The Cooldown: Week 17

After a little post football season hiatus, The Cooldown is back for basketball season! Our hoops installment of this weekly blog tends to be a little shorter due to less available information, but you can still count on a good roundup of area scores and highlights each week.

With several intriguing teams and a more wide-open race in class 6A – thanks to UIL sanctions against what was becoming an unfair dynasty at Duncanville – this years’ playoff and state title race should be as interesting as it has been in a few years. That being said, let’s get to our week 17 recap.

Dawson keeps rolling; Pearland, Shadow Creek tamp scores down

Dawson has raced out to a 21-4 start, good for a top 10 statewide ranking in class 6A. The Eagles have done this competing in a district with area powerhouse Shadow Creek, and look primed to win a district title if the first five games are any indication.

Four of Dawson’s five losses came to DFW-area teams and the other loss came to Houston Washington, No. 5 in the state in class 4A. Last week, the Eagles picked up important district wins against a likely playoff team in Shadow Creek and against a big rival in Pearland. Both did a good job in limiting Dawson on the offensive end, with the Eagles winning those games 45-36 and 47-34 respectively.

Junior Charles Anderson led the charge against Pearland with 11 points while freshman Devan Brown made the most of his opportunities, scoring nine points on six shots.

Dawson should have an easier week with games against Elsik and Alvin. The biggest district competition will come from Shadow Creek, Alief Taylor and Strake Jesuit, each of whom Dawson has already beat.

Cy Falls keeps rolling against district rivals

Speaking of another team primed to win its district, Cy Falls is back in peak form.

Typically one of the more dominant teams in the area, Cy Falls struggled through the springs of 2019, 2020 and 2021. The Eagles were back to dominant form, winning the district last season and are back on track this season as well. Cy Falls currently sits at 18-5 with 12-straight wins and a top 25 ranking in 6A.

The Eagles had three players in double figures in a 50-30 blowout win against Cy Ranch last week. Daylon Porter finished with 18 while Joseph Tugler and Jason Cottonham tallied 11 points each. Cy Springs is the only team to play Cy Falls within 10 points in district play thus far, though a showdown with Langham Creek on Friday could prove to be a good litmus test.

Memorial stifles Stratford

If the saying defense wins championships holds true, Memorial has to like its chances in 17-6A.

The Mustangs’ mid-week tilt against Stratford proved to be one of the better defensive performances we’ll see from a team all season. The Mustangs allowed 21 first half points, not bad, right? Memorial proceeded to one-up that solid defensive half by surrendering just eight points in the second half.

Stratford boasts Rice-bound forward Keanu Dawes as one of the premier players in the area as well. No matter, Memorial leaned on its defense for a 42-29 win.

Matthew Janecek and Ethan Soares topped the point totals with 10 each as Memorial remains perfect at 4-0 in district play after a 10-10 start to the season. There is plenty of hoops left to play, but Memorial is firmly in the district championship conversation.

Player of the Week

My boys player-of-the-week scored nearly as much by himself for Manvel in a 78-67 win over Angleton as some teams scored total last week.

For example, R.J. Hurd’s 30-point outburst topped Stratford’s 29 points and equaled Cy Ranch’s 30 points in its loss to Cy Falls. As discussed above, Shadow Creek and Pearland scored just 36 and 34 points respectively against Dawson. Hurd reached or nearly equaled those point totals by himself. For that scoring outburst, R.J. Hurd is my boys’ POTW!

On the girls side, Fulshear is off to a 7-0 start, led by my girls’ POTW Kinzie Searcy! Searcy led a third quarter charge as the Lady Chargers took control for a big win against Foster last week.

Statewide Rankings

Starting off with boys class 6A teams, Seven lakes takes the top spot in the area ranked No. 5 in the state. The Spartans are followed by Cy Creek (6), Dawson (7), Hightower (15), Cy Falls (21) and Katy Jordan (25).

Class 5A is led by Fort Bend Marshall at No. 4 in the state. The Buffs are followed by Goose Creek Memorial (17) and Barbers Hill (18). Close neighbor Port Arthur Memorial is No. 22 in the rankings.

Class 4A features Furr at No. 4 and Washington at No. 5. Those two are followed by Stafford (10) and Iowa Colony (12). The lone school ranked in 3A is Hitchcock at No. 2.

In the girls rankings, Summer Creek leads Houston in the 6A rankings at No. 2 in the state. The Lady Bulldogs are followed by Pearland (5), Fort Bend Austin (11), Katy (12), Hightower (14), Westfield (16), Deer Park (21), Cy Ranch (24) and Tomball Memorial (25).

In 5A, Fulshear paces the girls state rankings for the Houston area at No. 9 in the state. The Lady Chargers are followed by Barbers Hill (12) and Manvel (19). In 4A, Navasota (21) and Bay City (23) are the only ranked teams from Houston. Class 3A is strong, featuring Boling (6), Columbus (15) and Hitchcock (19).