We’re a week into postseason play and the fields have been narrowed to 32 teams statewide in each classification.
Following the regional quarterfinals on Monday and Tuesday evening, we’ll be in the Texas equivalent to the Sweet 16, where regional titles will be decided in far-flung places all over the state.
Let’s take a quick peek at what this week has to offer in the Big Country:
Top Upcoming Matchups: Brock (29-7) vs. Nocona (20-8); Jim Ned (33-3) vs. Bowie (18-11); Haskell (30-3) vs. Christoval (23-10); Albany (23-10) vs. Stamford (25-7) and Eula (29-6) vs. Huckabay (29-4) headline this week’s regional quarterfinal matchups.
Elsewhere, San Saba (35-3) vs. Hearne (18-13); Santa Anna (22-7) vs. Veribest (24-10); Highland vs. Aspermont; Blackwell (29-6) vs. Water Valley (15-9); Hermleigh (23-7) vs. Guthrie (23-7) and Priddy (22-8) vs. Lipan (30-3) will also determine who moves on to the regional round.
What are the Big Country teams with the best shot of getting to San Antonio? I’ll go with Jim Ned in Class 3A, Haskell and San Saba in 2A and Hermleigh in 1A.
Last Week’s Top Results: In Class 2A, Big Country reps Haskell, Albany and Stamford all advanced with wins. Haskell eliminated Plains 70-51; Albany dropped Wink 57-51 and Stamford ended Sundown’s season 49-40.
The bad news, from a Big Country perspective, is that Albany and Stamford will square off this week, guaranteeing the loss (and advancement) of at least one area club.
Having witnessed Brock’s 52-40 win to eliminate Eastland in the area round, I was struck by the mental toughness displayed by EHS. The Lady Mavs were down by as many as 16 points, yet remained competitive from start to finish. Most clubs would have phoned it in while trailing Brock by double digits in the third quarter. But Eastland showed some championship attitude and coach Troy Doyle deserves credit for bringing the program to this point.
Surprise of the Week: Bowie’s 50-45 upset of Cisco, a No. 1 seed, was a bit of bad news for the area. This was somewhat suprising, but not shocking, giving that Bowie had upset highly regarded Peaster in the bi-district round.