Aledo scored more points in the fourth quarter than it did in the first three periods combined but it was not enough as Paschal held off the Bearcats, 52-49, Thursday night in the second round of the Moritz Dealerships Holiday Classic at Aledo High School.
The Bearcats will play next at 10:30 a.m. Friday against Arlington High School at the Aledo High School practice gym.
Aledo senior post Ayden Smith finished with a double double, pouring in 16 points and grabbing 10 rebounds.
With two minutes remaining in the game, Paschal held a 52-37 lead. But a layup by Austin Hawkins followed by a trey from Tre Owens cut the lead to 52-42. Paschal would turn the ball over on consecutive possessions, and Aledo made the Panthers pay.
Senior point guard Cameron Yates nailed a pair of free throws, and Smith scored on a put back to cut the Panthers’ lead to 52-46 with 41 seconds left to play.
However, after forcing a third Paschal turnover in a span of 27 seconds, the Bearcats turned the ball over. A late Paschal turnover gave Leo Bell a chance at a three-pointer behind the mid-court stripe, and as the buzzer sounded the ball found the bottom of the net as Paschal hung on for a three-point win.
Also scoring were Hawkins with 12 points, Bell with nine, Owens with five, Noah Arrington with four, Yates with two and Truen Johnson with one.
Paschal led 8-7 after the first quarter and 24-15 a the half. Scoring 14 points while holding Aledo to nine in the third period, Paschal took a 38-24 lead into the fourth quarter.
Smith scored half of his points in Aledo’s 25-point fourth quarter, but Paschal survived the Aledo comeback bid to advance to the tournament’s semifinals.