Freshman's 24 points lead Goldthwaite boys past Three Rivers in area playoff

Mike Lee
Special to the Bulletin
A general view of an NBA basketball.

SPRING BRANCH -- Freshman Luke Sanderson scored 24 points, and senior Jackson Patrick added 18 points Friday night as the Goldthwaite Eagles beat the Three Rivers Bulldogs 49-44 in a Class 2A boys' area basketball game.

District 29-2A runner-up Goldthwaite (20-12) advanced to play Falls City (11-4) in next week's regional quarterfinals. Falls City, which upset Port Aransas on Friday, started basketball late because it finished as the state runner-up in football in December. Three Rivers finished 11-15.

Sanderson scored 14 of his 24 points in the second half, including five straight points midway through the fourth quarter when the Eagles rallied and took the lead for good. The Bulldogs committed turnovers on four straight fourth-quarter possessions, and Sanderson made a free throw and two mid-range jump shots to rally Goldthwaite to a 43-40 lead with 4:26 to play.

Goldthwaite forward Cason Guthrie converted another Three Rivers turnover into an inside basket as the Eagles extended their lead to 45-40 with 4:03 left.

The Eagles spread the floor with 2:20 left and added a layup by Patrick. Two free throws by Sanderson gave Goldthwaite a 49-44 lead with 11 seconds to go and clinched the game.

Patrick scored 16 of his 18 points in the first half as the Eagles led by as much as 21-10 before settling for a 28-24 halftime lead.