Despite a slow start by the City View Mustangs which saw the team fall behind the Brock Eagles, 16-7 after one quarter, the former proved a tough out in the blue and gold’s 56-51 Class 3A regional quarterfinals win Monday night at Bridgeport High School.
Rallying from multiple double-digit deficits throughout the course of the game, City View gave itself a chance late, forcing a turnover and subsequently draining a three-point shot with 1:10 left in regulation to pull within five (51-46).
It was as close as the Mustangs would come in the third-round playoff game’s waning minutes, thanks in large part to two pairs of free throws made by junior point guard Ty McCall in the last 30 seconds of the contest, helping keep City View at bay as time ran out.
Eagles’ Head Coach Zach Boxell said his team understood heading into the contest that the Mustangs would prove most dangerous if allowed to control the game’s tempo, something which came to fruition in the second quarter as City View wore down a 10-point Brock lead to two points with 40 seconds left in the half.
“We started off the game handling the pressure well, going down and getting some good looks and making some easy baskets, but as we kept playing, [City View] started getting momentum going their way as far as making us speed up,” Boxell said.
“That’s one thing we knew, if they were doing well on their press, it would be a game that was in their favor. But once we started to control the tempo, we were OK.”
Brock appeared on its way to a potential blowout win early, opening the contest with a 9-0 run which held City View off the scoreboard through the contest’s first 3:55.
Already trailing by double digits late in the first quarter, City View eventually found its footing in the second frame, opening the period with a 10-4 run to pull within three (20-17) midway through the quarter.
That same narrative played out on repeat for much of the contest, with Brock going up by double digits before City View would quickly cut its deficit back down.
With that in mind, Boxell highlighted the importance of his team’s initial run Monday.
“We started the game off well,” Boxell said.
“Any time we got up by about 10 points, they’d go on a little run there to cut the lead right back down, so it was a battle back and forth.
“It was still a close game at the end, but we were able to handle the press well enough to not give up the lead.”
Eagles’ senior center Zane Cook finished as the team’s top scorer versus the Mustangs, racking up 17 points.
Sophomore power forward Nathan Jones, junior shooting forward Corbin Calzacorta and sophomore shooting forward Trey Stuart tied for Brock’s second-leading scorer, with each tallying eight points.
Now headed back to the regional tournament, Boxell said the Eagles have done well putting in the time and work needed to make a deep run.
“The kids have been working hard wanting to get back there,” Boxell said.
“They know it takes a lot to do it, so it’s good to get back.”
The Eagles play the winner of Tuesday’s matchup between Canadian and Shallowater in the regional semifinals at 3:30 p.m. Friday in Lubbock.