Splendora carved out a special place in Texas high school basketball history earlier in January when the Wildcats somehow scored nearly as many points in the fourth quarter as they had in an entire game to rally past a game Tarkington basketball squad.
Yet that scoring outburst wasn’t even the the whole story: The Wildcats also completely shut out fellow suburban Houston squad Tarkington while embarking on their own offensive explosion en route to a remarkable 47-44 win.
“We just fed off of the energy toward the end (of the game),” Jason Vela, Splendora’s longtime head coach, told the Cleveland Advocate.
Clearly there was more than that. The Wildcats trailed Tarkington, which is located in Cleveland, 44-28 with just eight minutes remaining in the contest. By the time the game was nearing its final minute, the score was tied and Splendora knew that another stop might very well give them a shot to win the game.
The stop came, and then so did the shot, with perimeter gunner Tommy Collins connecting on a three to cap the remarkable 19-0 run.
There have been bigger comebacks at times across the year, but few that came as suddenly or unexpectedly as Splendora’s. Needless to say, the rally was a cautionary tale about never thinking that an opponent is put away … and never giving up. Which of those messages rings more true is entirely a matter of one’s own perception.