AREA BOYS HOOPS: TLCA's Explosive Offensive Guides Eagles Past Sonora, into Playoffs
SONORA, TX -- The TLCA Eagles booked their playoff spot with a 61-45 win over Sonora on Tuesday. It's the first time TLCA is in the playoffs since the 2016-17 season.
"It shows that we had a goal, we worked toward that goal and we're not finished," TLCA head coach Kent Sherrill said. "We wanted to make sure we were in a position to get in the playoffs. We clinched it tonight, so that's good."
TLCA clinched their first playoff berth since the 2016-17 season behind an explosive offense. The Eagles scored in double figures in each of the four quarters.
The Eagles kicked the game off with a big run that led to a 15-5 lead after the first quarter. Senior shooting guard Isaac Gonzales began to heat up with six first quarter points for the Eagles.
Gonzales then found another gear for 13 of TLCA's 17 points in the second quarter to push their lead to 32-13 entering halftime.
Gonzales was relatively quiet in the third, scoring just five points. However, Seth Levesque caught the scoring bug and hit a pair of three-pointers en route to eight third quarter points to move the Eagles up 45-25. Jalen Lopez scored six of Sonora's 12 points in the third quarter to start an upward trend for the Broncos.
Sonora would tack on 20 points in the fourth behind a pair of threes and a free throw from Aldo De Luna. But TLCA would ride behind six points from Jevon Everitt and five from Kaiden Kirkland during a 16-point burst to seal the win.
Gonzales finished head and shoulders above the rest scoring-wise with 26 points. Everitt and Levesque finished with 10 points each.
De Luna had the team-high for Sonora with nine points.
Now, TLCA hopes to maintain their focus on their primary goal -- winning district for the first time in five years.
"[Clinching playoffs] eases my mind a little bit," Sherrill said. "But we're playing for that district championship. So, we've gotta make sure every game we come out there -- it's do or die."
TLCA (19-4, 7-1) hosts Grape Creek this Friday.
Sonora (11-13, 3-6) will be off this Friday before traveling to Grape Creek on Feb. 5.
Warren, Scates Highlight Robert Lee's Playoff-Clinching Win
The Robert Lee Steers put on an offensive onslaught to clinch a playoff berth in a 65-44 win over Blackwell on Tuesday.
The win didn't come easy for the Steers. They trailed 20-16 after the first quarter.
Then Jayton Warren exploded for 13 of Robert Lee's 21 second quarter points to put the Steers up 37-33 entering halftime.
Robert Lee then kicked their defense into high gear, limiting Blackwell to just four points in the third quarter. Nathan Scates hit three three-pointers to help Robert Lee take control with a 59-37 lead entering the fourth quarter.
The two offenses cooled off in the final quarter. Blackwell outscored Robert Lee 7-6 in the quarter, but that fell way short of the deficit.
Warren finished the game with 22 points. Scates had 19 points for the Steers.
Robert Lee moves to 8-1 in District 11-1A heading into their clash with Sterling City on Friday.
Central Fends Off Last Second Shot to Help Playoff Push
The Central Bobcats squeezed out a 71-68 win after the Abilene Eagles missed a last second heave.
The Bobcats started out hot behind the arc to jump out to an early lead. Hunter Gibbs started out with three first quarter three-pointers to give Cental a 19-14 lead.
Central played a zone defense throughout the game, trying to make the Eagles shoot from distance. They were able to hit six three-pointers in the first half, but Central matched them with six as well. The score going into halftime was 36-30 in favor of Central.
The Bobcats came out of the half sluggish. They weren't able to get things going from the floor and their defense fell off as well. They gave up 20 points and Abilene's Joe Joe Escobedo had eight points to overcome the deficit and take the lead at 50-47.
Once the Eagles took the lead the Bobcats offense kicked into overdrive. They played a full court trap press, that led into a half court trap. Those allowed the Bobcats to get a huge number of steals. Tristan Lopez had a huge quarter scoring nine points and grabbing multiple steals.
The game looked to be in favor of the Eagles. But thanks to Dev Minix hitting an and-one layup with 11 seconds left, Central took the lead.
Abilene had only three seconds and trailed by three, but they're hail mary prayer wasn't answered.
Tristan Lopez had 18 points and multiple steals.
Central (16-11, 5-5) will travel to Haltom on Friday.
Big First Quarter Lifts Menard Past Santa Anna
Menard used a big first quarter and five players scoring in double figures to secure an 82-30 win over Santa Anna on Tuesday and move one win away from a playoff berth.
The Yellowjackets exploded in the first quarter to take a 26-2 lead after the first frame.
From there, Menard never exactly let up. The Yellowjackets used a 14-point second quarter to take a 30-10 lead into halftime.
Menard then posted another 26 points in the third quarter to usher their lead to 56-22.
Another 16 points in the fourth quarter finished the Yellowjackets onslaught.
Josh Hernandez and Kallin Kothmann each finished with 16 points for the Yellowjackets. Rito Lozano and Gavin Johnston each posted 14 points. Noah Rosas had 13 to round out Menard's prolific night of scoring.
Menard (14-12, 8-1) will look to clinch a playoff berth at home this Friday against Panther Creek.
No. 11 Wall Tightens Grip on First Place
The no. 11-ranked Wall Hawks reaffirmed their place atop District 4-3A with a 54-41 win over Brady.
Wall needed a big second half to down the pesky Bulldogs. Brady trailed 11-10 after the first quarter and 20-17 at halftime. Gonzalo Morales kept Brady in the game with 10 first half points.
After Brady held with Wall in the third quarter to keep the deficit at three points, the Hawks flexed their muscle.
Colton Chitsey scored seven points and Baylor Halfmann nailed a pair of three-pointers during Wall's 22-point explosion in the fourth quarter.
Chitsey finished with 20 points for the Hawks. Halfmann totaled 11 points, nine of which came from range. Isaiah Guerra also finished in double figures with 10 points.
Morales was the only Bulldog in double figures with 18 points.
Wall (26-3, 9-0) will host third place Ballinger this Friday looking to keep their unblemished district record.
Brady (7-18, 3-5) will travel to Reagan County on Friday clinging to a half-game lead over Sonora for 4-3A's fourth playoff spot.
Covarrubiaz, Dennis Guide Eldorado Closer to Playoff Spot
Cesar Garcia and David Barajas started the Eagles off by hitting consecutive threes which kept them ahead of the Blizzards.
Eldorado kept a close lead to the Blizzards 14-12 in the first quarter. Both teams ramped up their defense in the second quarter, as they continued to steal the ball from each other and kept the score close.
By the end of the second quarter, the Eagles pulled ahead scoring a total of 16 points while the Blizzards only scored 15. Eagles kept the lead and ended the first half 30-27.
The Blizzards went into full court press into a full court press and held the Eagles which also resulted in them outscoring the Eagles.
Though Eagles were outscored, they still kept the lead and ended the game with a 59-55 win.
Korbin Covarrubiaz finished the game in the double digits scoring 11 points for the Eagles as did Aidan Dennis making 10 points. Garcia and Barajas ended the game with eight points each for the Eagles.
Winters falls to 2-5 in district play. They'll host Ozona this Friday.
Scores from around the area:
- Greenwood 79, Lake View 38
- Grape Creek 52, Reagan County 30
- Christoval 47, Miles 31
- Eldorado 59, Winters 55
- Forsan 60, Ozona 35
- Mason 70, Harper 42
- Garden City 34, Sands 31
- Menard 82, Santa Anna 30
- Eden 82, Rochelle 46
This story will be updated. Send scores and stats to [email protected]