The Cooldown: Week 21
The Cooldown is a little late this week, but I wanted to post this on Friday to preview some girls playoff hoops and preview the boys bracket with their playoffs starting on Tuesday. In addition to the playoff previews we still have a few recaps from last weeks’ action and our players-of-the-week.
Klein Collins wins district on the final play
It’s not often a championship is decided on the final play – or sequence – of a game, but that’s what happened in Klein last week.
With nine seconds left, Klein Collins missed a free throw that would’ve given it a 52-50 lead on Klein Oak. Instead, with the Panthers down just a point, a make of any kind would’ve given Klein Oak the win. Ethan Wyatt had other plans.
His block of Klein Oak’s final shot attempt sealed the 51-50 victory and a district title for the Tigers. A championship decided at quite literally the final second. Wyatt finished with 10 points to go with his championship-sealing block while Greg Jackson had 14 points and Aaron Perez finished with 12. Isaiah Walker racked up 22 points to lead Klein Oak.
Klein Collins – who has spent some time in the statewide top 25 this season – will take on Cy Ranch in next weeks’ opening round of the playoffs, while Klein Oak takes on Langham Creek.
Clear Brook girls cruise to a district title
Girls’ playoffs are already underway, but winning playoff games isn’t the only thing to play for in a season.
Clear Brook took care of the first big goal of the season by wrapping up the 24-6A district title last week in a 60-43 win against Dickinson. A trio of outstanding sophomores led the way for the Lady Wolverines. Rezia Castillo finished with 19 points while Kamryn McLaurin chipped in 16 and Chardel Terrell finished with 14.
Those three outscored Dickinson by themselves, though Dickinson had the leading scorer in the game: Senior Danielle Porter had 22 points. Porter capped off her high school career with an impressive season after Dickinson lost to Alief Hastings in round one, 57-48. Clear Brook advanced with a 45-41 win against Alief Taylor, and the Lady Wolverines will face West Brook next.
Round two for girls hoops playoffs started last night (Thursday, Feb. 16) and continue today.
No. 14 Katy is already through to round three, where the Lady Tigers await the winner of Cy Creek and No. 7 Hightower. With No. 4 Pearland and No. 16 West Brook potentially waiting on the other side of the bracket, Region III is a bloodbath of talented teams. Region II’s best hope from Houston to advance to San Antonio likely comes in the form of No. 15 Westfield, who could eventually need to be No. 5 DeSoto to win the region.
Starting off with Region II for the boys, No. 25 Cy Falls, led by Joseph Tugler, could face some stiff competition in round two against College Park – that one is sure to be a good game. No. 18 DeSoto is also in the top half of this bracket. There are no state ranked teams in the bottom half of Region II for the Houston area, but Klein Oak and Westfield could both make a run.
Region III presents a more interesting story. The state’s No. 3 team, Seven Lakes, could have a titanic showdown in round two and three against Cy-Fair and Stratford, respectively. No. 12 Dawson could dominate the lower section of the top half of the bracket, as typically dominant Summer Creek and Atascocita are both in down years, at least relative to the past success of those programs. The top half of Region III could boil down to a tasty matchup between Dawson and Seven Lakes.
The bottom half of Region III features the ever-interesting Katy ISD schools, Shadow Creek, Cy Creek and Houston-area party crasher No. 2 Beaumont United. It could be tough for a Houston school to advance to state here with United in this part of the bracket, similar to last year.
For 5A, Marshall is the undeniable favorite to win Region III and I think it would be a shock not to see the Buffs at state. Point guard Jaland Lowe is one of the most mature players in the state and the Buffs have been unflappable for much of the season. Class 4A could get interesting with Furr, Washington, Stafford and Iowa Colony all in the top 12 of the state rankings. Class 3A’s hopes will ride on No. 2 Hitchcock.
Players of the Week
My boys’ player-of-the-week tallied 16 points in a huge district win that played a big part in district seeding. Bryson Wheatfall led Summer Creek to a 47-39 win against Atascocita to wrap up the No. 2 seed in district!
My girls’ player-of-the-week is a super sophomore who I mentioned earlier. Rezia Castillo’s 19 points led Clear Brook past Dickinson to a district title and the Lady Wolverines are currently in the second round of the playoffs!