Editor’s Note: Game times and dates are subject to change due to COVID-19 issues.
Brock blocks City View in quarterfinal
The Eagles appeared loose and ready during pregame warmups prior to Friday night's game, sporting their bright yellow pullovers and blue trunks as they practiced shooting hoops. At game time, the boys wore Eagles blue top to bottom while the City View Mustangs from Wichita Falls sported white.
Brock was considered the visitor at the neutral site, Graham High School, although Eagles fans won the noise battle.
After the opening tipoff, Eagles guard Quinn Moudy sliced a quick toss to Nathan Jones near the basket, and the biggest guy on Brock’s roster put the pill in the bucket and the Eagles on the scoreboard first. Moudy would be involved in much of the action from that point forward, stealing balls, making sharp passes and sinking baskets at crucial times.
In general, though, the Eagles started slowly, missing more passes and shots than typical before finding a groove near the end of the first quarter and taking the lead 17-13.
To begin the second quarter, Jones took a pass from Corbin Calzacorta and sank a short tossup. The Mustangs responded by applying the heat, dogging the Eagles full-court and forcing Moudy, Ty McCall, Zach Lewis and the rest to crack through constant defensive pressure with pinpoint passing and deft dribbling. The Eagles were up to the task and led 28-19 midway through the second. Jones began to come alive, snatching rebound after rebound and tossing in the occasional twos.
The Mustangs didn’t make it to the quarterfinals without talent, and they played like their season depended on it, which it did. It’s win or go home at the state tournament.
City View came close to tying the game, but Jones rebounded and shot his team out of trouble again, securing a 37-27 lead at halftime.
The second half began like the first, with Jones taking a pass and making a short basket. The big center has taken over games in the past and was threatening to do so again, although the Mustangs had a couple of big guys of their own trying with limited success to slow him down. Every time the Mustangs began to chip away at the Eagles’ lead, Jones would sink another short basket or Lewis or Moudy would hit a long ball to keep the ponies at bay.
The game came dangerously close to becoming a high-scoring affair for two teams so laser-focused on defense. The Eagles kept feeding Jones, and he made most of his high-percentage shots while running from basket to basket, up and down the long court, all night without a break.
Before the basketball season, Jones spent months in gritty battle as the starting tight end on the Eagles football team that went three deep into the playoffs. His last football game was Nov. 27, 2020, and he joined the basketball team immediately, as the season had begun already. The guy has been at war in the trenches for months on end amid a pandemic but shown no signs of cracking.
The Eagles kept their 10-point lead through much of the third quarter that ended at 50-40. Eight minutes of basketball remained.
The Eagles began the quarter with Jones making a defensive rebound, running to the opposite end of the court, catching a pass and sinking a short bucket and running back to the other basket. The fatigue began to show — a ref called a foul on him, and defenders blocked a couple of his shots. Coach Zach Boxell called a full timeout, and the minute of rest re-invigorated Jones somewhat with five minutes remaining in the game. Still, he was bent over with his hands on his knees a couple of times while dripping sweat.
City View climbed within seven points midway through the third, but Calzacorta sank two free throws, Jones made a defensive rebound and the Eagles drew a technical foul. Quickly, they were back up by 11 points with less than three minutes on the clock.
Few teams can erase a double-digit deficit against the Eagles in that amount of time. The Mustangs aren’t among them.
Final score: Brock 72, City View 61
Brock (27-3) heads to the regional semifinals next, taking on Abernathy (12-5) at 6 p.m. Monday at Abilene Wylie High School.
Community Christian 67, Heritage Christian 59
The Warriors of Mineral Wells grabbed a 19-10 lead in the first quarter of this warmup game for next week’s playoff semifinal. Heritage cut the lead down to one point by halftime, but the Warriors regrouped and finished strong.
Joshua Guzman scored 26 points to lead the Warriors, and Jackson Horton was close behind with 21. The night, however, belonged to Christian Crawford, who tallied 16 points in remarkable fashion, making all four of his three-point attempts and sinking four of five free throws. Crawford and Haden Scarbrough led the team with eight rebounds apiece.
Community Christian (23-7) plays Harvest Christian (13-4) on Tuesday. Time and location are being determined. Watch for a Basketball Roundup update on Monday for more details.
Graford to face Saint Jo tonight
Graford (21-2) plays Saint Jo (19-7) at 6 p.m. tonight at home.
Peaster 93, Dublin 64
The Greyhounds won their quarterfinals match against Dublin as they continue in the tournament that appears to be leading them toward yet another battle with Brock. The two teams have battled three times already this season, with Brock coming out on top twice, including in the most important meeting — the bi-district championship. Peaster would love nothing more than an opportunity to avenge that loss.
Next up for Peaster (23-4) is Shallowater (22-3) at 7 p.m. Monday.
Community Christian 73, Lake Country 41
The Lady Warriors bested a 4A team that was ranked No. 6 in the state, the Eagles of Lake Country, in convincing fashion as they continue barreling toward a state title.
Lake Country was a strong team this season but crumpled under the smothering defense of Community Christian. The Warriors apply a full-court press that frustrates and maddens opponents.
Senior standout Hena Spahíc tallied 32 points to lead the Warriors, and senior Elaina Buchanan and sophomore Kate Buchanan scored double digits as well. Kylie Maness, Jersey Davila and Halee Petrie found the scoreboard, as well.
Coach Kayla Buchanan has been grooming this team for years and expects them to compete for a state title soon. The school’s athletic director will be surprised if the girls don’t prevail.
“They are solid,” said Brian Rodricks, the athletic director and head coach of the boys team. “Our girls play hard for 32 minutes. That’s all they know. That’s their mantra. They get after it.”
The Lady Warriors play St. Paul’s Prep in the TCAF Division II state semifinal game at 8 p.m. Monday at Covenant Classical in Fort Worth.
Peaster 71, Nocona 57
Peaster pummeled a tough Nocona in a quarterfinals game and is ready to take on Brownfield in the regional semifinals.
Peaster (26-4) plays at 1 p.m. today against Brownfield (26-1).