MANSFIELD — Eddie Berumen and Life Waxahachie took "a small step for man, one giant leap for Mustangkind," after Tuesday night's 84-42 runaway victory over Castleberry at Mansfield Legacy High School Gymnasium.
That leap moved he and his team a step closer to rewriting the history of yesteryear and a 10-point loss to Van Alstyne High School during the regional final round of the UIL 4A state tournament.
Despite the appearance of the 20-point fourth quarter put forth by the Lions, Life Waxahachie dominated both sides of the hardwood and the majority of the 32 minutes of high school basketball — including holding Castleberry to nine- and seven-point quarters. Shaun Fernandez (16 pts), Edgar Espitia (11 pts) and Luis Hernandez (10 pts) scored the bulk of the Lions' points.
The other 13 members — outside of Ali Elrajehi (9 pts) — finished with three or fewer points.
The Mustangs, however, were powered by double-digit performances by Justin Nimmer (21 pts), Daniel Nguyen (14 pts), Joshua Sanders (12 pts) and Vernon Johnson (10 pts). Nimmer and Nguyen combined for nine of the 11 3-pointers drained in four quarters.
Five came in the first half and helped Life Waxahachie outscore Castleberry 41-20. The remaining 2 of 11 came from Bryan Moreland and Blaine Stacy who sunk threes in the third and fourth quarters.
The win placed the Mustangs on a collision course with Abilene Wylie High School, the District 5-4A undefeated first seed. The Bulldogs are also the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches' No. 4 boys' 4A basketball team behind Silsbee, Dallas Lincoln and Brazosport High Schools.
To put the talent in the top four in perspective, Silsbee beat undefeated District 10-5A champion Waxahachie High School 104-101 on Dec. 28. It was the only non-6A team to accomplish that feat.
Silsbee also narrowly edged Dallas Lincon 76-70 on Dec. 29. Life Waxahachie is 13 spots lower than Abilene Wylie in the state poll and one behind district rival and No. 16 Midlothian Heritage High School. The Bulldogs Abilene Wylie lost 64-61 to Levelland High School in the 2016 regional quarterfinal.
The Mustangs are scheduled to play Abilene Wylie at 7:30 at Aledo High School Gymnasium.
Marcus S. Marion can be reached for story idea submissions or concerns at (469) 517-1456. Follow him on Twitter at @MarcusMarionWNI.