Texas Panhandle regional quarterfinal boys basketball roundup for February 28th

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Nazareth’s Brett Heitschmidt goes up for a bucket against Texline during a Class 1A regional quarterfinal on Monday night in Vega. [Roy Wheeler/ Press Pass Sports]

Class 5A

Amarillo High cruises by Monterey

For proof that the Amarillo High Sandies have gotten to the point that they’re more used to reloading than rebuilding, the fact that they’re still playing during a record-setting season is enough.

Tuesday night the No. 7 Sandies faced Lubbock Monterey in a region quarterfinal playoff game at Lubbock Christian University’s Rip Griffin Center. Showing the consistency they’ve had all season (and for the last four seasons), the Sandies never trailed in rolling to a 52-34 victory that returns them to the Region I-5A tournament.

Not only that, but in improving to 33-4, Amarillo High set a new school single season victory mark. The Sandies head to the region semifinal Friday against Mansfield Summit at 4 p.m. at the Kay Yeager Coliseum in Wichita Falls.

Amarillo High broke the previous single season record set by last season’s team of 32 wins. That team, which graduated three Division I players, left a high bar to clear. So far, this team appears capable of clearing it. Despite having only one senior starter, the Sandies are one win away from equaling what last year’s team did.

While it might not have been the most artistic of wins, Amarillo High was never in serious trouble. The Sandies led by as many as 12 in the first half in taking a 31-22 halftime lead.

Late in the third quarter, they boosted their lead to 15 when Braden Hausen drove the baseline and scored on a dunk. Monterey (25-10) hit a 3-pointer to end the quarter and cut the lead to 41-29, but Amarillo High ended all illusions of a Plainsmen comeback by scoring the first seven points of the fourth quarter.

Zach Brown led the Sandies with 14 points, nine in the second half, and Cooper Pillion added 11. T.K. Young led Monterey with 10 points.
Lubbock Monterey  11  22  29  34
Amarillo High          16  31  41  52
LM– T.K. Young 10, Zyron Brantley 9. AHS– Zach Brown 14, Cooper Pillion 11. Records: Monterey 25-10; Amarillo High 33-4.

Class 4A

Randall crushes Riverside

The Randall Raiders went bombs away Tuesday afternoon, and all El Paso Riverside seemed to be able to do was watch, if not enjoy the display.

No. 17 Randall seemed to hit anywhere and everywhere from beyond the 3-point arc, hitting a whopping 16 3-pointers en route to destroying Riverside 101-51 at Andrews. The Raiders (28-9) will face Lubbock Estacado at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Rip Griffin Center in a Region I-4A semifinal.

Randall, especially Brody Wilson, wasted no time in firing away from beyond the arc. Wilson hit four 3-pointers in the first quarter to set the tone as the Raiders went up 32-10 and were never threatened. Appropriately, Wilson hit his final three of the game in the final minute to put Randall over the 100-point mark and give the Raiders a 50-point margin of victory.

While Wilson had a big game with 22 points, K.J. Thomas was the leading scorer for the Raiders the way he often is, putting up a game-high 23 points. Cayden Sato came off the bench to score 18 points. Jaylen Dean led Riverside (17-13) with 19 points.
Randall        32  59  80  101
EP Riverside  10  20  36  51
R– K.J. Thomas 23, Brody Wilson 22, Cayden Sato 18. EPR– Jaylen Dean 19, Joel Saenz 12. Records: Randall 28-9; Riverside 17-13.

Canyon grinds past Seminole

Canyon took control early against Seminole, using size and defense to grab the early lead and never let go in a 55-46 victory at Rip Griffin Center.

The victory assured that the No. 8 Eagles (30-2) will make a return trip to Lubbock for the Region I-4A tournament. Canyon will play in Friday’s first semifinal at Rip Griffin, taking on Wichita Falls Hirschi at 6 p.m.

There was little doubt the Eagles could wear down Seminole (26-9), taking a 16-3 lead at the end of the first quarter and leading 27-12 at halftime. They built their lead to as many as 20 in the third quarter on their way to winning their 21st straight game.

