Area 5A Playoff Round Up

Bryan 68 Garland Naaman Forest 58

San Antonio Judson 52 Austin Akins 38

Senior F Thurman McNeil controlled the boards, especially on the offensive end as he kept the Akins guards from getting out and running.

Laredo United 63 Weslaco 41
2010 PG Daniel Rosas strong leadership and 3 point shooting has Laredo United on a collision course with Converse Wagner. United gave the T Birds their only loss of the season over the Christmas holidays.

Converse Wagner 77 Pflugerville 75
2010 Jordan Clarkson (Tulsa) scored 28 to lead the T Birds into the next round v San Antonio Churchill.

2010 “Cleveland” Smith had 28 points for Pflugerville but their furious 4th quarter rally fell just short to Wagner. Cleve now prepares for his college life. He has signed with Lamar in the Southland Conference.

Austin Bowie 69 San Antonio Clark 55
2010 G Jason Brickman (below, courtesy of ClarkCougarSports.com) had 26 points. It was not enough, and now his basketball life moves from the high school level to Long Island University. We wish him well.

2011 P Connor Robinson keeps plugging away and putting up big numbers. He led Bowie to the win with 27 points and 10 boards, many of them during a pivotal late 3rd, early 4th quarter run that put Clark away. 2010 P Deandre Perry did a great job of keeping high scoring wing, Elhad Emmerllahu to only 5 points in the game.

San Antonio Churchill 77 Victoria Memorial 52

2012 PG Scott Mammel had 18 and 2011 P Clark Lammert 19 for the the Chargers who must now face Wagner in the next round.

Cen Tex Area 4A Playoff Round Up

Dripping Springs 77 San Antonio Alamo Heights 63 Double OT
Apparently 2010 Daniel Alexander (Texas A&M) is not ready to be an Aggie yet. Alexander fouled out with 19 points and 17 rebounds and the rest of his Tiger team mates rose up to send them into the 3rd round. Alexander will match up against summer team mate, Jonathan Perry as Drip will take on Kerrville Tivy on Tuesday.

Del Valle 49 Humble Kingwood Park 36
Senior jumping jack, 5’9″ Rodney Lee led the Cardinals with 12 points and the W.
Austin Lake Travis 49 Schertz Steele 42
2010 W Zach Karczewski had 15 to lead Air Cav ( photo courtesy Mark Schultz)


Kerrville Tivy 60 Pflugerville Hendrickson 56 OT
201o Jonathan Perry scored 26 points to lead Tivy over Hendrickson in OT. The two time All Region Player (shown below with the Texas D-1 Ambassadors) outdueled 2011 PG Jalen Harris who had 20 for the Hawks.

Austin LBJ 70 Boerne Champion 51 No details

San Antonio Jay 62 Edinburg North 41 GIRLS

San Antonio Jay’s Kiara Taylor helped lead the John Jay Mustangs to a lopsided win over Edinburg North. Taylor’s brother, Dejon plays for Iowa Lakes (IA) CC.

As my friends on the West side like to say, John Jay, “Still The Stable of Champions”.

Austin Bowie 69 San Antonio Clark 56

Clark takes a 14-11 1st quarter lead on aggressive play by 2010 F Elhad Emerllahu and 2011 F Ainsely Benjamin. benjamin had 6 first quarter boards.

Things opened up in the 2nd quarter as Bowie began finding guys cutting to the hole for easy buckets. Nobody does this better than them. Bowie built a 5 point lead as 2011 Connor Robinson controlled the boards for his crew. He has 7 boards at the half. A late flurry of triples from Clark sends them to the dressing room up 30-29 at the break. Hard nosed D by Bowie has caused several turnovers and Clark finds themselves down 39-32 with 4:51 left in the 3rd. Timeout, Clark! Clark has scrapped back from being down 42-32 to make it 42-41 with 1:15 left in the 3rd. 46-41 at the end of three as that period was owned offensively by Robinson with 12 points and 3 boards.

51-41 Bowie with 6:24 left. You cannot let Baxter get up a head of steam because he will get to the rack and FINISH. Baxter picks up is 4th foul with 6:00 left. Bowie 56-47 with a little over 4 minutes left. Bowie is in the bonus. And just like that, two layups by Tre Lindsey give Bowie a 60-47 lead with 3 minutes left. Clark was forced to foul and Bowie was flawless at the line. Nice win, great fundamental basketball.

Converse Judson 52 Austin Akins 38

Coach Wacker has put 7 footer Stuart Lagerson up a little bit higher than normal defensively and in the 1st quarter he already has 2 blocks and has altered Akins thinking a number of times on how deep they attack to the rim. Judson has hit shots and lead 19-8 after the 1st.

