GAINESVILLE — Poor free throw shooting put Gainesville in a hole in the first half, but the Leopards were almost perfect from the charity stripe in the second half to rally for a 47-44 win over the Krum Bobcats Tuesday at the GHS gym.
Gainesville (9-6 overall, 1-0 district) trailed 22-15 at halftime, but went 10 of 11 from the foul line in the second half. Senior David Moore poured in 10 of his game-high 25 points in the fourth quarter to help the Leopards open District 9-3A play with a win.
The Leopards, who drew a bye to start district play and had not played in a week, looked rusty in the first half. They not only struggled from the foul line, but missed several easy looks inside including a missed breakaway dunk.
Krum (9-19, 0-2) took advantage, racing out to a 13-6 lead after the first quarter. Their biggest lead of the game came early in the second period as Ely Sanchez scored to put the Bobcats ahead by nine.
Gainesville went nearly five minutes without a point until a three-point play by Denzel Johnson brought the Leopards within six. The home team eventually got within three (18-15), but Krum closed the half with back-to-back buckets by Tanner Rankin to take a 22-15 lead into halftime.
The lead swelled back to nine early in the third period, but the Leopards started to find their offensive rhythm. Chance Sikes hit a running one-handed shot, Johnson and Moore both hit a pair of free throws and Ashton Neu scored inside as the deficit was cut back to three. DeQuan Wilford later scored inside and Jonathan Mendez followed with a bucket as Gainesville took their first lead (30-29) with 52 seconds left in the third quarter.
After Krum regained the lead, a conventional three-point play by Moore with just two seconds left in the third tied things up at 33-33 going into the final eight minutes.
The game went back and forth for the next four minutes. Krum took a 39-37 lead with just over four minutes remaining, but a steal and layup by Moore tied things up.
The game was still tied 41-41 as the clock ticked under two minutes when Moore scored again to put Gainesville ahead by two. Demetrius Franklin then hit two free throws to push the GHS lead to four, but Zach Hughes banked in a 3-pointer with 35 seconds remaining to pull Krum back within one.
But with 15 seconds remaining, Moore was fouled and calmly hit both free throws to make it 47-44. Krum had a couple of shots in the final seconds, but neither went in and the Leopards escaped with the win.
Moore finished with 25 points, Mendez added 7, Johnson had 5, Franklin scored 4, and Sikes, Neu and Wilford each added 2.
For Krum, Travis White led the way with 17 points and Rankin added 10.
Gainesville will go on the road Friday to face the Bridgeport Bulls.
The Gainesville JV fell to Krum 41-35. Devin Mims had 16 points for the Leopards, while Josh Manuel added 9, Carlos Bias had 7 and Demarius Farr added 3.