GIRLS BASKETBALL: Sam Houston makes one last stand for Lamkin

Hurricanes battle back against Floresville in bi-district

AREA TEAMS INCLUDED: Sam Houston.

PLEASE RETURN TO THIS STORY TUESDAY FOR A LINK TO THE SOUTHSIDE REPORTER WEBSITE:

http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local/communities/southside/article/Sam-Houston-makes-one-last-stand-for-Lamkin-6101245.php

Sam Houston girls basketball coach Milyse Lamkin died in August, but the legacy she left never was far from her former player’s thoughts and actions throughout the recently completed season.

Never was that more true than in the Hurricanes’ final game, a 73-54 loss to Floresville (17-14) Tuesday in the Class 5A bi-district round at the University of the Incarnate Word. Sam Houston (18-9) fell behind by a nearly unsurmountable margin early in the third quarter, then ran off 15 unanswered points in a testament to Lamkin’s legacy.

“It was intensity,” first-year Sam Houston coach Marchae Keno said. “Their halftime lead was big, but I reminded them that Coach Lamkin was all about competing – regardless of the score.

“It was a game of runs – they made theirs and we came back with a great run. It was just an amazing effort.”

Sam Houston started five seniors in its final game. Keno said that was another nod to her mentor Lamkin, who lost a long battle to cancer.

“I thought that’s what she would do,” said Keno, a former Hurricanes player who was Lamkin’s assistant coach at the time of her death.

“That’s who we started with. That’s who we ended with.”

The lineup adjustment brought quick results.

Sam Houston led 9-8 with 3:22 remaining in the first quarter, after senior Monisha Jones (21 points, 6 rebounds) scored four-consecutive points. Fed by four Hurricanes turnovers in a row, Floresville scored 11 of the next 13 points in what turned out to be a 17-4 run.

The Jaguars led 43-26 by halftime, with help from three 3-point baskets from guard McClaine Pawelek (20 points, 4 assists).

“She had a great, great shooting night,” Floresville coach Terri Pfluger said. “McClaine’s a really good shooter, but she hadn’t made four in a game before.

“Making those outside shots opened up the inside.”

A three-pointer from Pawelek with 4:03 left in the third quarter gave the Jaguars a 54-31 lead. It also triggered Sam Houston’s run.

Jones scored seven points in a row before the quarter ended with Sam Houston trailing 59-46. The senior scored off a rebound, on two free throws and finally a three-point shot. Senior Jordyn Stewart (16 points, 5 rebounds, 2 steals) added a pair of free throws to the run.

“Monisha and Jordyn impressed me,” Keno said. “Monisha developed a lot this year. Jordyn is going to fight, you never have to question that.”

Sam Houston freshman Ashawntae Brown (8 points, 10 rebounds, 2 blocked shots) opened the fourth quarter with a driving layup that finished the run. Floresville increased its lead to 61-48 on a basket from 6-foot-2 Hannah Knight (13 points) inside. Sam Houston prevented the lead from growing until the Jaguars made their free throws in the final two minutes.

“They’re really good,” Pfluger said. “They have a lot of athletic players. We needed to play great defense and be really solid in blocking out.”

The Hurricanes will lose five of its 11 players to graduation, but Keno hopes their influence will carry over to next season.

“We’ve had our ups and downs,” Keno said, “but I was fortunate as a first-year coach to have some great seniors. I kept challenging them. They listened and did what I asked. I’m very proud of them.”

BOYS BASKETBALL: Fox Tech misses playoffs but finds 3A a good fit

Natalia wins fourth-place tiebreaker

AREA TEAMS INCLUDED: Fox Tech.

PLEASE RETURN TO THIS STORY TUESDAY FOR A LINK TO THE SOUTHSIDE REPORTER WEBSITE:

http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local/communities/southside/article/Fox-Tech-misses-playoffs-but-finds-3A-a-good-fit-6101209.php

It’s not an exaggeration to claim that Fox Tech is a different school than the last time the Buffaloes qualified for the playoffs in 2010.

