Andy Zavoina/FME News Service

Temple’s Luke Law (right) defends Copperas Cove’s Bryce Smith in Temple’s 71-52 win earlier Tuesday at Hewitt Midway’s MT Rice Tournament.

HEWITT – Daron Washington scored all of his team-high 14 points in the first half, including a half-court buzzer beater to close the second quarter, and Hewitt Midway defeated Temple 59-42 on Tuesday night in a gold bracket semifinal at the 60th annual MT Rice Tournament.

The host Panthers (16-5) advanced to face Mansfield Summit today in the final. The Wildcats (12-10) will play for third place against College Station A&M Consolidated at 1:30 p.m. today back at Midway Arena.

Temple reached Tuesday’s semifinal first by pocketing a pair of quality and close victories in pool play Monday over Manor (64-61) and Nacogdoches (49-47) before rolling past District 12-6A foe Copperas Cove, 71-52, earlier Tuesday.

Luke Law and Quinton Anderson each had 15 points, Jaylon Hall 14 and Devan Williams nine in the victory over the Bulldawgs that avenged the Wildcats’ 66-58 setback versus Cove in the teams’ league opener Dec. 21.

The scoring, though, was less prolific against the Panthers in the nightcap when Temple was 15-of-39 shooting from the floor and trailed by double digits during the game’s final 22 minutes. Hall finished with a team-high 19 points. Lawrence Auston and Jaydon Hall each had six points.

The Panthers used their sizable post players and accurate-enough perimeter shooting to generate point production against an always hard-working Temple defense, which produced 13 turnovers.

Guard Lawyer Jones added 13 points, and posts Caden Powell (6-foot-10) and Cole Reid (6-8) each chipped in eight points for Midway, which shot 21-of-48 from the floor.

Each team took 15 free throws. Temple made nine and Midway 12.

The Panthers led by as much as seven in the first quarter and carried a 16-10 lead into the second.

Washington, a senior guard, rebounded a Temple miss with about 3.8 seconds remaining until halftime, dribbled to the half-court stripe and heaved a shot at the buzzer for his fourth made 3 of the half that capped an 18-5 edge for Midway in the second quarter and provided a 34-15 cushion at the break.

The lead was as much as 24 in the second half.

Temple resumes district action Jan. 4 against Belton.

Hewitt Midway 59, Temple 42

Temple 10 5 10 17 — 42

Midway 16 18 14 11 — 59

Temple (12-10) — Jayl. Hall 19, Auston 6, Jayd. Hall 6, Law 5, Sewell 2, Maxwell 2, Anderson 2.

Midway (16-5) — Washington 14, Jones 13, Powell 8, Reid 8, Whitley 7, McDade 5, Homes 2, Platt 2.