The Cooldown: Week 24

Happy Valentines Day, everyone! Cupid has some competition because love isn’t the only thing in the air these days; playoff basketball is just around the corner! Girls’ hoops playoffs begin this week while boys’ hoops wrap up district play before playoffs begin a week from Tuesday.

Also, congratulations once again to Obo Okoronkwo of Alief Taylor, the lone Houston area Super Bowl champion! Let’s recap the best games from last week, discuss players-of-the-week and more.

Elkins wins another district title after beating Travis

Elkins has long been one of the best hoops programs in the Houston area and 2021-22 has been no exception.

The Knights haven’t lost a district game this season and will have a chance to finish the regular season at 29-5 with a win against Austin on Tuesday. The losses include a one-point L to No. 3 Westfield, as well as close losses to Dickinson and Atascocita; double-digit losses to Clear Brook and No. 1 Richardson. All five of those teams have spent significant time in the state-wide top 10 this season. Elkins hasn’t lost a game in 2022, with its last loss coming on December 28.

That should give away what happened in district play last week. Elkins cruised to a 56-36 win against a likely playoff bound Travis squad. Junior Chris Johnson led all scorers with 15 points, seniors Jackson Fields and De’Rail Wilson tacked on 12 and 10 respectively for the Knights.

Elkins will be considered among the favorites to make it to state by winning Region III, but Westfield, Atascocita, Dickinson and Clear Brook could all be standing in the way.

Dickinson gets back on track, wins another 24-6A title

Dickinson captured its sixth district title in seven years this weekend with a narrow win against Clear Falls. A year after Clear Brook captured the district title – putting an end to Dickinson’s six-year stranglehold on 24-6A – the Gators are back on top.

Dickinson dropped round one to Clear Brook earlier in the season and it looked for a while like a talented Wolverines squad could defend its district title, but it wasn’t meant to be. Dickinson won round two against the Wolverines and did just enough to skate by the rest of 24-6A. The Gators had close calls in a four-point win against Clear Springs, a five-point win against Clear Falls, a six-point win in round two against Clear Brook and Friday nights’ 65-60 thriller in round two against Clear Falls.

It’s no question 24-6A is a talented district. Clear Falls gave Dickinson all it could handle twice and could wind up as the third-best team in the district. Unfortunately, 24-6A battles 23-6A in the bi-district round of the playoffs, meaning the third and fourth-place teams will battle state ranked Pearland Dawson and Shadow Creek.

Texas A&M-bound PJ Williams led the way once again as one the state’s most un-guardable big men with 17 points. Seth Jones and Zyon Little tacked on 12 points each for Dickinson. Clear Falls was led by Orlando Horton and Javon Murray with 13 points apiece, and the Knights will need strong games from each against Clear Brook on Tuesday. Clear Falls needs to beat Brook to move up to second in 24-6A.

Cy Ranch girls' enter playoffs on high note, win district title

Speaking of Valentines Day… push the date to tomorrow night, all the restaurants will be packed tonight anyway. Go check out Cy Ranch girls’ hoops bi-district playoff game against Klein tonight!

That *specific* game is taking place because Cy Ranch won a defensive slugfest against Cy Springs 32-30. The Lady Mustangs previously lost to Cy Springs, but were able to capture a district title with a win in round two of that game last Tuesday.

Chelsy Singleton scored half of the Lady Mustangs’ points with 17; Lauren McWhite scored seven. Singleton also tallied eight rebounds and three assists, and went 9-of-10 at the free throw stripe. Freshman Ayla McDowell led the way for Cy Springs with 13 points and six boards.

If Cy Ranch doesn’t appeal for a Valentines Day date, the Cy Springs Lady Panthers take on Klein Cain tonight as well… can’t go wrong with those options!

Players of the Week

My girls’ player-of-the-week is an obvious choice… I’m going with Chelsy Singleton for scoring literally half of her teams’ points in a district title-clinching win! Cy Ranch will look to make a deep playoff run behind the talented junior, who is averaging 16.5 points-per-game.

My boys’ player-of-the-week did something similar. He might not have won the district title outright for his team, but Stratford remains in a tie for first in 17-6A heading into the final district game with a buzzer-beating shot on Saturday. My boys’ POTW is Luke Hatcher for this crazy shot to take down Cy Ridge!

A shot he’ll surely remember for the rest of his life, Hatcher and Stratford have a chance to win at least a share of a district title with a win against Cy-Fair on Wednesday. Here are the full game highlights from Stratford's win against Cy Ridge.

State Rankings

The new top 25 for February 7th remains mostly unchanged. Westfield continues to represent as the best team in Houston, coming in at third in the state. The Mustangs are followed by Elkins (5), Dickinson (6), Atascocita (11), Cy Ranch (12), Cy Falls (13), Clear Brook (14), Pearland Dawson (15), Shadow Creek (17), Katy Tompkins (20), Seven Lakes (21) and College Park (25). This means Houston has a season-high 12 teams ranked in the 6A top 25. Should make for an interesting playoffs!

Class 5A is once again led by Katy Paetow at the No. 8 spot. The Panthers are followed by Crosby (10), Marshall (11), Hightower (17) and Kingwood Park (20). Class 4A is led by Houston Washington at fourth, followed by Stafford (8), Brazosport (12) and La Marque (21). New Waverly is the lone 3A entry for Houston at No. 15 in the state.

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