With more than 1,000 fewer students and a college-prep academic mission, Fox Tech had struggled with those effects on the courts and athletic fields as it was pitted against its fellow SAISD schools and burgeoning powerhouse Brennan. The Buffaloes finally got a reprieve this year, when redistricting placed them in District 26-3A.

Armed with a new lease on life, Fox Tech (13-20, 3-7) tied Natalia for fourth in the district and reached the doorstep of the playoffs. Although the Buffs had defeated the Mustangs Jan. 16 in their first 26-3A meeting, Natalia (14-15, 3-7) continually gathered momentum through the first three quarters and withstood Fox Tech’s comeback for a 60-47 tiebreaking win Feb. 20 at the Lanier Alumni Center.

The seven seniors on the roster hadn’t won a district game since they were freshmen prior to the season. The Buffaloes compiled a 12-77 record in the previous three years playing two classifications higher.

“The guys just jumped at the chance to be a contender,” Fox Tech coach Kellen Morgan said. “I’m so proud of this senior group. They learned how to win this year, and that’s not easy.

“To get 13 wins is incredible.”

By virtue of the win, Natalia holds the district’s fourth seed. The loss ended Fox Tech’s season.

“It can take us a while to get started,” Natalia coach Jeremy Glover said, “but when everybody is playing together and executing, we can be a good team.”

Natalia roared to a 7-2 start on a steal and layup from guard John Luevano (11 points). The Buffaloes cut the Mustangs’ lead to 10-6 at the end of the quarter with a basket from Gabriel Tirado and a pair of free throws from sophomore Roger McCracken.

Fox Tech entered the game without two of its three leading scorers by average. Senior Nick Buys (13.7 points a game) sustained a possible ankle fracture Feb. 13 against Marion. Senior Angel Lopez (7.7) was injured in the first Natalia game.

“Nick was someone we couldn’t replace,” Morgan said. “It took everyone stepping up.”

Mustangs center Bryan Trevino (19 points) scored seven of Natalia’s 22 second-quarter points. The Mustangs led 32-13 at halftime and 53-29 with 3:30 remaining in the game.

“Bryan’s the man,” Glover said. “When our guards are playing well, he can be very, very difficult to defend.”

Fox Tech senior Ruben Chapa scored 14 of his team-best 22 points in the fourth quarter. Chapa led the comeback by attacking the basket and getting to the foul stripe. Jacob Ortiz finished with 12 points.

“It was the first postseason game in six years for our fans and they were excited,” Morgan said. “Until the end, I think our players were feeling it. We were kind of out of control. Then we settled down and just started playing.

“Without Nick, Ruben had a heavier load than normal.”

Despite the substantial graduation loss of their seniors, the Buffaloes will return five players representing each of the other three classes.

“I think the seniors have set a great example,” Morgan said. “I really like our JV team. With some of our returning players like Roger McCracken, I look forward to the offseason and getting ready for next year.”

BOYS BASKETBALL: Area rankings (final)

Final

 

TOP 15:

 

Rank-Team-Last Week

1. East Central – 3

2. South San – 2

3. Lanier – 1

4. Sam Houston – 4

5. Central Catholic – 5

6. Brackenridge – 6

7. Burbank – 9

8. Southwest – 7

9. Highlands – 10

10. Edison – 8

11. McCollum – 11

12. Kennedy – 13

13. Harlandale – 12

14. Jefferson – 15

15. Southside – 14

 

NR = not ranked

GIRLS BASKETBALL: Area rankings (final)

Final

 

TOP 15:

 

Rank-Team-Last Week

1. Highlands – 1

2. Southwest – 2

3. Southside – 3

4. East Central – 4

5. Sam Houston – 5

6. Lanier – 6

7. Harlandale – 7

8. Holy Cross – 9

9. Brackenridge – 8

10. Kennedy – 10

11. South San – 11

12. Young Women’s Leadership Academy – 12

13. Burbank – 13

14. Edison – 14

15. Brooks Academy – 15

 

NR = not ranked

GIRLS BASKETBALL: Harlandale defeats Brack, finds way back to playoffs

Eagles force tiebreaker with win over Mustangs

AREA TEAMS INCLUDED: Brackenridge, Harlandale, Jefferson.

