Seniors spark Cavs past Rebels, into tie for district lead

With a third straight district championship on the line, Lake Travis’ seniors weren’t about to let eight bad minutes ruin a month’s worth of hard work.

On senior night, Lake Travis (25-5, 13-3 in District 14-6A) opened up a 32-20 halftime lead only to watch Hays storm back into the game with a 16-3 run to open the second half. The Cavaliers used their own run, a 17-0 spurt in the fourth quarter, to pull away for a 68-50 win, claiming at least a share of the school’s third straight district title.

“I thought we got lazy on defense and we might have gotten a little arrogant,” senior guard Tate Searle said after Hays turned a big deficit into a third quarter lead against Lake Travis. ‘They brought us back to earth pretty quickly.”

Charles Bohanon scored seven straight points as Hays (18-7, 12-3) started quickly in the third quarter. Then Jake Krafka went to work, scoring eight straight, including a three-pointer off Bohanon’s feed, to give Hays its first lead since the game’s early moments.

“We stopped taking good shots,” Lake Travis coach Clint Baty said of his team’s third quarter troubles. “We thought we needed to hurry and shoot. We were getting to good places but we hurried and we stopped working for good shots.”

Searle, held scoreless in the third quarter after scoring 13 in the first half, turned to classmate Jake Budde and urged him to drive to the basket. He responded with a three-point play, a lay-up and an assist on senior Danny Rivara’s basket as Lake Travis took a 46-43 lead into the final quarter.

Hays drew even when Krafka hit a three-pointer while getting fouled with 6:51 left. He couldn’t convert the four-point play, and Lake Travis didn’t waste another opportunity. The Rebels didn’t score again from the floor and Lake Travis went back to attacking the basket relentlessly.

“We got our aggressiveness back,” Searle said. “We urged Jake to attack and it was all downhill for them.”

Senior Christian Seidl converted Rivara’s pass into a three-point play to regain the lead, and Budde added another hoop-and-harm. When Searle knocked down a three-pointer off Budde’s feed and added a backdoor layup off an inbounds pass from Seidl, the Cavaliers suddenly led 57-46.

“Jake drove to the basket, Tate hit some open shots and Danny made some things happen around the rim,” Baty said. “And they started to hurry and we were able to take advantage and get some easy baskets.”

The Rebels scored just seven fourth-quarter points. Searle scored 12 by himself in the quarter and the Cavaliers cruised home. He finished with a game-high 25 points, making five of six three-pointers. He also added five rebounds, two assists and two steals. Budde added 14 points. Seidl had 11 and Rivara and Sean Wimbush combined for 15 inside. Rivara also blocked three shots. All of Lake Travis’ points came from seniors.

Krafka scored 18 points to lead the Rebels. Bohanon scored 10.

“It makes us feel great after a couple of bumps in the road,” Baty said of the title. “We had to recover a bit and we did it.”

Lake Travis finished the regular season on a five-game win streak and has won seven of its last eight games. Hays must win against Del Valle Tuesday to share the title. A Del Valle win gives Lake Travis the title by itself.

“It’s awesome,” Searle said of this third district title in as many varsity seasons. “It didn’t look like that would be the case a few games ago, but we fought back and it was awesome to finish on a good note.”