At the half, Judson is up 33-18. Akins is getting outplayed right now with Judson getting a lot of offensive boards as well as nice dimes from PG Mike Stewart. The light at the end of the tunnel for Akins may be the foul count v Judson. Senior tevin Russell has 6 pts and 2 fouls while Senior Thurman McNeil has 8 pts and 7 rebounds (but also has picked up 2 fouls ). McNeil has been the spark, getting offensive put backs. A huge triple from 30 feet out at the buzzer by Akins’ Kevin McFarlane may give the Eagles a spark. We’ll see if that lights a fire.

At the end of 3 quarters Judson leads 42-30 Mike Stewart scored the first 6 points of the stanza, then Akins went on a 9-0 run. The foul count is low, at 3 a piece so this one has a ways to go before anyone gets to the bonus. 2011 G Yolonzo Moore hits two threes to start the 4th, one of them from way downtown…BANG. Judson timeout with 7:18 to play. Akins cut it to 43-38 but the story of the game was a possession just after that where Judson got 3 offensive boards. They controlled the glass, and thus the game. Judson’s Thurman McNeil was the big difference with 13 points and 12 rebounds. Credit PG Mike Stewart for taking care of the basketball. Experience wins out. Nice win, Judson!

Tonight’s Big Cen Tex Games

Is it any coincidence that of these six teams competing tonight in the Centex area’s marquee games are home to many of the better coaches in the area. Bowies’ Celester Collier & Akins David Peavey have had time in the college ranks, while old hand Steve Sylestine of Clark returns to the boys game after a hiatus from past perennial powerhouse San Antonio John Jay.

Wily Mike Wacker, and Pflugerville’s Mike Murphy were team mates back in the day for the Texas Longhorns. Along with their size and commanding presence, that’s where the similarities end as Wacker’s Judson Rockets aim to control the game in a deliberate fashion while Murphy gives his guards freedom to “go get ’em”. The young buck of the group, Wagner’s Cliff Ellis (a former Wacker protege’) has the deepest collection of athletes, perhaps in the entire State…and he’s going to force the tempo with their full court pressure and wave of hungry 6 footers off the bench looking to cause havoc in the other team’s backcourt.

The beauty of high school basketball is that on any given night 16 and 17 year old kids can break your heart or lift you up. I reserve the right to not be responsible for my predictions…lol

San Antonio Clark v. Austin Bowie

This should be a dandy. Clark has nice weapons in Emerllahu & PG Jason Brickman (Long Island) as well as a good supporting cast led by emerging 2011 W Ainsley Benjamin. On the other hand, Bowie brings super soph PG Paul Baxter who plays above the rim, and a host of lunch pail cats like 2010 P Deandre Perry (Houston-football) & 2011 P Connor Robinson who just gets the job done. Sylestine will not allow their D to get pinned high side as SA Reagan’s did time after time v Bowie on Tuesday. Everybody’s going to have to work for this one. Who can forget Clark’s loss at the buzzer to Pflugerville last year? This year, Clark wins at the buzzer.

San Antonio Clarks’s Elhad Emerllahu won’t equal his career high 37 against Bowie’s amoeba D, the 2-3 matchup zone. However, he will cause them problems inside as well as out. (Photo courtesy of ClarkCougarSports.com)

Bowie is the penultimate “team” with many guys capable of playing their role or also stepping up to carry the team. Below, 2010 W Tre Lindsey could have the hot hand from the perimeter.

Austin Akins v Converse Judson
Akins 1st playoff win in school history over mighty Madison has them as Coach Max’s Cinderella story in this year’s playoffs. I’m going to stick with them even though they face a battle hardened, playoff savvy Judson team. Judson must get superior ballhandling from PG Mike Stewart in order to control pace. Even though Akins likes to run, Coach Wacker will have none of that. Patience and shot selection will decide if Akins advances. Akins by 4.
Malcolm Canada was flat nasty in Akins 1st round win over San Antonio Madison. His 3 free throws to tie it and force overtime were clutch. He won’t get to the rack quite as easily v. Judson though.
Converse Wagner v Pflugerville
If there’s one team that doesn’t mind running with Wagner, it’s The Ville. High major prospect Deon Mitchell when “on” is devastatingly good from the perimeter as well as effective getting to the rim. Wagner counters with Tulsa signee Jordan Clarkson. Wagner boast a host of role players in their full court up tempo game. Watch out for Pflugerville’s Jarrell Turner. He sank one with no time on the clock last year to beat San Antonio Clark, so he must be accounted for. The key is can Pflugerville control 6’7″ Andre Roberson on the boards? It’s not going to be easy. Wagner by 7.
Lamar signee Demetris “Cleveland” Smith needs to come out with his motor running high on all cylinders for Pflugerville to stop Wagner.

Wagner’s Andre Roberson will try and control the boards. He’ll need to clean up with trash buckets to keep the Panthers from running it right back at the favored T Birds.

ESPN is featuring a story on the New Mexico Lobos & Junior Darrington “Butta” Hobson. The Texas D-1 Ambassador leads the Lobos in three categories. He’s averaging 15.6 Points, 4.8 Assists, and 8.8 Rebounds per game.

Texas D-1 Ambassador Darrington Hobson stars for the New Mexico Lobos.

