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02/24/20

The Cooldown: Week 26

Cover Photo via @KatyISDAthletic on Twitter

The much-anticipated 2nd season has arrived. District games wrapped up on Tuesday night and the playoffs are set after two Friday night games determined seeding in 14-6A and 19-6A. We’ll talk favorites for state and interesting details from the bracket seeding in Region II and Region III.

Mayde Creek squeaks in

In 14-6A, Cy Park beat Langham Creek 38-30 to take the third seed while LCHS slides into fourth. The 19-6A showdown had a lot more riding on it.

Mayde Creek and Cinco Ranch faced off at Taylor High School to decide which team would grab the final playoff spot for 19-6A while the loser would spend Saturday morning turning in jerseys. The season for each team came down to just two points, as Mayde Creek squeaked by into the playoffs with a 45-43 win.

The special thing about the win for Mayde Creek is this: after the game, Rams coach Anthony Fobb gave a great message to his team. He stated that Mayde Creek opened in 1982, meaning the Rams have been playing basketball for 38 seasons. Out of those 38, the basketball team has reached the postseason just six times, with two coming from this senior class. Take a bow class of 2020!

The win was truly historic for a program that hasn’t had much success in its history. The Rams will face Travis in the first round of the playoffs on Tuesday.

Region III News and Notes

The state is divided into four regions for the playoffs. Houston has 12 of 32 teams in Region II and comprises all of Region III. We can split each region into four subsections to get a better idea of the road a team might have.

Each team needs to win it’s first three games to win its portion of the bracket. Round four acts as the region semifinals, round five is the region finals and round six is the state semifinals. To win state, a team will win a total of seven games. Because Houston teams comprise all of Region III, I’ll discuss them first.

The top quarter of the Region III bracket has the aforementioned Travis versus Mayde Creek matchup, along with Cy-Fair versus Lamar, No. 14 Morton Ranch versus Elkins and Sam Houston versus Cy-Creek. Travis broke into the statewide top 25 a few weeks before losing and falling out. Morton Ranch has been a mainstay in the top 25 all season, and I expect the Mavs to win their portion of Region III.

The winner of that first portion will face the winner of a bloodbath from the second portion of Region III in the region semifinals. No. 2 Dickinson could have a round two date with No. 12 North Shore and a round three date with No. 10 Atascocita. They’ll be rewarded with No. 14 Morton Ranch in round four should the Mavs win as I mentioned above.

The third portion is arguably the weakest of the region as the only portion with no state ranked teams. Bellaire will play Jersey Village; Katy gets Bush; Memorial will face Westbury and Ridge Point faces Tompkins. I like Ridge Point as the favorites from this grouping.

The bottom portion of Region III is almost as intriguing as the second one. It will feature a matchup between No. 7 Summer Creek and Channelview; Geroge Ranch gets Clear Brook; No. 8 Beaumont United plays Dobie and Clear Creek gets Pearland. All signs point toward a Summer Creek and Beaumont United showdown. The winner will likely get a weaker opponent in round four before potentially facing any of a number of great teams from the dominant top half of the Region.

My picks for the Region III semifinals:

No. 2 Dickinson beats No. 14 Morton Ranch

No. 7 Summer Creek beats Ridge Point

Region II News and Notes

The top portion of Region II features no Houston area squads, but does include No. 3 Ellison and No. 21 Prosper. Conventional wisdom tells me Ellison wins the region, though I haven’t kept up as much with DFW area hoops this season.

The second portion of Region II features nearly all Houston area teams. No. 19 Westfield will play The Woodlands; Hendrickson faces off against Cy Park; Klein gets Eisenhower and Cy Woods will play Leander. I think Westfield has out-played its No. 19 ranking this season and I think the Mustangs roll into round four easily based on this group of teams.

The third portion features no Houston teams, but does include No. 5 Allen, who has put together an impressive season. I think Allen rolls.

The bottom portion is mostly Houston teams as well. Cy lakes plays Round Rock Westwood; College Park gets Dekaney; No. 13 Austin Vandegrift plays Langham Creek and Aldine Davis will play Klein Forest. This is an interesting portion to me. I’ve really liked Klein Forest this season and Daylan Hamilton has stood out to me as one of the best players in an area full of them. However, Vandegrift has Greg Brown, one of the most sought-after recruits in America. I like the Vipers here.

My picks for the Region II semifinals:

No. 19 Westfield beats No. 21 Prosper*

No. 13 Vandegrift beats No. 5 Allen

*or No. 3 Ellison… haven’t decided who I like more, but I do like Westfield for sure

It sticks out like a sore thumb that all my state quarterfinal picks are currently state ranked teams. It probably won’t work out that way, but this is what I have for now. I’m one for chaos, so I’m hoping a few upsets are pulled… I would love to see Klein Forest end Greg Brown’s career a little early.

Somehow we will play seven rounds of this basketball tournament in the next 20 days. The 6A state champion will be crowned 20 nights from tonight down in San Antonio. Let’s have some fun!