PLEASE FOLLOW THIS LINK TO THE SOUTHSIDE REPORTER WEBSITE:

http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local/communities/southside/article/Brackenridge-comes-up-short-6090843.php

 

Young teams from Brackenridge and Harlandale have seemingly been on a collision course all year, which eventually extended into the postseason.

Although Brackenridge struck the first blow, Harlandale won the next two games. Those included the one that put the Indians (16-17, 9-7) into the playoffs, a 61-53 triumph Feb. 13 at Lanier in the District 28-5A fourth-place tiebreaker game.

“Our first round (of district play), we were still trying to jell and get used to each other,” Harlandale coach Jackie Contreras said. “We were still making mistakes. Then we beat Brack, and that was huge for us. We lost a couple in the second round to Lanier and Sam Houston, when we couldn’t finish.

“We learned from the season and took it into Friday’s game. We’re very happy we came out on top. The girls were really ecstatic.”

Harlandale was scheduled to play District 27-5A champ San Marcos (29-6) Tuesday, Feb. 17 in a bi-district game. Other area playoff qualifiers were Brooks Academy, East Central, Highlands, Holy Cross, Lanier, Sam Houston, Southside and Southwest.

The Indians advanced to the tiebreaker game because of a 44-43 loss to second-place Sam Houston (18-8, 13-3) Feb. 10. Brackenridge (14-21, 9-7) blasted Jefferson (6-24, 3-13) 66-38 that day at Alamo Convocation Center to ascend to fourth.

“We’ve had a hard season,” Brackenridge coach Tamiko Matthews said after the win over Jefferson. “We’ve been injured., but I feel like now we’re on schedule.

“We started off the season young and inexperienced at all positions. Add to that the injuries, but we’re still fourth.”

Brackenridge had defeated the Indians 66-49 Dec. 16. The Indians gained revenge Jan. 23 with a 56-50 win. In their final meeting, Harlandale outscored the Eagles 12-0 in the first quarter and never trailed.

Kayla Nunez led the Indians with 21 points. Senior Elizabeth Herrera provided 12 points and Christi Ricondo finished with 11. Fawzieh Saleh added eight points.

“We did come out very strong,” Contreras said. “The girls were confident. We really wanted it badly. We took care of Skyler (Reyna). That was our main focus.”

Senior guard Clarissa Rodriguez led Brackenridge with 17 points. Reyna scored 14.

The Eagles outscored Jefferson 33-0 from three-point range. The hot shooting began after Brackenridge had established a 10-4 lead. Softball standout Alyssa Berlanga (16 points) came off the bench to add eight quick points, starting with a three-pointer from the right wing.

“We had another game against McCollum (where we shot like this),” said Rodriguez, who made a team-best five 3-pointers and finished with 21 points. “We were more confident today. With Berlanga and I, as soon as we hit a shot, we get on fire.”

Mustangs guard Angela Hardcastle, who six straight points to bring Jefferson within 52-28 with 4:15 remaining in the third quarter recorded a team-high 15 points.

“We only have one senior on the team,” Jefferson coach Tammy Beresford said. “It’s a whole new group. They’re still learning how to play with each other. We’re building for next year.”

Reyna contributed 12 points and Miranda Sandoval added seven for the Eagles.

“It’s my senior year,” Rodriguez said. “I just wanted to go to the playoffs.”

BOYS BASKETBALL: Hurricanes knock off Lanier, earn 20th-straight playoff bid

Voks’ 28-5A win streak ends at 14

AREA TEAMS INCLUDED: Lanier, Sam Houston.

PLEASE FOLLOW THIS LINK TO THE SOUTHSIDE REPORTER WEBSITE:

http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local/communities/southside/article/Hurricanes-makes-it-to-the-playoffs-20-years-in-a-6090853.php

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.”

BOYS BASKETBALL: Area playoff pairings (thru Feb. 21)

NOTE: teams we cover are in boldface

Games of Feb. 23-28

Monday-Friday games

CLASS 6A

BI-district round

East Central (20-11) vs. Warren (15-17) at Alamo Convocation Center, Tuesday, 8 p.m.

