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SAN ANTONIO — A fast start and strong finish propelled Slidell to a 49-36 win over Jayton in the Class 1A state championship game Saturday, ending the Jaybirds’ best season ever one win shy of the ultimate prize.
Making their first state tournament appearance since 1955, the Greyhounds (33-8) used a 13-5 first quarter and an 18-9 fourth period to hold off a scrappy Jaybird squad.
Hunter Horner scored 12 points and Ben McCasland added 11 more to lead Slidell offensively. But it was tournament MVP Slayton Pruett who did most of the damage, hauling in 21 rebounds and blocking five Jayton shots to go with 10 points.
SAN ANTONIO — Prior to Thursday’s Class 3A state semifinal with Winnie East Chambers, Brock coach Zach Boxell was concerned enough over a Buccaneer full-court press that he made it a top priority in his game prep.
The extra effort paid off with a 58-49 Brock win at the Alamodome — pushing the Eagles (33-6) to Saturday’s state championship game where they will meet Dallas Madison (20-15) at 10 a.m. on Saturday.
SAN ANTONIO — For most of the second quarter in Thursday’s Class 1A state semifinal with Nazareth, Jayton’s Tye Scogin sat on the bench with a bloody nose after catching an inadvertent elbow from NHS’ Jake Gerber.
Scogin, however, would eventually get his chance, returning in the second half to deliver a game-winning shot in the lane as the buzzer sounded in a thrilling 38-37 win for the Jaybirds in the Alamodome.
You won’t find cupcakes at a butcher shop.
You won’t find them at the state basketball tournament either. In fact, the expiration date for easy-to-beat pastries usually doesn’t extend beyond the area round of the playoffs, depending on what the pairings dictate.
So when I say that Big Country representatives Brock (3A) and Jayton (1A) are in for a real challenge when they open play at the state tournament in San Antonio on Thursday, a shrug of the shoulders and a raise of the eyebrows is expected.
While it’s generally accepted that height and experience are advantages in basketball, the Jayton Jaybirds have managed to work around the fact that they have neither.
All the way to San Antonio.
Fielding a 14-man roster in the Region II-1A tournament over the weekend, no fewer than 12 Jaybirds who dressed at Abilene Christian University were listed as guards, and none of them stand taller than 6-foot-2.
SAN ANTONIO — With the game knotted at 48 in the final seconds of regulation, Wall’s Sawyer Lloyd canned a jumper as time expired to give the Lady Hawks a would-be 50-48 win over Mount Pleasant Chapel Hill in Thursday’s 3A state semifinal in the Alamodome.
There was, however, a problem — did the ball leave her hands before time expired?
After a few intense minutes of video replay study, game officials determined that Lloyd’s shot wasn’t released in time, forcing overtime where Chapel Hill eventually prevailed 53-49.
SAN ANTONIO — For the second straight year, the Hermleigh Lady Cardinals squared off with perennial power Nazareth in the Class 1A state semifinals.
And for the second straight year, HHS had difficulty keeping pace with Swiftettes, falling 48-17 on Thursday in the Alamodome.
Held to just 18 percent shooting, Hermleigh didn’t score a field goal until the 7:20 mark of the second quarter when a Makia Gonzales layup broke the Lady Cardinals’ cold spell. By that point, Hermleigh trailed 14-3 and never managed to cut the lead under single digits.
With the Texas High School equivalent to the Final Four kicking off in San Antonio with this week’s UIL state tournament, two Big Country representatives — Wall and Hermleigh — are among the survivors.
And as one might suspect, any further advancement will be a major challenge for both.
Ninth-ranked Hermleigh (30-5) will take the stage first, taking on top-ranked perennial power Nazareth (30-6) in a Class 1A state semifinal at 10 a.m. Thursday in the Alamodome.
Wall (32-1), ranked No. 1 in Class 3A, will hit the floor at 1:30 p.m. against No. 2 Mount Pleasant Chapel Hill (35-0).