Idalou Hangs on to Beat Tatum 55-54 in Texas Class 2A Title Thriller

Idalou (33-1) and Tatum (32-8) battled Saturday afternoon at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin for Class 2A supremacy, with Idalou finally emerging victorious 55-54.

Close throughout, neither team was able to outscore the other by more than a point in each quarter, resulting in a nail-biting finish in the fourth.

Idalou, located less than 15 miles northeast of Lubbock, was able to build a 50-42 lead midway through the fourth quarter, but Tatum fought back to 54-50 with a minute left behind an 'And 1' layup from Dylan Starling.

Another layup from Nathan Pickett with 18 seconds remaining chopped the lead in half for Tatum.

When Riley Payne was only able to convert one free throw for Idalou, Tatum had a shot to tie the game with 17 seconds left.

Tatum's Neil Harkless missed a three-point attempt with three seconds left making Desmond Fite's layup as time expired inconsequential.

Riley Payne, a 6-foot-4 junior forward, led Idalou with 22 points and six rebounds.

Bradley Adkins, a 6-2 junior guard, and Luke Buckner, a 6-4 senior forward, had 11 and 10 points respectively for Idalou. Buckner also added 12 rebounds.

Desmond Fite led Tatum, a school about an hour west of Shreveport, Louisiana, with 21 points and eight rebounds.

Kendall Bell had 16 points and Dylan Starling added 11 points and 10 boards in the loss.

Idalou's boys basketball team joins its football team as state champions in a rare feat.

Tatum was playing for the school's first boys basketball title and knocked off both the number one and two ranked teams in Class 2A in back-to-back contests.

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