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02/17/20

The Cooldown: Week 25

Cover Photo via @DickinsonISD on Twitter

Folks, we have just about reached the end. Roughly half the teams in the Houston area will hang up it’s jerseys on Wednesday morning with the last round of district games coming to a close Tuesday night.

However, Houston has plenty of teams that have a shot to make some noise in the playoffs. The area features seven teams in the TABC top 25 in 6A and two of the top three teams in 5A.

The second season will start a week from Tuesday (which gives teams a week to prepare for round one matchups as opposed to making them play Friday… this also gives districts a chance to decide tiebreakers by virtue of an extra game if necessary) and we have plenty to look forward to. Houston owns five of the top 10 teams in 6A, and they all play in Region III. Only one can make it to San Antonio.

With that being said, we had some great games last week, including a few that had significant impact on district seeding.

Kingwood scores big upset against Atascocita

Fittingly, the back of Kingwood’s jersey’s read “defense,” which is exactly how the Mustangs defeated the No. 6 team in 6A.

Atascocita came in flying high after a big win against Summer Creek to snap the Bulldogs 27-game win streak. The Eagles win against Summer Creek meant the two would tie for the district championship if each won out – the presumed outcome – but Kingwood had different plans.

Atascocita’s game is to get up and down the floor. The thing that impresses me about them is how fast they can play seemingly without getting tired. They do a good job of playing fast, but under control. That’s hard to do, and Kingwood took the Eagles out of their game by slowing it down.

The Eagles had six points at the end of one and just eight points at the half. Despite the slow start, they were able to rally and force overtime before losing 45-38.

Senior big man Walker Blaine had a big night, including this and-one. It was also his first and only win against Atascocita – Kingwood had previously been 0-7 against the Eagles in the last four seasons.

Now all Summer Creek needs to do to clinch the district title is win on Tuesday night. The Bulldogs loss to Atascocita is their lone district blemish.

Shadow Creek vs. Hightower -- Round 2

Oh my. High School hoops simply does not get better than what Shadow Creek and Hightower gave us on Tuesday night.

The line to get in the gym was out the door and around the corner. Literally.

Deshaun Watson made an appearance, his second week in a row showing up to watch Houston high school hoops. The crowd hung on every shot as if it were the NBA Finals – and we’re not even to the playoffs yet. The gym was, predictably, packed to capacity. Media members littered the baseline trying to get photos and video.

Oh, and to cap it off, Hightower sophomore Bryce Griggs decided to make the occasion his coming out party. He finished with 46 points. Forty-Six! Against the No. 2 team in the state!

I know Shadow Creek is moving up to 6A next season, but it would be a shame if these two didn’t play next season – and tournaments don’t count. We need these two to play either at Shadow Creek or at Hightower. As electric as the atmosphere was on Tuesday, James Harden showed up to round one at Shadow Creek earlier this season and the atmosphere was every bit as good.

While Shadow Creek took round one, Griggs powered Hightower to an 80-64 win this time around, giving each one district loss. They could opt to play each other at a neutral site on Friday to determine playoff seeding (should each win their Tuesday night games, which Atascocita has shown us is never a given,) but the likely scenario is that they’ll decide seeding on a coin flip since each are comfortably in the playoffs. Not to mention Houston doesn’t have many teams as talented as those two in 5A.

At this point, I’m praying this is our Region III final; winner goes to San Antonio. WE need it.

Dickinson rolls into playoffs; Duncanville slips

The Dickinson Gators have held down the No. 2 spot in the state for most of the season. They blew through 24-6A once again en route to a perfect district record after a 71-64 win against Clear Lake on Friday, a game they played without star Tramon Mark.

Senior Marcus Williams dropped 46 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists in the win. When was the last time we saw someone come within an assist of a 46-point triple double? They only play 32 minutes!

That No. 2 ranking remained the same on Monday despite a loss from top-ranked Duncanville as the Panthers fell to No. 11 Richardson in overtime, 81-77, on Friday. Ducanville’s record now stands at 25-3 while Dickinson sits at 26-5. While Dickinson could have to go through the likes of Summer Creek, Atascocita, Beaumont United or Morton Ranch to win Region III, Duncanville may have a tougher road.

Seeding for 8-6A will be similar to the situation I discussed above with Shadow Creek and Hightower. Because the Panthers split games with Richardson, each are 12-1 in district play with one game left.

Who gets the first seed and second seed in 8-6A is important because that district matches up with 7-6A for the first round. The playoff teams in 7-6A have been decided: it’s No. 10 Grand Prairie, No. 13 South Grand Prairie, No. 16 DeSoto and No. 17 Waxahachie. That is an absolute gauntlet of teams.

While Dickinson will have tests of it’s own, it should be interesting to see who makes state from Region I. There is plenty of talent and Duncanville will be the favorite once again: The Panthers won Region I and the state championship a year ago. Personally, I’m rooting for it to happen. Give me Dickinson vs. Duncanville for state!