The Cooldown: Week 18

Last week in hoops action felt like a little bit of an anomoly. We saw two milestones reached in the same game, a massive individual scoring output in an otherwise low-scoring game and plenty of other great action – multiple games were decided by one bucket. Check it all out in Week 18 of The Cooldown.

Marshall Milestones

Marshall entered the week as a top five team in class 5A. The Buffs outstanding season is driven by do-it-all point guard Jaland Lowe, a Pittsburgh commit who has enjoyed great success as a Buff.

The Buffs have won all six games in 2023 by at least 20 points, dating back to their last game at the Whataburger tournament to close out 2022, an 18-point win over Keller from the DFW area. But that’s not why last week was a big week for Marshall. In Friday’s 73-51 win against Fulshear, Lowe tallied his 2,000th career point, a rare milestone even for four-year varsity players.

To top it off, Friday also marked the 700th career win for coach Ronnie Courtney. For context, the all-time wins leader in Texas HS basketball history is Robert Hughes, who tallied 1,333 wins at Fort Worth Dunbar from 1959-2005. Courtney is just more than halfway to that record, but not many coaches make it to 700 wins in the first place.

Lowe finished with 35 points while Dylan Garner racked up 16 for Fulshear, the first team to score 50 on Marshall in district play. Marshall should cruise through the rest of the district schedule and will be a heavy favorite to make a run to San Antonio.

Cy Creek survives Memorial

Last week, I wrote about Memorial’s stifling defense. The Mustangs did it again in a 44-42 loss to Cy Creek, who ranks as a top 10 team in the state.

Corey Hadnot poured in 16 of Cy Creek’s 44 points as one of the area’s premier “bus drivers.” Basically, Cy Creek goes as Hadnot goes most nights, though his teammates deserve plenty of credit. Noah Martin spaced the floor by tossing a couple of assists and knocking down three 3-pointers, allowing for Hadnot to have more room to operate.

Caleb Sanders led the charge for Memorial with 14 points while Matthew Janecek had 10 points. Memorial is now 4-2 in district play while Cy Creek is still unbeaten in 17-6A and needs just one more win to sweep the first half of district play. Creek is the obvious favorite to win the district and figures to make major noise in the playoffs, but Memorial has had a strong season as well and is in the thick of the conversation thanks to that stifling defense.

Cy Springs girls pick up huge district win

In a game with major district title implications, it was Cy Springs, not the state-ranked Cy Ranch, coming out on top.

The Lady Panthers topped Cy Ranch convincingly, thanks to a 17-3 score in the final frame. Cy Springs was led to a 45-32 win sophomores Ayla McDowell with 12 points and Melanie Hodges with 10. Senior Di’Aunestie Henderson tallied 10 points as well.

However, the real star of the show was that 17-3 run in the fourth quarter to close it out. Cy Springs entered the final frame down 29-28 befire finishing the game in dominatin fashion. The Lady Mustangs fell to No. 23 in the state while Cy Springs, sitting at 23-8 (8-1 in district) is still unranked.

Players of the Week

The boys’ choice was easy once again. Shey Eberwein dropped 44 points (!!), a school record, in a 68-61 win against Conroe. That means Conroe as a team only outscored Eberwein by 17 points, while Eberwein’s teammates combined for 24 points to his 44.

My girls’ player-of-the-week comes from a similar situation. Kierra Merchant poured in 19 points, nearly half of the total for No. 16 Westfield in a narrow 40-35 win over rival Spring. Merchant nearly outscored her teammates and was only bested by 16 points from Spring as a whole.

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), Klein Collins (24) and Cy Falls (25). Katy Jordan fell out of the rankings while Klein Collins is new to the rankings.

Class 5A is led by Fort Bend Marshall at No. 3, in the state, up one spot from last week. The Buffs are followed by Barbers Hill (18) and Goose Creek Memorial (21). Close neighbor Port Arthur Memorial is No. 20 in the rankings.

Class 4A features Furr at No. 4 and Washington at No. 5. Those two are followed by Stafford (9) and Iowa Colony (12). The lone school ranked in 3A is Hitchcock at No. 2.

In the girls rankings, Pearland takes over for Summer Creek as the top team in Houston in the 6A rankings at No. 4 in the state. The Lady Oilers are followed by Summer Creek (5), Katy (9), Fort Bend Hightower (11), Fort Bend Austin (14), Westfield (16), Deer Park (20), Cy Ranch (23) and Grand Oaks (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 (17). In 4A, Navasota (20) and Bay City (23) are the only ranked teams from Houston. Class 3A is strong, featuring Columbus (13), Hitchcock (20) and Boling (21).

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