After having watched Houston St. Thomas High School struggle in the first round of the TAPPS Playoffs at home a couple of weeks ago vs Argyle Liberty Christian (they pulled it out in overtime) I was hard pressed to envision them winning a State title. However, Coach Danny Evans rallied his charges and they got stronger as each round went on.
After dispatching Dallas Bishop Dunne with a stifling defensive effort in the semi finals (St. Thomas held Dunne to 24 points in a 42-24 win), St. Thomas had to face mighty Prestonwood Academy in the Championship Game. Prestonwood is talented, and BIG. The man in the middle for them is 2012 Zach Peters who has committed to play for Coach Bill Self and the Kansas Jayhawks, while 2013 Forward Julius Randle is near the top of everyone’s list of the top players nationally in his class.
St. Thomas is no slouch either though as they have a trio of 2012 Division One prospects. They anchor their two-three zone with lanky 6’9″ Jeremy King, 6’3″ combo guard Christian Sanders who is a superior academic student. That’s why the Ivies, Stanford, Vanderbilt and the like are watching him closely (Christian’s Pops, Brad played for Kansas back in the day). The other outside threat is 6’0″ Chase Brogna who when he is hot is as good a shooter as Texas has in the 2012 class.
Prestonwood shot out of the gate and had the Eagles on the ropes going up 14-2 in the 1st quarter and with St. Thomas big man, Jeremy King on the bench with two early fouls it did not look good. A couple of buckets away from a knockout punch St. Thomas composed themselves and behind Brogna’s hot second quarter shooting ( 14 points). It was knotted at the half, 27-27.
The foul situation flipped in the 3rd quarter, and with Randle & Peters in trouble the duo of Brogna & Sanders got red hot. Outscoring Prestonwood 19-5 in the 3rd caused them to become unravelled and St. Thomas won going away, 76-57. Chase Brogna, who will suit up for the Houston version of the Texas D1 Ambassadors led the way with 27 points while Sanders added 20 of his own for the school’s first ever State basketball Championship. Congratulations to Coach Evans & his staff, along with the players and their families.