Voks’ 28-5A win streak ends at 14
AREA TEAMS INCLUDED: Lanier, Sam Houston.
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Sam Houston didn’t start the regular season the way it wanted to, or was expected to, but they couldn’t have finished it much better.
The Hurricanes (12-13, 10-6), in their final District 28-5A game, accomplished two memorable tasks. They handed Lanier (21-12, 14-1) its first district loss and qualified for their 20th-consecutive playoff appearance in the bargain.
“We had a talk and realized we could still accomplish this,” said Sam Houston senior center Devin Allen, who scored a game-high 20 points. “We just had to work hard and play together.”
Sam Houston, which reached the Class 3A state finals last year, established a commanding 17-6 lead in the first quarter and were prepared for the Voks’ response. Lanier was within two points 6:11 from the end, but the Hurricanes rallied to win 72-60.
They had lost their first six games of the season and their initial three district games to set up a long, hard climb.
“To be able to come back from that took a lot of effort,” first-year Hurricanes coach Erik Coleman said. “To make the playoffs is definitely a good feeling for us.”
Lanier had already clinched its fifth-straight playoff bid as well as a first-place finish in 28-5A. The Voks had an 11-game winning streak.
“A lot of people have told me one loss now isn’t really a bad thing,” first-year Lanier coach Joseph Martinez said. “I definitely didn’t let the kids know that.
“I thought it was a little bit of a maturity issue. Give credit to coach Coleman. Sam Houston stuck to their game plan and played well. They really outplayed us.”
Sam Houston sped up Lanier at the outset to grab the double-digit lead. Jawon Anderson (15 points) and Robert Christian (11 points) each contributed four points as the Hurricanes ran off 12 in a row.
“At practice all this week, we worked on taking care of the basketball,” Coleman said. “We were running the ball very well. We pushed their pace.”
Lanier regrouped in the second quarter, with guards Joe Soto (10 points) and Brian Laque (11 points) driving to reach the free-throw line. The Voks outscored the Hurricanes 24-15 in the third quarter behind three-point shooting from Raul Solis (15 points) and Luis Martinez (14).
“I’m pretty sure nobody in Bexar County thought we’d be 14-1 at this point,” the Lanier coach said. “The kids deserve all the credit for where we’re at.”
A three-point shot from Solis closed Lanier’s deficit to 57-55. Hurricanes defensive specialist Raymonte Prime scored the next four points, starting a 15-3 finishing run. It was punctuated by Allen’s dunk with nine seconds to play.
“We just played hard and played together,” Allen said. “We didn’t give them a lot of second and third chances. We just crashed the boards.”