Seminole got as close as eight points in the final minute, but never seriously threatened Canyon’s lead. Kelton Jones and Gage Lunsford both had 14 points to lead Canyon’s balanced attack. Chris Bryant scored 12 and Evan Hughes added 10.
Seminole  3  12  23  46
Canyon   16  27  41  55
S– Channing Carter 14. C– Kelton Jones 14, Gage Lunsford 14, Chris Bryant 12, Evan Hughes 10. Records: Seminole 26-9; Canyon 30-2.

Class 3A

Childress advances to Region I-3A Tournament

The Childress Bobcats are the lone Texas Panhandle Class 3A team left after holding off Brownfield 60-57 during a regional quarterfinal in Floydada on Tuesday.

The Bobcats (25-7) move on to the Region I-3A Tournament to play Wichita Falls City (26-6) in a semifinal at 6 p.m. on Friday at the Tiger Pit in Frenship. Brownfield ends its year at 16-17.

Aiden Allen and Lamont Nickleberry were the difference for Childress as the duo combined for 38 points. Allen poured in the game-high 24 as Nickleberry added 14.

In another Class 3A regional quarterfinal on Tuesday, Shallowater defeated Dimmitt 50-41. Dimmitt ends its year at 17-12.
Childress        7  24  42  60
Brownfield  13  19  34  57
C- Aiden Allen 24, Lamont Nickleberry 14. B- Malik Mason 19, Jojo Carillo 17, Jeron Lawrence 15. Records: Childress 25-7; Brownfield 16-17.

Gruver guard Colt Mathews shoots a jumper between New Deal defenders during a Class 2A regional quarterfinal game at the Joe Lombard Gymnasium in Canyon on Tuesday. [Joe Garcia III/ Press Pass Sports]

Class 2A

New Deal rallies past Gruver 

Gruver did its best to come-from-behind from a double-digit first half deficit, however, it was the New Deal Lions continuing to feast on Texas Panhandle opponents earning a hard fought 51-48 victory over the Greyhounds in a Class 2A regional quarterfinal on Tuesday night at the Joe Lombard Gymnasium in Canyon.

Through the first three rounds of the playoffs, the Lions have been Texas Panhandle killers knocking Panhandle, two-time state champion Clarendon and now Gruver out of the playoffs. New Deal (26-8) is now headed to the Region I-2A Tournament to play New Home (29-7) at 2:30 p.m. on Friday at the Texan Dome on the campus of South Plains College in Levelland. Gruver, the District 1-2A champions, end a superb season at 27-10.

The Lions actually led by as many as 10 points in the first half only to see the Greyhounds rally in to take the lead in the third quarter. As the two teams went back-and-forth in the final quarter, New Deal’s Jason Brazell drained a 3-pointer to put the Lions up 49-48 in the closing minute. New Deal added two free-throws and got a steal on Gruver’s final possession to close out the win. Brazell had a team-high 23 points for the Lions. Jefferson Weaver had 23 to lead the Greyhounds.
New Deal   17  29  38  51
Gruver       13  24  36  48
ND- Jason Brazell 23, Gunnar Stanton 10. G- Jefferson Weaver 23, Colt Mathews 11. Records: New Deal 26-8; Gruver 27-10.

Floydada stuns Farwell

A late comeback bid by Farwell fell short as the Floydada Whirlwinds knocked down a 3-pointer as time expired to leave the Steers stunned 68-65 in a thrilling Class 3A regional quarterfinal on Tuesday in Dimmitt.

With the game tied, 65-65, and the clock ticking down, Floydada’s Abram Castillo drained a 3-ball as time expired to send the Whirlwinds (35-5) to the Region I-2A Tournament. Farwell, the District 3-2A champions, end a fantastic season at 27-5. Castillo poured in a game-high 27 points. Adrian Nunez topped the Steers with 24 points followed by Alec Atkinson and Cesar Snyder who each had 14.
Floydada   26  42  61  68
Farwell     15  32  53  65
Fl- Castillo 27, Henderson 14. Far- Adrian Nunez 24, Alec Atkinson 14, Cesar Snyder 14. Records: Floydada 35-5; Farwell 27-5.