The 6’7″ lefty had NBA range as a high schooler and great court vision. He was part of that Texas D-1 Ambassadors team who beat the Portland Legends (with future NBA players Kevin Love & Kyle Singler) by almost 20 points on Center Court in the Las Vegas Easter Tournament in the April of 2005. Hobson was living in Houston at the time with his mother and attended now defunct Gulf Shores Academy. He subsequently reclassified to the Class of 2007.

Hobson is at once a lovable, but maddening guy who drove myself and Coach Mark Beasley nutty. But you had to love him, such as when he’d make me blow a gasket in the huddle, he’d grin and just rub my little bald head. lol Great memories folks, great memories!

Another Texas D-1 Ambassador, 2007 A.J. Hardeman of Del Valle is also starting for the Lobos filling mostly a rebounding & shotblocking role.

In the Mock NBA Draft of 2011, the Texas D-1 Ambassadors will have two likely picks. 2009 John Henson is pegged at #3 overall, while Hobson is expected to go midway through the 2nd Round.

Coach Max’s 1st Round Playoff Report Card/Round 2 Predicted Winners

There’s an old saying that’s better to be quiet and have folks THINK you’re a fool, instead of speaking and having them KNOW it. As most folks know, I’ve never been a shrinking violet while at the same time I can laugh at myself.
Out of 64 1st round, games in 4A, I predicted 51 of them correctly. 80%. I pegged 15/16 in Region 2. Bet my buddy, Glenn Smith of DFW Metroplex Hoops didn’t get that many right..lol
Out of 64 1st round games in 5A, I predeicted 41 of 64 correctly. 61%. Several key upsets kept me to 9-16 in Region 2 while I was 12-16 in Region 4 (My Home Region). About 70%.

2nd Round Predicted Winners 5A

Region 1 Arlington Bowie El Paso Hanks Dallas Jesuit Flower Mound Marcus

Region 1 North Crowley El Paso Americas Lewisville Plano West

Region 2 Bryan Killeen Ellison Houston Langham Creek The Woodlands

Region 2 Desoto Temple Klein Oak Ridge Spring

Region 3 Houston Bellaire Alief Elsik Pearland LaPorte

Region 3 Kingwood Katy Seven Lakes Fort Bend Bush Fort Bend Dulles

Region 4 San Antonio Clark Austin Akins San Antonio Southwest McAllen

Region 4 Converse Wagner Victoria Memorial Edinburg Laredo United

2nd Round Predicted Winners 4A

Region 1 Big Spring Canutillo Mansfield Legacy Azle

Region 1 Amarillo Palo Duro El Paso Bowie Birdville The Colony

Region 2 Frisco Dallas Pinkston Midlothian Red Oak

Region 2 Dallas Kimball Sherman Dallas Lancaster Texarkana

Region 3 Magnolia Brenham LaMarque Houston Wheatley

Region 3 Huntsville Del Valle Rosenberg Lamar Consolidated Houston Yates

Region 4 Austin Lake Travis Austin LBJ Weslaco East Gregory-Portland

Region 4 Kerrville Tivy Dripping Springs Laredo Nixon Harlandale

Playoff Updates

Both the San Antonio & Austin papers were very short on details this morning on last night’s playoff games.

San Antonio Churchill 84 Austin Westlake 77. The shocker of the night was 4th place Churchill’s sound victory over Westlake, who got behind early and were never in the game. They were led by Mike Byron, a rapidly improving big 6’9″ post who has signed with Gardner-Webb. Cody Doolin (below shown alongside summer mate Paul Garnica will now head off to the University of San Francisco.). Doolin, Westlake’s all time leading scorer had 25, but it wasn’t enough. Frankly, I never gave Churchill a chance in this one, but that’s why they play the games. Big congrats there as the 1st year Head Coach Timothy Woods has developed his big men, something Churchill fell short at in the past. Pflugerville 66 San Antonio MacArthur 37. The Main In Black, P’ville’s Mike Murphy was all smiles as he called to let me know that they took care of business with balanced scoring and a deep bench. It could be interesting vs Converse Wagner Friday night. The Ville has the athletes to run with Wagner, but rebounding may be another story.

Pflugerville Hendrickson 70 Austin Reagan 69. This one had to be heated. 2011 G Jalen Harris scored a career high 29 in the win and they needed every one of them. 2011 W Jalen Washington added 15 for the Hawks, while 2011 Cornelius Cammock had 19 and 2011 Jaquarius Daniels 17 for the the resurgent Raiders. Reagan, and for that matter Hendrickson too will have most of their guns back next year. The Hawks now travel to Fredericksburg for what amounts to darn near a home game for Kerrville Tivy. This game will be an interesting contrast in styles.
Austin LBJ 63 Hutto 62
Austin Lake Travis 69 Austin McCallum 58
Cedar Park Vista Ridge 69 Houston Cy Fair 51 2011 W Joey Faglie had 16 to lead The Ridge.