AUSTIN -- With 15 seconds remaining in the 3A boys state semifinal game, Dallas A. Maceo Smith head coach John Burley called a timeout, moments away from an 80-60 loss to Corpus Christi West Oso.
The timeout served as a postscript to the school's "Last Chapter," the team's motto for the season, as Smith will be changed to a technology magnet school next year and the athletic program will be no more.
As the players stood on the sideline for those few seconds they applauded the fans that came to the Frank Erwin Center to show their support Thursday. It was also a tribute to the teams that had come before.
"I just wanted to take a minute to recognize the support," Burley said. "It's been a long time, maybe never, in which A. Maceo Smith sports mattered. I just wanted to recognize everyone."
Smith traded blows with Oso throughout the first half and went to the locker room trailing by six. Oso came out in the second half and buried Smith with a hot shooting touch, hitting 76 percent from the field and 75 percent from behind the arc.
"They shot the ball much better than we anticipated," Burley said. "We were keying on Willie Harper … and a couple other guys made some shots we didn't expect."
Harper finished with 18 points, and Robert Watson and Micah Cooper each had a game-high 20 for Oso, which had five players score in double-figures.
"We got here because we worked hard," Cooper said.
The last page of Smith's Cinderella story had to be turned, and in the end, the emotion of the situation proved too much for the Falcons to overcome.
"It’s been an incredible experience," Burley said. "We've had some emotional wins along the way. Maybe the lights were too big, maybe we were emotional but we ran out of gas."