Nazareth’s Tanner Birkenfeld scores a bucket between Texline defenders. [Roy Wheeler/ Press Pass Sports]

Class 1A

Defense propels Nazareth past Texline

Either No. 6 Nazareth or No. 5 Texline has represented Region 1-1A at the UIL state tournament the last five years, so it was fitting the matchup Monday night between the two teams was a battle to the end.

In front of a standing room only crowd at Vega, the Swifts used a suffocating defense to throttle the high-powered Tornadoes offense to pull off a 42-37 victory.

The win moves Nazareth (24-8) into the regional tournament, after a two-year absence, as the Swifts will now play in the semifinals against Lorenzo (24-11) at 6:30 p.m. on Friday at the Texan Dome on the campus of South Plains College in Levelland.

The Swifts wanted to control the tempo against the high scoring Tornadoes and executed that game plan to perfection. The opening tip, however, created a quick two points on a fast break for Texline (30-5) from Stratton Potter which appeared to bode well for a team that has been in the finals of the state tournament the last two years. Nazareth answered with a two and took the lead on a Carson Heiman right wing 3-pointer, the first of three on the evening, to go by three points. The Swifts floor general then hit a buzzer beater 3-ball from the other wing at the end of the first quarter to put Nazareth up 16-7.

What no one could have expected though was that was the last basket for the Swifts going into halftime. The second quarter saw both teams struggle from the field with four points from Texline’s Joe Clay being the only points of the quarter as the Swifts, who went scoreless, still clung to a 16-11 advantage.

But both teams warmed up in the third quarter with the Tornadoes pulling even, 23-23, midway through the quarter on a Will Clay corner 3-pointer. The Swifts refused to back down though as Creed Hochstein’s corner shot from behind the arc gave the Swifts the lead back, 26-23, and it was one they wouldn’t relinquish the rest of the way. Towering over his opponent at 6-foot-5, the Swifts Brett Heitschmidt used his height in the fourth to score four big points and grabbed big rebounds on missed free-throws to keep the Tornadoes at bay and help the Swift secure a win down the stretch.

Heiman led the Swifts with 13 in the game while his back court running mate, Tanner Birkenfeld, added 12 in the contest. Texline was paced by Joe Clay and Hayden Alston each getting 11 points and Hayden Drumm’s 10.
Texline        7  11  27  37
Nazareth  16  16  30  42
T- Joe Clay 11, Hayden Alston 11, Hayden Drumm 10. N- Brett Heitschmidt 13, Tanner Birkenfeld 12. Records: Texline 30-5; Nazareth 24-8.

Happy’s C.J. Moore shoots a jumper against Silverton during a Class 1A regional quarterfinal on Tuesday night at the Joe Lombard Gymnasium in Canyon. [Joe Garcia III/ Press Pass Sports]

Happy outlasts Silverton 

Happy shook off a slow start to pull away from Silverton in the second half for a 40-30 victory in a Class 1A regional quarterfinal at the Joe Lombard Gymnasium in Canyon on Tuesday night.

The Cowboys (22-9) advance to the Region I-1A Tournament and will battle Jayton (27-2) in a semifinal at 8 p.m. on Friday night at the Texan Dome on the campus of South Plains College in Levelland.

Happy got off to a rough start trailing 10-4 after the first quarter. Both teams really didn’t find a rhythm with the score tied up at only, 12-12, at halftime. The Cowboys finally found some offense in the third quarter outscoring the Owls (18-10) by a 16-9 count in the third and then were able to pull away for the victory. Kyton Johnson led Happy with 11 points. Teammate Jimmy Reyes chipped in nine.
Happy         4  12  28  40
Silverton  10  12  21  30
H- Kyton Johnson 11, Jimmy Reyes 9. S- Kooper Cox 10, Carlos Alanis 7, Sawyer Francis 7. Records: Happy 22-9; Silverton 18-10.

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