South San (24-7) vs. Clark (18-13) at Alamo Convocation Center, Monday, 7:30 p.m.

 

CLASS 5A

BI-district round

Lanier (21-12) vs. Seguin (15-17) at Bill Greehey Arena, St. Mary’s Univ., Tuesday, 8 p.m.

Burbank (23-10) vs. San Marcos (18-15) at Bill Greehey Arena, St. Mary’s Univ., Tuesday, 6:30 p.m.

Sam Houston (12-14) vs. Alamo Heights (21-7) at Alamo Convocation Center, Tuesday, 6 p.m.

Brackenridge (16-12) vs. Floresville (24-10) at South San, Tuesday, 7 p.m.

 

TAPPS CLASS 5A

Regional round

Central Catholic (19-15) vs. Dallas Bishop Lynch (20-14) or Plano John Paul II (15-17) at A&M Consolidated H.S., College Station., Friday, 4:30 p.m.

 

SOFTBALL: This week’s results (thru Feb. 21)

NOTE: teams we cover are in boldface

Games of Feb. 15-21

Monday’s games

Non-district

Brackenridge (1-0) 5, Holy Cross (0-1) 1

Roosevelt (1-0) 13, Lanier (0-1) 2 (4 innings)

Tuesday’s games

Non-district

La Pryor (0-0) vs. Sam Houston (0-0) (score unavailable)

Brennan (1-0) 3, McCollum (0-1) 1

East Central (1-0) 4, Clemens (0-1) 2

Lee (1-0) 12, Harlandale (0-1) 2 (6 innings)

Southwest (1-0) 17, Judson (0-1) 5

South San (1-0) 13, Memorial (0-1) 0

Floresville (1-0) 13, Southside (0-1) 3 (5 innings)

Carrizo Springs (1-0) 19, Jefferson (0-1) 2  (4 innings)

Taft (1-0) 19, Edison (0-1) 0 (4 innings)

Wednesday’s games

No games scheduled

Thursday’s games

Non-district

Brenham Leadoff Classic

East Central (1-0) vs. Clear Springs (score unavailable)

East Central (1-0) vs. Clear Creek (score unavailable)

Bryan/College Station Tournament

Rockwall Heath 1, Brackenridge (2-1) 0
Brackenridge (2-1) 7, Groesbeck 1 

Navarro Tournament

OTHER AREA TEAMS – Lanier (0-1). Finals Saturday.

Navarro 13, Southside (0-2) 1

New Braunfels Canyon/Steele Tournament

Medina Valley 3, Southwest (2-1) 2

Southwest (2-1) 10, Seguin 1

South San Tournament

Kennedy (1-0) 4, Lee 3
South San (2-0) 17, Jefferson (0-2) 0
Highlands (1-0) 16, Memorial (0-2) 0
McCollum (1-1) 11, South San JV 0

Friday’s games

Non-district

Brenham Leadoff Classic

East Central (1-0 ???) vs. Wylie (score unavailable)
East Central (1-0 ???) vs. Cedar Park (score unavailable)

Bryan/College Station Tournament

Los Fresnos 13, Brackenridge (2-3) 7
Round Rock 11, Brackenridge (2-3) 3

Navarro Tournament

OTHER AREA TEAMS – Lanier (0-1 ???),

La Vernia 12, Southside (0-3 ???) 1 (5 innings)

New Braunfels Canyon/Steele Tournament

Southwest (4-1) 9, Steele 1
Southwest (4-1) 3, Churchill 0

SAISD Tournament

Holy Cross (3-1) 7, Burbank (1-2) 1
Holy Cross (3-1) 7, Harlandale (1-1-1) 1
Harlandale (1-1-1) 10, Madison 8
Roosevelt 17, Sam Houston (0-3 ???) 3 (4 innings)
Boerne 9, Burbank (1-2) 1
Edison (3-1) 3, Laredo Cigarroa 1
Edison (3-1) 21, Sam Houston (0-3 ???) 0 (3 innings)
Holy Cross (3-1) 7, San Angelo Lake View 0
Burbank (1-2) 4, Harlandale (1-1-1) 4 (4 innings)
Edison (3-1) 8, Del Rio 0
Jay 16, Sam Houston (0-3 ???) 2 (3 innings)

