SOUTHLAKE, Texas -- William Brown didn't panic when Southlake Carroll blew a huge lead in the final minutes against Keller Fossil Ridge on Tuesday.
He did what the veteran leader of a team is counted on to do -- he won the game.
Brown hit 3-pointer at the final buzzer to help Carroll escape with a 60-57 win over Fossil Ridge and avoid what would have been an ugly collapse for a team looking to make its first playoff appearance since 2007.
Carroll (15-8, 5-1) stays in first place of District 7-5A with the win while the loss drops Fossil Ridge (13-8, 3-3) to fifth.
"I knew the ball needed to be in my hands," Brown said. "I was going to take the last shot. Things weren't falling earlier but the last one was a big shot."
Fossil Ridge never had a lead and trailed most of the game by double digits, but after falling behind 57-44, the Panthers went on an improbable 13-0 run to tie the game.
Steven Cooks, who led Fossil Ridge with 17 points, hit back-to-back 3-pointers to get things started, and Nate Jackson sank a pair of free throws to tie it at 57 with under a minute remaining.
"We were being pretty sloppy with the ball there," Brown said of the final minutes. "We were turning it over and not taking good shots. We knew we had them beat the whole game but they started climbing back and things started going their way."
But Brown showed the veteran poise that radiates through the entire team and has put it in position to not only contend for a playoff spot, but win the district despite not having a single player with playoff experience.
Brown, who finished with 21 points, collected a loose ball and made the game-winning shot as time expired.
"You don't want to say he's going to make that shot, but I got a lot of confidence if it's in his hands," said Carroll head coach Jon Youngblood. "He's fighting flu symptoms right now. He was in bed all day so he showed a lot of guts just coming out and competing."
It didn't look like the game would get that close when it started. Carroll jumped out to a 9-0 lead less than two minutes into the first quarter and led by as many as 17 in the third quarter.
Despite having extreme difficulties getting to the rim off the dribble against Carroll's man defense, Fossil Ridge hung around thanks to excellent long-range shooting. The Panthers hit 10 3-pointers in the game, accounting for more than half their points.