Cover Photo courtesy of @CyCreekGBB on Twitter
Many Houston-area boys’ teams didn’t play round one games until Monday; seven days later we’re through three rounds of the UIL state playoffs. Upsets are the theme of the year with several ranked teams going down in the opening three rounds, leaving no true state favorite in the area.
No. 13 Westfield and No. 25 College Park were upset in close games against Cy Park and Cy Ranch respectively, and Ridge Point blew out No. 11 Bellaire all in class 6A. No. 3 Hightower fell to Crosby in 5A while No. 2 Yates fell to Silsbee to cap off the second round upsets. So the question of the day is, who’s left? With four rounds of playoffs left, let’s reset the prospects for a Houston-area state championship.
Class 6A Remaining Bracket
Region III features No. 7 Elkins taking on No. 14 Summer Creek with the winner getting the winner of No. 12 Atascocita versus Ridge Point in the Region III finals.
No. 5 Austin Westlake will be the favorites to win Region IV while No. 3 Richardson is the favorite in Region I. The winner of Region II will likely come down to No. 1 Waxahachie and No. 2 Duncanville – I’d be shocked to see anything else. However, each plays a Houston-area squad – Waxahachie versus Cy Woods and Duncanville versus Cy Park. It would take an improbable upset but it isn’t impossible.
If the brackets go chalk, it’ll be Elkins representing Houston in the Final Four along with Richardson (Region I), Waxahachie (Region II) and Austin Westlake (Region IV).
Class 5A Remaining Bracket
Class 5A is slim pickings for Houston-area prospects. Region III features No. 20 Paetow taking on No. 24 Goose Creek Memorial, but the winner gets the winner of No. 2 Beaumont United and No. 17 Hendrickson. Considering Beaumont is just outside of the Houston coverage area, Houston could be shut out of state all together in 5A.
If the bracket goes chalk, the Final Four will be No. 4 Mansfield Timberview (Region I), No. 1 Lancaster (Region II), Beaumont United, and No. 22 Georgetown (Region IV). As it relates to Houston, the winner of Paetow and Goose Creek Memorial will have to go through No. 2 United to win the region, followed by No. 22 Georgetown and No. 1 Lancaster at state if the bracket goes chalk.
Class 4A Remaining Bracket
While state tournament mainstay Yates is out early, 4A still has two Houston-area teams left. No. 11 Huffman will take on Carthage and face the winner of No. 22 Connally and Silsbee if it wins. The winner of that quartet will win Region III.
No. 9 Stafford has a tougher road in Region IV. They’ll get No. 25 Somerset and will face the winner of No. 5 Boerne and Port Isabel should they get past Somerset. If Huffman or Stafford can make it to state, No. 1 Faith Family, No. 3 Argyle or No. 4 Carter could be waiting.
So here it is: across the entire area, here’s who is left.
Elkins, Summer Creek, Atascocita, Ridge Point, Cy Woods, Cy Park, Katy Paetow, Goose Creek Memorial, Huffman and Stafford.
So... how did we get here?
Crosby pulled off a massive (!!) upset of Hightower in round two – because what else would we expect out of Crosby this year – and exited stage left after a thrilling overtime loss to Goose Creek Memorial, 79-76.
Sam Bradford led GCM with 23 points and 15 rebounds while junior Avant Coleman added 19 and Malik Mustafaa and Dariyus Woodson chipped in 11 points apiece. Goose Creek Memorial will face one-loss Paetow in the next round.
Perhaps the story of the night in this game came in a losing effort. Sean Haggerty dropped 41 points for Crosby in what was ultimately – just barely – a losing effort. He had 30 against Hightower in round two to propel Crosby to a better-than-expected season.
Our game of the week was a titanic state-ranked matchup between No. 6 Shadow Creek and No. 14 Summer Creek. These two met in the regular season back on November 20 and Shadow Creek walked away with a narrow 79-76 win. That wasn’t the case this time around.
Summer Creek is moving on with a 68-59 playoff dub behind 16 points and 14 rebounds from Reyce Allen and 20 points from Amaree Abram.
Meanwhile, the Cy Creek girls kept it rolling with a blowout win against Summer Creek. The Lady Cougars looked absolutely unstoppable as Steph Cur uh, I mean Kyndall Hunter hit seven (!!) threes in the first half alone. The Texas commit led Cy Creek with 27 points; 23 of those coming in the first half.
Team and Player of the Week
My team of the week is the Ridge Point Panthers, who downed No. 24 Cy Creek in round three and No. 11 Bellaire in round two. Beating two state-ranked teams en route to the regional semifinals is quite impressive, but they’ll have to do it twice more to advance. First up is No. 12 Atascocita, followed by the winner of No.7 Elkins and No. 14 Summer Creek. That’s quite the road!
My player-of-the-week is Kyndall Hunter. The Cy Creek sharpshooter (as I mentioned above) hit SEVEN three-pointers in one half to lead the Cougars to a big win. Cy Creek didn’t get to play for a state title in last year’s COVID-canceled tournament and Hunter and Rori Harmon are making sure that opportunity doesn’t pass by again. Next up is Shadow Creek in the regional finals on Tuesday.
Honorable Mention: Cy Park versus Cy Ranch
I don’t normally do an honorable mention but I had to include what happened in the Cy Park – Cy Ranch game. AJ Ferguson was outstanding for the Tigers leading the team in points and rebounds with 23 and 15 to go with six assists. Kendall Cross added 21 points as Cy Park prevailed 69-67 in five overtimes.
However, here’s perhaps the craziest play of the year. With Cy Ranch trailing by two with just under five seconds left in the fifth overtime, Colby Rasberry hauls in a three-quarters court pass, spins and hoists a three-pointer to win the game and it falls! But referees whistle it off after Cy Ranch called timeout right as Rasberry caught the ball; Cy Park goes on to win it. But I felt like this video needed to be seen, so here’s that crazy play. Footage here is courtesy of Hardwood Films.