Irion County Dominates Veribest for First Regional Berth in 20 Years
SAN ANGELO, TX -- The Irion County Hornets dominated district rival Veribest 55-28 at Lake View High School in the Class 1A Region II quarterfinals, booking their first trip to the regional tournament since 1999.
Dawson Sparks was able to get the first basket for Irion County by coming off of a screen to make a wide-open layup.
Watch: Irion County Boys Best Veribest:
The Hornets started the game in a tight man-to-man defense. Dominique Herrera was able to take advantage of the close defense and get fouled on the three point line. Herrera was unable to finish any of the three free throws, but was able to come down the next trip and get his first points of the game. He then picked up his first foul by taking another chance at driving the lane, but ran over the top of a Hornet defender who drew the charge.
Nathan Chacon was able to grab three offensive rebounds on the following possession. He was eventually fouled and sent to the free throw line. He made both free throws to give the Hornets an early 6-2 lead. Mo morrow then hit his first three of the night causing the Falcons to take a timeout with a little under 4 minutes in first trailing 9-2. Herrera got his second foul in the first quarter after another charge, but after a slight shove on the other end by a falcon ball handler they received the ball back. Unfortunately for Veribest, they turned the ball over afterwards which led to a wide open lane for Kaden Councilman.
Many turnovers and contested shots by Veribest gave Irion County a 15-4 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Zach Bolin became open down low to start the second, the ball was thrown over his head and out of bounds.
Morrow took the ball down the lane and scored a quick layup. The Hornets then went down on defense and forced three more consecutive turnovers. They were only able to capitalize on two of these turnovers and increased their lead to 19-4. With nearly five minutes left to play in the half Veribest called a timeout to try and stop the run. They trailed at the timeout 23-4.
After the timeout Bolin was able to score the first Veribest point of the quarter. They weren't able to score again until the two minute mark, and by that time the Hornets increased their lead 27-9. Just as the buzzer was about to sound Herrera chunked up a heave from three-point range, was luckily fouled, but wasn't able to make any of the shots.
Irion County led this game at halftime 27-9. Marrow had 11 points and a number of rebounds. Chacon had 6 points.
Herrera had five points in the half.
The first points of the second half came big for Irion County. Chacon was able to come off a screen and knock down a huge three-point shot.
Veribest didn't wait long to score in this quarter either, but instead of a three-pointer or another basket, they were able to hit on one of two free throws. This was the first free throw made after going 0-for-8 in the first half.
The Hornets continued to pound the ball inside. First Sparks drove the ball inside for a layup, then tried again, was fouled, and then made both free throws.
Veribest never gave up, even when trailing big. Herrera hit two three-pointers with four minutes remaining in the half to reduce the deficit to 17. Chacon answered with a three, but the momentum was all on Veribest's side.
The Falcons were able to cause multiple turnovers in a row and caused Irion County to take a timeout. Irion County got exactly what they wanted from the timeout.
The Hornets were able to hold Veribest scoreless until the two minute mark. This is when Veribest decided to take a timeout of their own. Veribest was not able to change anything after the timeout.
Instead, Chacon was able to get a block, pass it Morrow, and he found Sparks wide open in the paint. Chacon was then able to go down to the other end of the floor with only seconds remaining and score an easy basket. This gave Irion County a 25-point lead going into the fourth quarter.
The Falcons were not able to score on their first possession of the fourth, but neither did Irion County even though they grabbed six offensive rebounds.
Both teams were able to break the fourth quarter seal with five minutes left as both teams got easy layup looks. Morrow continued to score them on the offensive side of the ball by scoring four points in the fourth quarter. He was also able to make defensive plays such as blocks and contesting shots.
Chacon finished with 22 points. Morrow finished with 15 points.
Herrera finished with 21 points for Veribest.
Irion County will face Paducah in the regional semifinals this Friday at 8:30 inside Abilene Christian University's Moody Coliseum.