Cover Photo via @CyCreekGBB on Twitter.
It’s been 361 days since the UIL announced the suspension of the 2020 state basketball tournament. The one-year anniversary of that decision comes on Friday as the 2021 state tournament is set to take place under somewhat similar circumstances.
Of course, we know much more about the coronavirus and how it acts now than we did a year ago. That being said, last years’ state finalists deserve some love. Shout-out to 2019-20 Dickinson, Hightower, Yates and Stafford boys’ teams. They didn’t get to play for a state title but I have no doubt they would have come out on top.
Let’s get to some recaps and state tournament previews!
Class 6A Recaps and Preview
Ridge Point’s Cinderella run came up a little short with a 76-41 regional semifinal loss to Atascocita. The Eagles faced Summer Creek in the regional finals after upsetting No. 7 Elkins 57-52 to set up a titanic round three between these two district foes. Atascocita won both regular season matchups – by 10 points and two points – before the most important game of them all. Before we get to the recap… just go ahead and watch these fantastic highlights.
The game was a nailbiter all the way down to the very end. Tom Hart III hit a go-ahead layup with a little less than five seconds on the clock. Summer Creek raced up the floor after a timeout and hit what seemed to be a game-winning layup, but it came just after time had expired and Atascocita is headed back to the state tournament for the first time in five years.
The state tournament will look a little different this season. Usually the whole thing is played in San Antonio at the Alamodome but this year, to mitigate coronavirus risks, the semifinals will be played at a neutral site with the state championship still taking place in San Antonio.
Atascocita will still be heading to San Antonio for its semifinal matchup against No. 5 Austin Westlake on Tuesday night at 6 pm at the Northside Athletic Complex. Westlake is ranked as a top-30 team in the nation by Maxpreps and its lone loss this year came to Region II winner Duncanville. Atascocita enters with a record of 24-2 after losing district contests to CE King and Beaumont West Brook.
If Atascocita beats Westlake on Tuesday night, it will take on the winner of No. 2 Duncanville and No. 3 Richardson at the Alamodome at 7 pm Saturday. No Houston-area team made it to the state semifinals in 5A after Paetow's elimination, so we’ll move to the 4A state tournament preview.
Class 4A Recaps and Preview
Huffman-Hargrave was the last Houston-area team standing in 4A and it survived the weekend. It started with a 48-37 win against Carthage while Silsbee upset No. 22 Connally 81-62 to set up a huge regional finals matchup.
Silsbee entered the regional finals boasting upsets of Yates and Connally and looked to continue that trend against No. 11 Huffman, but it wasn’t meant to be.
Jacob Harvey had a spectacular game to lead Huffman past Silsbee 62-56. Huffman will now face No. 5 Boerne in the state semifinals at Delmar Fieldhouse at 7:30 pm on Tuesday. If Huffman wins, the Falcons will face the winner of No. 1 Faith Family and No. 3 Argyle at the Alamodome at 2 pm Saturday.
Class 6A Girls State Final Preview
The rematch is set.
Cy Creek took down Converse Judson 55-34 in the state semifinals to advance to the state title game for the second year in a row. Once the Lady Cougars get to San Antonio, they’ll have some demons to exorcise. Cy Creek entered last years’ state title game with a record of 41-0 before losing to Duncanville 63-47 in the state title game.
Cy Creek hasn’t lost since then, meaning they enter the state title game having won 73 of its last 74 games. Of course, the one loss was in the state title game, meaning they currently have no titles to show for that stretch of dominance. The Cougars have a chance to avenge the state title loss in 2020 against DeSoto at 7 pm Thursday at the Alamodome.
Team and Player of the Week
My team-of-the-week is the Huffman Falcons. We’re down to just three Houston-area public schools left playing but Huffman has been a great story all season long. The Falcons have never advanced to the state tournament in school history and will play for the chance to go to the state title game after a fantastic season.
My player-of-the-week is Tom Hart III for his game-winning layup to put Atascocita back in the state tournament. Hart has had an excellent senior season and has helped to lead the Eagles back to state for the first time in five years.