WATSON — For the second time in as many District 4-5A games, the Walker High School boys basketball team found themselves in a tightly contested battle when the final clutch moments arrived.
For the second time, the Wildcats had the answers.
Walker improved to 2-0 in district play Friday night at Live Oak when Le Davis knocked down a 3-pointer from the left wing with two seconds remaining for a 51-49 victory.
The Wildcats extended their winning streak to 11 games, including a 43-42 overtime win against Central on Tuesday in the district opener.
“That’s another testament to my team and their perseverance,” Walker coach Anthony Schiro said. “They don’t ever quit, they don’t ever give up. They never stop playing hard. We got the turnovers when we needed them. We made the baskets when we needed them.
“It was a back-and-forth game — a great high-school game. We hit the big shot at the end.”
The shot by Davis capped a 6-0 run by the Wildcats in the final 35 seconds as they overcame a four-point deficit by forcing three Live Oak turnovers and converting them into points.
Josh Cook scored on a no-look pass from Hampton to make it 49-47 following the first of those turnovers and then, six seconds later, hit one of two free throws set up by a Davis steal. Jacobi Scott then forced a jump ball with 21 seconds showing to give Walker possession again and help set the stage for the winning basket.
On the game-deciding play, Hampton drove into the lane and kicked to Davis for the open look from long distance.
“I can’t explain it,” Davis said of the winning shot. “I was just there at the right time.”
Davis finished with a game-high 15 points when he hit his second 3 of the night and provided the game’s 13th lead change.
Hampton had 13 points for the Wildcats (19-4) and Cook scored 11.
Cody Fontenot, who led a balanced Live Oak attack with 10 points, had a chance to win it for the Eagles (14-9) but was short on his own 3-pointer as the buzzer sounded.
Live Oak was again left to wonder what could have been after falling in the final seconds for the second time in as many district games.
“We’ve got to learn to win those,” Live Oak coach Gary Duhe said. “We’ve got to turn that around. We do a few things different and we’re 2-0 in the district and leading the league.”
Walker led by seven early in the second quarter before Live Oak connected on three 3-pointers to help give the Eagles a 21-20 advantage.
Hampton broke a 23-23 tie when he beat the first-half buzzer with a runner in the lane.
Neither team led by more than four points the rest of the way.
Live Oak matched its largest lead of the night when Fonentot scored on an inbounds play to make it 49-45 with one minute remaining.
Unfazed, the Wildcats rallied to escape with their second narrow win of the young district season.
That they managed to make only 12 of 28 free throws on the night became a mere footnote.
“We got lucky to have an opportunity,” Schiro said, “and we made the most of it. I’ll take the win.”