MHS bounces back to advance
Red Oak, Ferris end seasons; Italy reaches region quarterfinals
ATHENS — The District 14-5A champion Midlothian Panthers trailed 23-9 at halftime, but rallied in the second half for a 44-36 victory over Sulphur Springs on Thursday night at Athens High School in the area round of the Class 5A Region II boys’ basketball playoffs.
The Panthers (22-5) will face Highland Park (21-4) in the 5A Region II quarterfinals on Saturday.
The Panthers were outscored 13-4 in the first quarter and 10-5 in the second as they fell behind by a wide margin. But a 23-7 third-quarter explosion by MHS got the Panthers on top headed into the final eight minutes.
Kelton Williams led the team with 14 points, followed by Gavin Crow with 10 and Corbin Green with nine. Luke Reynolds added six, Taylor Tobey three and Trevor Tobey two.
On Tuesday in Lancaster, Green finished with a strong double-double with 26 points and 15 rebounds, and also had four steals as the Panthers rolled to a 76-56 victory over Forney in the bi-district round.
A pair of sophomores, Williams and Ovie Agbigbe, added 20 and 10 points respectively for the Panthers. Other MHS scorers were Crow and Taylor Tobey with five points each, Cooper Wyckoff with four, and Reynolds and Alex Becerra with three each.
The Panthers outscored the Jackrabbits in all four quarters and steadily pulled away throughout, leading 15-9 at the end of one and 32-20 at the half. MHS took a comfortable 18-point advantage into the fourth quarter.
Ayden McDonald scored a game-high 29 points for the Jackrabbits.
Class 5A Region II
Highland Park 78, Red Oak 51
GRAND PRAIRIE — Highland Park’s defense caused major disruptions with Red Oak for most of the first half, and the Class 5A No. 11-ranked Scots ended the Hawks’ season with a 78-51 loss on Tuesday night in the bi-district round.
The Hawks, in a rebuilding year, finished at 10-15 overall, but not before winning a thrilling overtime play-in game against Ennis on Saturday to qualify for the postseason.
Highland Park led 21-6 at the end of the first quarter and by as much as 33-6 five minutes into the second quarter as the Hawks were held to a couple of 3-point baskets to that point. The Hawks finally caught an offensive spark but still trailed at halftime, 38-17.
Reginald Osborne led Red Oak with 18 points, including four 3-pointers, and Tarrance Warren chipped in with a dozen points. Other scorers were Chris Donaldson with eight, Tristan Edwards with five, Aaron Jackson and Kamal Brooks with three each, and Franklin Hunter with two.
Class 4A Region II
Lincoln 61, Ferris 43
RED OAK — The Ferris Yellowjackets gave No. 13-ranked Dallas Lincoln a battle, but the Tigers knocked the Jackets out of the Class 4A Region II playoffs with a 61-43 bi-district loss on Tuesday night at Red Oak High School.
Ferris ended the year at 16-11 overall after winning the No. 3 seed in a tiebreaker game on Saturday against Life Waxahachie, while Lincoln (11-11) advanced to play Van Alstyne in the area round.
After the game, the Jackets announced their all-District 11-4A honorees.
DeMarcus Rankin was named Defensive Player of the Year; Carter Fagan was voted first team all-district; and Kaleb Pointer, Alan Garcia and Tommy Dixson were named second-team all-district. Trey Johnston and Dakota Delacerda were honorable mention.
All but Dixson and Delacerda are seniors.
Class 2A Region II
Italy 63, Archer City 56
BOYD — Julius Williams scored a game-high 23 points and Jalyn Wallace added 15 as the Italy Gladiators used a strong second period to build a nine-point halftime lead and cruised to a 63-56 area-round win over Archer City on Tuesday night at Boyd High School.
The Gladiators advanced to face Lipan in the Region II quarterfinals on Friday night in Aledo. Lipan (21-4) eliminated Albany on Tuesday night, 75-46.
Italy held a narrow 17-16 lead after the first eight minutes, but outscored the Wildcats 20-12 in the second frame to take a 37-28 halftime lead. The Gladiators maintained their edge through the second half.
Archer City (15-10) kept the game close by hitting nine 3-pointers on the night.