The Cooldown: Week 24

Cover Photo via @CyWoodsHoops on Twitter.

As the world puts a bow on football season, so too does the state of Texas on regular season high school hoops.

We move into the last week of the regular season with a handful of intriguing teams vying for playoff positions but seemingly no dominant authority in the area akin to Dickinson last season. The state championships are fast approaching and the hope is at least a few state games will be better than the Super Bowl we watched last night. Week 24 of The Cooldown is here!

All stats and standings taken from Maxpreps; state-wide standings as of February 1.

Clear Brook captures 24-6A title

Dickinson was perhaps the best team in the entire state last season behind stars Tramon Mark and Marcus Williams. Mark has been solid for Houston – a top 10 team in the nation – this season while Williams has become one of the best freshman in the nation at Wyoming. Their departures created a huge vacuum in 24-6A and Clear Brook has taken advantage.

The Wolverines have dominated their way to a 21-1 record and a district title this season. They’ll cap off regular season play at Clear Falls on Wednesday after three wins last week. Our cameras were there as the No. 23 team in the state handily beat Clear Springs in a mid-week tilt.

The win clinched the 24-6A district championship for Clear Brook, the program’s first in eight years. Christian Bradshaw will lead the Wolverines into the playoffs where seven Houston-area teams are ranked ahead of them with Klein close behind at No. 25 according to last weeks’ statewide rankings.

While anything could happen this season – again, there is no dominant 2020 Dickinson-like team in this years’ field – Clear Brook could absolutely make a deep playoff run.

Clear Creek and Brazoswood have been eliminated while Clear Springs, Dickinson, Clear Lake and Clear Falls will fight for the final three playoff spots. Springs is 7-4; Dickinson and Clear Lake are each 6-4 while Clear Falls has some work to do at 4-4 and will have to play more games next week than other 24-6A teams.

Cy Creek senior impresses in win

The only thing better than scoring 41 points is wrapping up a district title. Fortunately for DJ Richards, he got both last week. The Cy Creek senior was a sniper from three-point range as the Cougars clinched the 17-6A title with a 68-60 win against Stratford on Tuesday.

Cy Creek wraps up district play against Cy-Fair on Tuesday and Northbrook on Friday. At 17-3 and an unblemished record in district, Cy Creek is perhaps the best Houston-area squad who isn’t state ranked. Of course, 17-6A is one of the more competitive basketball districts in Houston – at least at the top. Second place is Memorial at 9-3, followed by Stratford and Cy-Fair at 8-4 each. The bottom half of the district is a different story with each team picking up four easy wins against Spring Woods and Northbrook – those two are a combined 2-22 in district play this year.

Two of the Cougars’ three losses came in close games against state-ranked teams early in the season. Cy Creek fell 60-58 to No. 25 Klein back on November 20 and then 62-58 to No. 7 Elkins in its next game. While Houston has plenty of talented teams this season it isn’t hard to see Cy Creek making a deep run although you may have to squint a little bit.

Cy Woods joins Cy Creek as CFISD district champs

Move over one district to 16-6A and it’s nearly a copy-and-paste story from Cy Creek to Cy Woods.

Just like Creek, Cy Woods has just three losses with two tough early season non-district losses. It also wrapped up a district title last week with a 90-55 thrashing of Cy Lakes.

The early season losses came against always-good Klein Forest in overtime and a blowout loss to Katy Tompkins. Unlike Creek, the Wildcats have a district blemish after losing to Cy Park back on January 30. Regardless, a district championship is a district championship. The Wildcats wrap up against Cy Falls and Bridgeland this week before heading into the playoffs.

Team and Player of the Week

My team-of-the-week is the Sharpstown Apollos – who clinched a playoff spot last week and had an utter dunk-fest against Waltrip. The Apollos are 9-3 in district and 11-11 overall and trail just Northside (7-0) in the district standings. They’ll take on Northside on Wednesday in what should be a good game.

My player-of-the-week is DJ Richards. As mentioned above, the young man scored 41 points in a district-clinching win. A performance like that will always get you POTW on this here weekly blog.