GAME STORY: No. 1 Graford too much for youthful Gordon in Region III-1A semifinals

MANSFIELD — Should the Graford Jackrabbits be fortunate enough to hang a second consecutive Class 1A state championship banner on the gymnasium wall this winter, they should probably assign the task to Colin Roberts. Friday night, he certainly stood tall enough to manage that feat and many others.

Despite missing a good stretch of the second half in foul trouble, the Jackrabbits’ 6-foot-8 talented center scored 20 points and collected 12 rebounds to lead Graford to a 61-37 win over upstart Gordon. As a result, the consensus “team to beat” heading into the Region III-1A semifinals, is likely the team to beat in Saturday’s final, when Graford meets Huckabay at 2 p.m. at Mansfield High School after the Indians defeated Dodd City 56-44 in overtime.

Gordon started four freshmen against the Jackrabbits, a collective David vs. the giant that is Roberts. And, while the Longhorns battled gamely for a quarter, Graford’s big man, along with ample assistance from teammate Brad Lemley (17 points and 12 rebounds, as well), proved too much for the region’s Cinderella. Graford outscored Gordon 49-25 over the final three periods to take another step at earning the big trophy that is awarded the state’s best team at the end of the season.

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