South San Tournament

McCollum (4-1) 17, Del Rio 0

McCollum (4-1) 23, Memorial (0-3) 0
Jefferson (2-3) 11, Lee 0
McCollum (4-1) 18, Jefferson (2-3) 0
Jefferson (2-3) 8, Kennedy (1-2) 3
South San (4-0) 9, Kennedy (1-2) 0
South San (4-0) 15, Highlands (2-1) 0
Highlands (2-1) 9, South San JV 5

Saturday’s games

Non-district

Brenham Leadoff Classic

East Central (1-0 ???) vs. Fort Bend Austin (score unavailable)

East Central (1-0 ???) vs. Danbury (score unavailable)

Bryan/College Station Tournament

AREA TEAMS Brackenridge (2-3)(score unavailable)

Navarro Tournament

AREA TEAMS – Lanier (0-1 ???), Southside (0-3 ???). (scores unavailable) 

New Braunfels Canyon/Steele Tournament

Southwest (5-1) 6, Hays 2
Southwest (5-1) vs. New Braunfels Canyon (score unavailable)

FINALS – Saturday.

SAISD Tournament

Holy Cross (4-2) 3, Roosevelt 1
Madison 11, Edison (5-2) 3
San Angelo Central 8, Harlandale 4
Boerne 9, Holy Cross (4-2) 5
Laredo Cigarroa 23, Sam Houston (0-5 ???) 0
Edison (5-2) 4, Jay 1
San Angelo Lake View 19, Burbank (1-3) 0
Del Rio 20, Sam Houston (0-5 ???) 1
Edison (5-2) 7, Roosevelt 2

South San Tournament

Kennedy (1-2-1) 2, South San JV 2
Highlands (3-1) 16, Jefferson (2-4) 9
South San (5-0) 6, McCollum (4-2) 5 (championship)

 

BOYS BASKETBALL: This week’s results (thru Feb. 21)

NOTE: teams we cover are in boldface

Games of Feb. 15-21

Monday’s games

District 28-5A

Brackenridge (16-12, 10-6) 69, Highlands (12-19, 7-9) 65

Jefferson (10-19, 3-13) 64, Edison (13-18, 8-8) 62

Lanier (22-12, 15-1) 61, Burbank (23-10, 10-6) 58

Sam Houston (12-13, 10-6) idle

TAPPS 4-4A

Laredo St. Augustine (12-20 ???, 6-7 ???) 55, Victoria St. Joseph (7-18, 1-12) 53

San Antonio Christian (33-6, 13-0) 77, Corpus Christi Incarnate Word (12-19, 5-9) 36

Holy Cross (9-24 ???, 4-10 ???) 2, Corpus Christi John Paul II (15-13, 8-5) 0 (forfeit)

Cornerstone Christian (15-14 ???, 6-8 ???) & TMI (24-15, 12-2) idle

Tuesday’s games

District 28-6A

Corpus Christi Carroll (24-6, 8-2) 82, Southwest (12-17, 1-9) 69

East Central (20-11, 8-2) 91, South San (24-7, 7-3) 74

Corpus Christi Ray (12-19, 2-8) 56, Corpus Christi King (18-14, 4-6) 46

District 27-5A

Alamo Heights (21-7, 13-3) 71, Lockhart (14-18 ???, 6-10) 66

Kerrville Tivy (23-11, 10-6) 71, Kennedy (9-23, 2-14) 65 (OT)

