AUSTIN — The Evadale Rebels were stunned when Eula’s Jacob Archa drained an off-balance 3-pointer as time expired giving the Pirates a 54-51 come-from-behind win in the Class A-Division I state semifinals at the Frank Erwin Center on Thursday morning.
With the game tied at 51, Eula possessed the ball with 2.7 seconds at the baseline opposite of their own basket. Guard George Reyes received the throw-in near half-court and passed to Archa who not only stunned the Rebels and their fans, but the 4,631 in attendance.
Evadale finishes the season 21-16 while Eula (36-2) advances to the state championship game against Tenaha, who defeated Clarendon 72-59 earlier that morning, on Saturday at 8:30 a.m.
Eula led 17-11 after one quarter, but Evadale outscored the Pirates 28-18 in the middle two frames and took a 39-35 third quarter lead.
Foul trouble plagued the Rebels with senior Blane Duningan fouling out in the middle of the quarter, but Evadale had a commanding 48-40 lead with 4:20 remaining.
That’s when the state’s No. 3 team went on a 9-0 run, which gave them their first lead since late in the second quarter. Part of the Eula run was due to the fact the Rebels took several bad shots in three consecutive possessions.
Senior guard Deven Murphy, who led the Rebels in scoring with 15 points, made a spectacular shot of his own as he drained a fade-away 3-pointer in the corner with two defenders in his face to give Evadale a brief 51-49 lead with 39 ticks on the clock.
On the ensuing trip down the court, Kainon Irons tied the game with a jumper in the paint.
Other leading scorers for Evadale were seniors Tyler Tucker with 14 points and Adam Stark with 10. The Rebels shot 19-50 (.380) from the floor, which included 4-12 (.333) from 3-point range. They went 9-14 (.643) from the charity stripe and committed 15 turnovers.
Irons, a senior, was the only player for Eula to score in double figures as he scored a game-high 32 points.