The Cooldown: Week 21

The second round of district play began last week and most teams are starting to understand what they need to do to make a playoff or district title push. Check out a recap of the best games from last week as well as our players-of-the-week.

Cy Creek stays in front of 17-6A with win over Cy-Fair

Cy Creek challenged itself early on in the season with a pretty brutal non-district schedule. The Cougars racked up losses to Richardson (a top 10 team in the nation) as well as state-ranked teams like Elkins and Clear Brook with a few more close losses sprinkled in.

That tough non-district slate has clearly benefitted the Cougars in district play. Their lone district loss came by one point in overtime to Stratford, and the Cougs won both their games last week – one of which came against rival Cy-Fair. TJ Ashford stuffed the stat sheet with 20 points, a team-high seven assists, three steals, three rebounds and a vicious block that made our highlights – which you can watch below.

Ashford wasn’t alone in leading Cy Creek’s dominant charge. Corey Hadnot led the team in scoring with 31 points to go with three-apiece of assists, rebounds and steals. Those two have been the key cogs of Cy Creek’s district-leading attack and hope to carry the Cougars deep in the playoffs.

Atascocita survives a challenge from Kingwood

Something about Kingwood’s slow-it-down, control the pace style of play has always seemed to give Atascocita troubles. Kingwood is no stranger to taking down a state-ranked Eagles squad and Friday proved to be a similar kind of day.

Atascocita entered the contest ranked No. 10 in the state, but it was Kingwood that led for most of the game. Angel Johnson came up big for Atascocita with 12 points while David Martinez had eight points with six of those coming in the Eagles’ fourth quarter rally. Landyn Jumawan chipped in eight for Atascocita as well.

Kingwood shot an efficient 16-of-25 from the field, but 21 turnovers helped to kill the Mustangs chances at winning. For comparison, Atascocita finished 15-of-43 from the field but relied on free throws down the stretch to escape with a 45-41 win. Micah Dees led Kingwood with 1o points while CJ Dunn chipped in nine points.

Pearland girls upset Shadow Creek

Kingwood couldn’t pull off a top 10 upset of Atascocita but the Pearland girls were absolutely up for a similar – perhaps tougher! – challenge.

Pearland faced No. 5 Shadow Creek in a huge district showdown and came out on top, 56-51. Aryelle Stevens led the Lady Oilers with 15 points; RyLee Grays added 12 and Paige Bonner tallied 10 points to make up well over half of Pearland’s points.

With that game being at Pearland, the Lady Oilers will still have to travel to Shadow Creek for a rematch, and it will be a rematch we’re all looking forward to.

Player of the Week

For leading her team to a big upset of Shadow Creek, Aryelle Stevens is my girls’ player-of-the-week! She’s helped position Pearland to potentially win – or at least tie for – a district title which is a big deal. The Lady Oilers also proved last week they can hang with anyone in the state and could be a force to be reckoned with come playoff time, and Stevens has plenty to do with that.

My boys’ player-of-the-week felt like a pretty obvious choice as well. Chancellor White deserves a big shout-out for putting up 44 points for Foster last week against Marshall, a number that made him the schools’ all-time leading scorer. But somehow, his big night was out-done. Marshall came away with a big win, scoring 109 points in 32 minutes to put away the Falcons. That performance was led by my player-of-the-week…

Marshall guard Jaland Lowe! He finished with 47 points and flashed some crafty handles as the Buffs continue to prove they’re one of the best teams in the state.

Play of the Week

I normally don’t do this, but I had to mention this somewhere. Shawn Jones – a former player-of-the-week – who plays for Shadow Creek – a team we talk about often – absolutely shattered a backboard!

This backboard is a solid representation of what Shadow Creek did to Hastings on Friday night. It even made SportsCenter!

Here are the state rankings, updated for last week – January 17.

For class 6A, Westfield continues to hold down the No. 3 spot. The Mustangs are followed by Elkins (5), Cy Falls (6), Clear Brook (7), Dickinson (9), Atascocita (10), Shadow Creek (16), Pearland Dawson (17) and Seven Lakes (18). After Cy Ranch’s upset of Cy Falls, I would expect to see the Mustangs enter the rankings this week.

For class 5A, Crosby slipped to No. 6 in the state. They’re followed by Katy Paetow (8), Marshall (11), Hightower, (12) and Kingwood Park (24). All of those teams are in Region III and will have to go through No. 1 Beaumont United to make an appearance at state.

For class 4A, Houston Washington continues to hold down the top spot among Houston-area teams at No. 3. They’re followed by La Marque (6), Brazosport (13) and Stafford (14). There are no ranked Houston-area teams in class 3A.

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