Texas 5A Playoff Contenders: From Killeen Down To San Antonio

Texas 5A: Region 1
This is the region which houses the El Paso teams and over into the west side of the DFW Metroplex. We do not have any of our area teams in Region 1.  Most everyone knows where the Mason-Dixon Line is demarking the Old South, but does anyone know where the Old South ends and the West begins?  That would be Fort Worth, TX where if you ordered your breakfast back in the day the traditional side was hash browns, while over in Dallas it was grits.  See, this is an educational site  🙂

Texas 5A:  Region 2
District 12, 15 & 16 all house teams from our neck of the woods.  Houston like to claim them sometimes, but I’m going to include Bryan.  Any one of these five teams below can catch fire and make it to the “The Drum”.  I’m going to go with Pflugerville though because they have a tradition of winning and they have more depth at the guard spot than anyone else in the Region.

With one of the top PG’s in the country running the show in the Coach’s son, J.Mychal Reese the cat quick Vikings are always a threat.  Bryan can run you out of the building.  Win or lose, they’ll do it on their own terms, pressuring & causing havoc full court.

Reese continues to be on the wish list of NCAA powerhouses like Kansas, Texas, LSU & Arizona

Killeen Harker Heights
With Senior WG Royce O’Neale boarding well and shooting lights out the deep Knights team could be the area’s best.

Killeen Ellison
Sharing the limelight with Heights for top team in Killeen are the Ellison Eagles.  They aren’t as deep as Heights, and I’m not sure about their chemistry but there’s no doubting their talent level.  PG Devonte Brown (Indiana State) and 2011 W 6’6″ Jaleel Williams can go off at anytime.  Williams is one of the area’s brightest prospects and has an outrageous wingspan.

Jaleel Williams has all the tools to be a high major recruit

Austin High
With District 15 teams like Westlake down, Akins thin because of injuries, & Bowie just not quite as talented overall as in the past a senior laden Austin High team could be a darkhorse.  2011 PG 6’4″ Eric Williams is the man, while he has plenty of sidekicks most notably Senior Alex Reinking and a good looking 2013 F in Patrick Strake to lend a hand.  It’s the Maroons year to do or die with this group of upper classmen.

At 6’3″ Alex Reinking will defend, rebound shoot it and penetrate. He’s a tough dude.

Coach Mike Murphy’s crew went through District 16 like a hot knife through butter.  PG Deon Mitchell (Northern Iowa is virtually unstoppable when he wants to score.  The Panthers can throw about 5 guards at you without blinking, including Senior Darrian Dempsey and 2013 heir apparent to Mitchell, T.J. Williams.  Everyone on the squad can jack up the three at a high percentage and that includes the Coach who could flick it back in the day for the Texas Longhorns.

Deon Mitchell is as smooth as they come.  Will the Baby Faced Assassin lead The Ville to The Drum before heading off to win the hearts of the Northern Iowa faithful?

Region 3
The Region is almost exclusively Houston area schools.

Region 4
Converse Judson 
They are the Ying to Pflugerville’s Yang.  Texas-Ex team mate to Pflugerville’s Mike Murphy is Judson Head Coach Mike Wacker.  Give Judson a 4 point lead and they’ll take the air out of the ball and run the stall as well as anyone and Coach Wacker will out scheme just about everyone. Their athleticism is down a bit from previous years but they are a giant killer and many a team averaging around 70ppg has left an encounter with Judson scratching their heads and having barely managed to put up 40.  Senior F Cameron Griffin leads this edition.

Cameron Griffin is Judson’s best offensive weapon but the Rockets don’t need to score a lot of points to win.
Converse Wagner

A mainstay at the State Tournament the last couple of years, the Thunderbirds are down a tad after having graduated Jordan Clarkson (Tulsa) & Andre Roberson (Colorado).  However, there’s a lot to be said for a team that knows how and who expects to win.  Senior Devonta Davis is the straw that stirs the Wagner drink.

San Antonio Churchill
The Chargers are the darlings of the San Antonio print media. The Lammert Brothers lead the way, with Senior Clark at 6’7″ and Junior Connor at 6’9″.  Their size is a mismatch to just about everyone.  However, Churchill was exposed in a loss to Judson earlier in the season.  They are a very good team when playing with the lead but I’m not sure of their depth or athleticism if they’re forced to come out of their zone and have to man up and chase quicker teams. Make no mistake though, they do have the horses and can knock down the three with the best of them.

Can 2012 P 6’9″ Connor Lammert help put Churchill over the top?

San Antonio Reagan
Reagan is deep, big enough and quick enough.  They’ve got two D1 signees in Max Yon (Air Force) & Tre Demps (Northwestern).  Is it enough to get to The Drum?  Matchups will play a key part and when Yon is red hot then the opponent is in for a long night.

Demps (left) and Yon (right) spell double trouble for their opponents

San Antonio Clark
I like Clark.  They are well coached by old hand, Steve Sylestine and do all the little things well.  Although undersized, both Kyle Rutledge and Ansley Benjamin play much bigger than their 6’3″ frames.  The guard play won’t dazzle you but both Jacob Palacios and 2012 G Adam Perez are solid and will hit big shots with the game on the line.

San Antonio Taft
Taft may be the closest thing to Pflugerville.  Their three guards are tough; Deondre Logan, Dylan Elias (Nothern Colorado) & Marshall Harris (Citadel).  Lack of size will probably catch up to them at some point but they could slay a dragon along the way, especially if they get a lead and spread the floor forcing bigger teams to chase them.

Dylan Elias (Northern Colorado) is part of a tough three man guard rotation at Taft

San Antonio Warren
They could be the darkhorse out of the Alamo City.  They are athletic, can shoot it and have one of the area’s top 2012 players in 6’6″ F Taurean Waller-Prince.  If they can put it all together he would indeed be “Prince of the City”.

 Twenty double-doubles this season make Taurean Waller-Prince a dangerous man

Unlike the last two years when McAllen and Laredo United gave Converse Wagner a run for their money at Regionals I don’t see any such team making the same kind of noise out of the Rio Grande Valley or South Texas.  I have to say though that I have not seen many of them play since before the New Year, so I could be dead wrong on this.  So, that’s the 5A preview.  Will there be a party crasher that I did not mention?  Perhaps San Antonio MacArthur?  Or what about 5A newcomers South San?  Any team coached by Gary Durbon & Ray Carroll will be tough as nails mentally and physically.  The playofs get underway next Monday-Tuesday.  I’m out on a limb.  Will it be a twig or a firm branch?
See you soon.-Coach Max Ivany


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