San Marcos (17-15 ???, 11-5) 76, Memorial (7-25, 0-16) 65

Floresville (24-10, 13-3) 63, Boerne Champion (15-17 ???, 6-10) 55

Seguin (15-16 ???, 11-5) idle

District 28-5A

McCollum (14-17, 6-10) 74, Harlandale (14-19, 3-13) 65

District 29-5A

Laredo Cigarroa (16-9 ???, 9-5) 78, Eagle Pass Winn (5-22 ???, 2-12) 61

Laredo Nixon (24-8 ???, 14-0) 92, Laredo Martin (14-11 ???, 10-4) 63

Uvalde (11-19 ???, 4-10) 52, Medina Valley (11-20 ???, 2-12) 34

Somerset (19-11, 9-5) 81, Southside (11-18 ???, 6-8) 76

District 26-3A

Randolph (25-3 ???, 9-1) 67, Brooks Academy (4-19 ???, 0-9 ???) 29

Cole (17-8 ???, 6-3 ???) 40, Fox Tech (13-19 ???, 3-7) 27

Marion (22-6, 8-2) 69, Natalia (13-15, 3-7) 38

Wednesday’s games

Non-district

Reagan (22-7) 72, Sam Houston (12-14) 70 (2 OT)

Thursday’s games

No games scheduled

Friday’s games

TAPPS 2-5A

Antonian (28-9, 6-0) 81, St. Anthony (6-15 ???, 1-5) 73

District 26-3A

Fourth-place playoff

Natalia (14-15) 60, Fox Tech (13-20 ???) 47

Saturday’s games

TAPPS 2-5A

Central Catholic (20-15, 4-2) 56, Brownsville St. Joseph (17-11, 1-5) 55 (OT)

GIRLS BASKETBALL: This week’s results (complete)

NOTE: teams we cover are in boldface

Games of Feb. 15-21

Monday’s games

TAPPS 4-4A

Cornerstone Christian (13-17 ???, 6-10) 48, Providence (1-33, 0-16) 28

Corpus Christi Incarnate Word (25-9, 15-1) 57, San Antonio Christian (26-8, 11-5) 34

Holy Cross (19-12, 11-5) 51, Corpus Christi John Paul II (8-22, 7-10) 36

Victoria St. Joseph (32-6, 15-1) 57, Laredo St. Augustine (13-17 ???, 5-11) 14

TMI (5-23 ???, 2-14) idle

Wednesday’s game

TAPPS 4-4A

Third-place tiebreaker

San Antonio Christian (27-8) 53, Holy Cross (19-13) 51

 

BOYS BASKETBALL: No curtain call for Central Catholic’s Lewis

Four-year starter sidelined by stress fracture

AREA TEAMS INCLUDED: Central Catholic.

PLEASE FOLLOW THIS LINK TO THE SOUTHSIDE REPORTER WEBSITE:

http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local/communities/southside/article/No-fourth-act-for-Central-Catholic-s-Lewis-6090863.php

 

Stress fractures are one of the most frustrating injuries athletes sustain, because the pain associated with them can sometimes camouflage itself.

Central Catholic senior Tony Lewis knows the phenomenon too well. After several weeks of avoiding physical activity ordered by his doctor, Timothy Palomera, the 6-foot-10 center thought he might finally have a chance to author a great finish to his senior year.

Lewis went through warmups against archrival Antonian Feb. 5 at Paul Taylor Gym without feeling any twinges in his left foot. By halftime, though, he realized that his four-year career on the Buttons’ varsity had ended.

“I just wanted to play through it – that’s my competitive nature,” Lewis said. “Before I went to play (Antonian) Dr. Palomera told me that it was 95 percent healed, but there was a microscopic crack in it. He told me there was a slim chance I’d aggravate it.

“In warmups, I was feeling good but I hadn’t tested it. So I went up and came down kind of awkwardly. I stumbled a little bit, and that’s when the pain came back.”

The stress fracture has limited to about four games worth of playing time this season. He had shut all activity down after playing the first half of a Nov. 29 game at Clemens. Despite the injury, Lewis produced a respectable 11.8 scoring average.

Fortunately for the 265-pound post, he signed a National Letter of Intent in November to play at the University of Santa Clara. Lewis visited North Texas and Weber State University before deciding upon the San Francisco-area NCAA Division I college.

He had also planned to visit Washington State University and the University of New Mexico. He felt a bit of a pull toward North Texas because his next-door neighbor, Madison standout JaMichael Brown, will matriculate there next year. But Lewis had an inescapable feeling about Santa Clara, reinforced by his contact with seemingly everyone associated with the basketball team during his recruiting visit.

