By BRAD KEITH
BRECKENRIDGE (December 29, 2016) — Dublin’s run-and-gun style can be imposing for most opponents in any single-game setting.
But by the end of six games in a three-day period, it was hard even for the Lions to maintain.
Cisco (13-6) used a 26-3 run third quarter run to take a 14-point lead into the fourth quarter and held off a hard Dublin charge to get within six in a 72-63 upset of the Lions in the championship of the Breckenridge Lions Club Tournament.
The upset came just two days after Dublin (14-5) defeated the Loboes 84-64 in pool play. Cisco reached the final despite going 4-2 in the tournament, while Dublin was 5-1.
The big Cisco run culminated with a top-of-the key 3, four fast break layups, a left-corner 3 and a offensive put-back to open up a 55-41 lead entering the fourth, despite the Lions leading by nine at intermission.
Offensive rebounds were the key for Cisco, which hit three second-chance 3-pointers in the game in addition to a number of put-backs in the paint.
The 3-pointers that were falling throughout the tournament and even earlier Thursday were meeting the front of the rim – just short – in the finale, when Dublin’s running style seemed to catch up with them.
The Lions did catch an adrenaline rush and make a run of it late. A Rayce Jackson 3 cut it to 60-55 with 4:09 still to go, and it was 65-60 after a 3-point play by Brayden Burleson with 2:29 left.
But Cisco scored the next four to lead by nine, and was ahead by at least six for all of the remaining 1:55.
Burleson led the Lions with 15 in the loss, while Brady Moore scored 10 to finish with 132 points in six tournament games. Jackson also scored 10 for the Lions, while Gabe Garcia, Trask Brown and Jeremiah Martinez each added eight.
Cisco led by as many as five early on, 18-13, thanks largely to offensive rebounds and Dublin missing short on a number of 3-point tries. But the Lions erupted for a big run in the second quarter, scoring eight straight for a 21-18 lead that forced a Cisco timeout midway through the period.
It was a 13-2 run and a 26-20 Lions lead before Cisco buried a right corner 3, but Dublin answered just seconds later with a left corner triple of its own, and the game took on a track-meet style that favored Dublin the rest of the half.
The Lions led 36-27 at intermission, and that was with Moore and Jackson combining for just nine points over the opening 16 minutes. Burleson scored eight before the break and Brown added seven.
Dublin reached the championship by thumping Vernon, 94-73, in a semifinal earlier Thursday. Jackson got loose in transition time and again and scored 27 points, 21 of those by halftime when the Lions had already amassed 55 points.
Moore had 16 at halftime and 25 by the end of the Vernon game, when Dublin hit seven 3-pointers, three of them by Josh Hanes. He finished with 11, Burleson netted 13 and Garcia had 10.
It was a single-digit game and Vernon appeared as ready to run and gun as Dublin until a 15-0 run helped Dublin open up a 52-29 lead in the battle of Lions. Vernon cut it to 19 by halftime and eventually trimmed its deficit to 10 in the fourth quarter, but the Lions pulled away seven Moore free throws down the stretch.
The Lions played six times in the tournament, which for them began at 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday. They defeated Jacksboro, 83-64, and Cisco, 84-64, on Tuesday, then knocked off Albany, 71-69, and Breckenridge, 71-62, on Wednesday.
Dublin returns to the court Monday, January 2, at San Saba. Tipoff is about 3 p.m. following a junior varsity contest.