead. Ka'Lon Johnson made it a one-possession game at 65-63 with 2:01 left and Will Johnson hit two free throws with 1:13 left, but the Eagles answered each of those scores by hitting two free throws on back-to-back possessions to maintain their four-point lead.
Needing a quick answer, Alvarado committed a turnover in the final 20 seconds — with Will Johnson fouling out after the turnover — that sealed the Indians' fate.
Will Johnson helped the Indians get off to a fast start as he scored six points in the first 56 seconds of the game for an early 6-0 lead.
However, Wilmer-Hutchins finished the first quarter strong on an 11-2 run to take its first lead at 15-13. In the second quarter, Alvarado dictated play as the Indians out-scored the Eagles by 10 points to take a 31-23 lead into halftime.
Will Johnson capped off his brilliant high school career for the Indians with a 26 points, four rebounds and three assists. Ka'Lon Johnson had 15 points and six assists. Kaden Ford added 10 points and six rebounds.
Daunte Williams led Wilmer-Hutchins with 19 points while Marshall netted 11 points.