They lost their head coach hours before tipoff. They lost their playoff hopes seconds before the final buzzer.
The Temple Wildcats were eliminated from postseason contention, done in by a furious comeback by the College Station Cougars, who escaped Wildcat Gym with a 48-46 win Friday night.
“It’s frustrating knowing we aren’t going to the playoffs,” Temple senior guard Wesley Sheppard said. “We had this thing going the last two years … get in the playoffs. That’s a downer.”
The Wildcats were without head coach Quinton Gibson, instead guided by assistant coach David Melvin, a Temple graduate who has coached in Temple for 11 years and previously served as the head coach at Bruceville-Eddy.
“I found out about fifth period,” Melvin said of learning he would coach the game, without elaborating on why Gibson was absent.
Regardless of Gibson’s status, the Wildcats (12-19, 2-7 District 18-5A) won’t be making the playoffs.
“The kids are in the locker room hurt,” Melvin said. “They bled their hearts and bled their souls. It hurts a little to lose this.”