Central Catholic reaches state quarterfinals
AREA TEAMS INCLUDED: Central Catholic, East Central, Sam Houston.
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Sam Houston (14-13) avoided any semblance of a letdown after springing the area’s biggest Class 5A upset Feb. 24. The Hurricanes kept rolling with a 55-49 area-round win over Austin Vandegrift (23-12) Feb. 27 in New Braunfels.
The Hurricanes, which upended traditional power Alamo Heights 57-56, advanced to play Cedar Park Vista Ridge (24-10) in the Region IV quarterfinals.
Sam Houston scored the game’s first seven points against Vandegrift, but didn’t score again in the first quarter. The Vandals led 23-21 at halftime. The Hurricanes outscored Vandegrift 20-13 in the fourth quarter to seal the win.
Individual scoring information for the Hurricanes against Vandegrift was not available.
The Buttons (21-16) defeated yet another ranked opponent Feb. 27 in the TAPPS Class 5A regional round before running into a buzzsaw. Powerhouse Plano Prestonwood Christian (30-5), No. 1 in the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches large private school rankings, ended Central Catholic’s postseason run Feb. 28 with an 85-51 loss.
No. 23 Central Catholic reached the state quarterfinal game against Prestonwood Christian with a 43-40 win over No. 16 Dallas Bishop Lynch. The Buttons battled back from a 27-14 halftime deficit. They outscored Bishop Lynch 15-4 in the final quarter to secure the win.
Senior Jaime Nava led Central Catholic with 14 points. Will Galindo pitched in 11.
Warren 83, East Central 77
District 28-6A co-champion East Central (20-12) couldn’t overcome hot foul shooting from Warren (16-17) Feb. 14 at Alamo Convocation Center.
A three-point play from senior Wanya Ward (21 points) provided East Central a 74-73 advantage with 1:50 to play. Warren scored 14 seconds later. The Hornets tied the score 75-75 with 45.1 seconds remained on a free throw from Hector Sifuentes.
“We missed some open layups,” East Central coach Jeff Sweet said, “but plays down the stretch are just as important as those in the first and second quarter. You can’t dwell on plays that happened in the last two minutes.”
The Warriors scored eight of the last 10 points, primarily from the foul stripe.
“They made their shots and we didn’t,” Sweet said. “We moved the rock.”
East Central established a 23-18 lead in the first quarter. The Hornets held a 38-37 halftime lead, but trailed by a point entering the final quarter.
Hornets junior Ethan White scored 17 points. Brandon Keno and Sifuentes added 13 points each. Patrick Hamilton scored 11.
East Central had won its previous five games to share the 28-6A regular-season title with Corpus Christi Carroll.
“We had four new starters and several guys that hadn’t played on a varsity team,” Sweet said, referring to the beginning of the season when the Hornets lost four of their first five games. “To be able to win that district is just amazing.
“They brought back old-style, tough D, uptempo East Central basketball – and it’s here to stay.”