The Cooldown: Week 26

I want to start off this weekly blog a little bit different than normal. First off, my thoughts and prayers have been with everyone across the Houston area and our great state that had to suffer through the worst of last week’s “once in a lifetime” weather event.

We’ve all lived through more than enough “once in a lifetime” events in the last year-plus and the hope is that we’re done with those for a while. I’ve taken time out on this blog to address the sudden death of one of the greatest basketball players to ever live, a global health pandemic that changed life as we know it, and now sub-zero temperatures grinding life in Texas to a halt… all in the past year.

It’s been a taxing year for many of us and that’s part of what makes high school sports so great sometimes. It provides a brief distraction for those of us who consume it as entertainment, and a get-away from the stresses of life for those who play it. With the global pandemic still on-going (though getting better by the day with light at the end of the tunnel) and the events of last week, perhaps there is no better time to start playoff basketball than now. Let’s recap round one action and look ahead to what’s coming up.

6A Region II Notables

Cy Woods entered the playoffs unranked but perhaps the Wildcats should have been ranked over an area foe – more on that in a minute.

It was an impressive start-to-finish performance for Cy Woods as they beat Klein Oak 69-43 to advance to play the winner of tonight’s showdown between The Woodlands and Spring. Trevor Passmore led the way for the Wildcats with 14 points, followed by Damian Watson with 13 and Jared Viesca with 10.

The bottom half of this grouping of four featured a major upset. Klein entered the playoffs ranked No. 23 in the state but was upset by four-seed Cy Lakes 58-56 in double overtime. The only other game played in 6A Region II was Cy Park’s 75-66 win against Klein Forest, so much of that side of the bracket will be determined today.

6A Region III Notables

Region III is different from Region II in that it saw nine games played on Saturday, by far the most of any region in 6A.

Katy ISD was swept out of the playoffs in a single day and Travis played its part in a big way. The Tigers got big scoring nights from Mekhi McIntyre and Cam Oliver for an emphatic 76-46 win. McIntyre did his damage in the first half by scoring 15 points and finishing with 20 total; Oliver had 18 for the night. Zach Martinez also finished in double digits for Travis with 10 points.

Elsewhere in Region III, No. 7 Elkins passed its round one test with flying colors in a 66-37 win against Mayde Creek; Memorial cruised over Westbury; Bush beat Katy Taylor and Heights took down Cy-Fair. That grouping of four will play the winners amongst each other. West Brook beat Dobie 58-56 in the only game played in the upper middle portion of the region.

The bottom-most part of the region will all be played tonight and tomorrow night but the upper-bottom part of the region played all its games on Saturday. No. 24 Cy Creek survived an overtime scare from Lamar and advances to play the aforementioned Travis Tigers. Bellaire will play Ridge Point in round two after the Cardinals squeaked by Stratford and the Panthers cruised past Tompkins.

5A Region III Notables

Class 5A Region III saw plenty of Saturday action as well with eight Houston area games and two other games featuring Austin area teams.

Foster versus Sharpstown was one of the more intriguing matchups in the region and No. 15 Foster came out on top 55-44. Reuben Fatheree is Texas A&M-bound for football but he isn’t done as a Foster Falcon. The big man led the Falcons with 19 points in the win, followed by Chancellor White with 13 points.

No. 3 Hightower continued its roll as perhaps state favorites – and certainly as Region III favorites – with a 100-47 beat-down of Waltrip. A whopping six (!!) Hurricanes finished in double digits led by Caleb Douglas with 15, Jacory Chatman and Bryce Griggs with 14 each, Tyrone Baker with 13 and seven boards, Aaron Bland with 12 and Josh Porter with 10.

Elsewhere in Region III, Kingwood Park beat Waller and No. 20 Paetow beat New Caney to advance. Those two will have showdowns with Austin area squads before meeting each other in round three if each wins in round two. Northside beat Marshall 73-71 in overtime to round out the action for the top half of the bracket.

Magnolia beat Cleveland 54-46 in the only game played in the upper-bottom part of the region while Angleton beat Madison and Beaumont United beat La Porte to join Foster’s win in the bottom-most part of the bracket.

Much of round one has yet to be decided and will be played out tonight and tomorrow after the weather from last week pushed many games back. We’ll have a better idea on Wednesday of what the brackets will look like moving forward.

Team and Player of the Week

Giving out team and player of the week seems premature given that most teams haven’t wrapped up round one games – but we’re going to do it anyway. However, look out for a round one recap blog later in the week so we can put a proper bow on round one action… I might have another team and player of the week coming then.

My team-of-the-week was an obvious choice – Cy Lakes entered the playoffs with a losing record for the season but pulled to .500 with an upset of a state-ranked squad in Klein. This is truly one of the best parts about playoff high school basketball – anything can happen. How far will the Cy Lakes run go?

My player-of-the-week is Reuben Fatheree. Of course, the Foster big man is more known for his football talents, but he’s a pretty solid hooper as well. It isn’t easy to make it to varsity at the 5A level in Texas, nevertheless lead your team in scoring in a playoff win. Somebody call Jimbo over at A&M and convince him to let Fatheree play a little hoops for the Aggies too!

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