“I told my mother I’m probably going to go to this school,” Lewis said. “It’s a small campus, like centrla Catholic, but it’s big enough. What really stuck with me was that (the team) is like a brotherhood. That’s something we talk about all the time at Central Catholic.”

After he’d committed, Lewis said Texas-El Paso and the University of Florida also expressed their interest, but he followed his mother, Dawn Lewis’ direction.

“One thing my parents really drilled me on was that,” Lewis said, “if you commit to something, finish it out.”

Second-year Central Catholic coach Bruce McConaghy believes his center has the tools to succeed at the next level.

“Tony has great hands and great feet,” McConaghy said. “I think he’ll develop in those four years, and there’s no telling what he can do. He’s going to mature and grow. He has a big upside.”

Lewis was 6-7 when he arrived at Central Catholic as part of a banner class that included Jordan Murphy (Brennan), Jorden Kite (Clark), A.J. Carr (Hagerstown (Md.) St. James) and Jonah Mahone (Smithson Valley). Only he remains as they others have scattered to the four winds and become standouts at their new programs.

In his time with the Buttons, Lewis has greatly improved his post-up game, defense, aggressiveness and ability to run the court under the tutelage of assistant coach Reggie Clark.

He had a team-best 13.8 scoring average as the 2013-14 Buttons posted a 25-8 record and won TAPPS District 2-5A.

“The biggest thing we’ve worked on is his conditioning and his play inside,” McConaghy said. “Reggie works with him every day at practice for 15-20 minutes.”

Lewis has high aspirations for his future.

“I’m a confident guy,” he said. “If you put something in front of me, I’m going to do everything I can to get better and (achieve it).”

He finds it gratifying that Central Catholic is 19-15 this season without its big man, after adapting to a more uptempo style.

“At the beginning of the year, I was really skeptical about how this season would play out,” Lewis said. “To see what’s happened, especially the younger guys like Julian Rodriguez growing up, has been a lot of fun.”

 

MORE TO COME

 

TONY LEWIS CAREER STATS

Season              Total pts.        Scoring avg.

2011-12                   76                        4.5               

2012-13                 334                       11.5               

2013-14                 427                       13.8               

2014-15                   71                       11.8               

—————————————————————-

Total points          908                       10.9               

BOYS BASKETBALL: Area playoff picture (thru Feb. 17)

Boys basketball playoff picture

These are the area teams that have a chance to qualify for the playoffs (in alphabetical order):

Through Feb. 17

ALREADY QUALIFIED: Brackenridge (16-12, 10-6), Burbank (23-10, 10-6), Central Catholic (19-15, 3-2), East Central (20-11, 8-2), Lanier (21-12, 14-1), Sam Houston (12-13, 10-6), South San (24-7, 7-3).

POSSIBLE QUALIFIERS: Fox Tech (13-19 ???, 3-7).

GIRLS BASKETBALL: Area playoff results (thru Feb. 21)

 

NOTE: teams we cover are in boldface

Games of Feb. 16-21

Monday games

CLASS 6A

BI-district round

O’Connor (29-4) 64, East Central (13-18) 50

 

CLASS 5A

BI-district round

Corpus Christi Flour Bluff (24-8) 45, Southside (21-13) 39

 

Tuesday games

CLASS 6A

BI-district round

Brandeis (23-11) 60, Southwest (23-10) 40

 

CLASS 5A

BI-district round

Highlands (27-9) 57, Boerne Champion (19-13) 25

Kerrville Tivy (28-5) 57, Lanier (20-13) 37

San Marcos (30-6) 52, Harlandale (16-18) 39

Floresville (17-14) 73, Sam Houston (18-9) 54

 

CLASS 3A

Bi-district round

Jarrell (30-3) 69, Brooks Academy (8-14 ???) 38

 

Thursday’s game

CLASS 5A

Area round

Georgetown (27-5) 52, Highlands (27-10) 34

 

Saturday’s game

TAPPS CLASS 4A

Bi-district round

Austin Regents (24-14) 52, Holy Cross (19-14) 37