LUBBOCK- It will be an all Canyon ISD Region I-4A championship.
Both Canyon and Randall took care of business in its respective Region I-4A semifinals on Friday night at the Rip Griffin Center on the campus of Lubbock Christian University.
The Eagles won a hard-fought defensive battle against Wichita Falls Hirschi 44-32, while the Raiders (29-9) won a much faster paced game downing Lubbock Estacado by a 69-55.
This sets up a highly anticipated third meeting that will tip-off at 2 p.m. on Saturday back at LCU with a trip to the Class 4A state tournament on the line. Canyon (31-2) has seen success of the first two meetings by sweeping the season series from Randall with a 59-50 victory at Randall, then a dominating 62-47 home win in the second game.
“It will be a fun one,” Randall head coach Leslie Broadhurst said. “It’s awesome to see both teams get big wins like this. Canyon ISD is in a no-lose situation. Don’t get me wrong I hope we’re the winners, but it’s good for the school district if either one of us win.”
A trip to the state tournament has been a long overdue for both programs. Canyon, which has won two state titles in the 1950’s, hasn’t appeared at the state tournament since the early 1980’s. Randall on the other hand has never played in the state tournament under Broadhurst, the only coach in program history. In fact, this is Randall’s first regional final appearance since 2001, while Canyon fell to Hirschi in last year’s regional final.
Canyon outlasts Hirschi
Both Canyon and Randall played completely opposite games on Friday night.
Canyon and Wichita Falls Hirschi had a four-quarter slugfest between two squads that played great defense, but in the end, it was the No. 8-ranked Eagles getting hot in the second half to down the Huskies 44-32 in the Region I-4A semifinals.
The first half was like a battle of two heavy weights trying to feel each other out. Both teams guarded the perimeter and made it difficult to score in the paint. Hirschi led 5-4 after the first quarter, then Canyon took a 15-12 lead into halftime.
Hirschi did a tremendous job on Canyon All-State forward Kemper Jones holding the senior scoreless through the first half. However, the second became a different story. Jones started catching fire scoring seven points in the third as Canyon clung to a 26-24 advantage after three. In the fourth quarter Hirschi trailed 34-30 after a pair of free-throws from Jackson Hollis with four minutes to play. That’s as close as the Huskies came, as Jones put a dagger into the Huskies with a 3-pointer to push the lead 37-30. Moments later, Jones got a steal that led to his second dunk of the fourth that put Canyon out in front 41-32 and enough to put the game away.
“I feel like in the first half our intensity was a little low,” Jones said. “We eventually stayed with it and were to take control. After being held scoreless in the first half, I knew the last thing I wanted was our season to end so I decided I had to take over. I just finally got it going and it felt amazing.”
Jones scored all of his team-high 16 points in the second half. Teammate Evan Hughes chipped in 12. Hirschi was led SMU football signee Jamarion Carroll and Bryan Waggoner’s eight points.
WF Hirschi 5 12 24 32
Canyon 4 15 26 44
WFH- Jamarion Carroll 8, Bryan Waggoner 8. C- Kemper Jones 16, Evan Hughes 12. Records: Hirschi 19-12; Canyon 31-2.
Randall outguns Estacado
Randall and Estacado played a frantic style similar to a track meet. The Raiders went on a 10-0 run thanks to a pair of K.J. Thomas second quarter 3-pointers to go up 22-16 only to see the Matadors battle back to tie the game, 24-24. Randall took a 35-30 lead into the break and started taking over in the third quarter. The Raiders seized control building their first double digit advantage after a pair of Tayesen Combs free-throws as Randall went up 45-34 with 4:17 left in the quarter. Thomas then left his mark to end the third drilling at 25-footer at the buzzer to give the Raiders a 52-42 lead.
The fourth quarter was all Randall. The Raiders completely left Estacado in the dust building a 16-point lead on the way to the win. Thomas was the best player on the floor scoring a game-high 27 points knocking down four shots from beyond the arc. Teammate Devin Baccus added 10.
“Coach Broadhurst told us in the locker room at halftime if we could get the lead to 10 by the end of the third quarter, we’d run away with it in the fourth,” Thomas said. “He was right and that’s what we did. I felt like we really played great defense and held them off the boards.”
Estacado 16 30 42 55
Randall 19 35 52 69
LE- Devoryea Boyd 19, Bobby Ross 10. R- K.J. Thomas 27, Devin Baccus 10. Records: Estacado 24-13; Randall 29-9.
Childress downs City View in Region I-3A semifinal
WOLFFORTH– It’s been eight long years since Childress has won a region title, but the Bobcats are now a win away from returning to San Antonio for the Class 3A state tournament.
Childress (26-7) used a strong defensive and rebounding performance to keep Wichita Falls City View at arm’s length throughout the second half for a 62-49 victory in a Region I-3A semifinal Friday at The Tiger Pit.
Childress advances to the region final for the first time since 2019 and will now play Brock (26-7) at 1 p.m. Saturday back at The Tiger Pit. Brock beat the buzzer to edge Shallowater, 52-50, in overtime Friday night.
“This was a big win for us,” Childress coach Wayne Parker said. “We considered City View the regional favorite because they won the region last season. We’ve got a big test ahead of us tomorrow. We’re just excited to still be playing and to have the opportunity.”
Childress held a 29-21 lead at halftime, but City View got within 33-29 midway through the third quarter. Childress used a 9-1 run to push back to a 42-30 advantage. City View didn’t get closer than nine points for the rest of the game.
Lamont Nickleberry was his fantastic self by pouring in a game-high 28 points to lead the Bobcats. Teammate Aiden Allen followed with 17. City View was led by William Jordan’s 18.
– Jonathan Hull
City View 11 21 35 49
Childress 18 29 46 62
CV- William Jordan 18, Kendrick Gibson 15. C- Lamont Nickleberry 28, Aiden Allen 17. Records: City View 26-7; Childress 26-7.
Sandies overtaken by Summit in fourth quarter of 5A region semifinal
The number three started out like it would have positive implications for the Amarillo High Sandies on Friday afternoon.
In the end, though, it worked out better for Mansfield Summit, and it spelled the end of Amarillo High’s season in the Region I-5A semifinal.
After hitting six 3-pointers to account for all their scoring in the first quarter, the Sandies went cold from beyond the arc. That caught up with them after three quarters and it meant that the third time was the charm for Summit, which beat Amarillo High 55-48 at the Kay Yeager Coliseum in Wichita Falls.
The law of averages may well have caught up with the Sandies (33-5) this season. They had eliminated Summit (30-5) from the playoffs at this point of the season in each of the previous two seasons, but this time, the Jaguars advanced.
A formula which had worked well for the Sandies most of the season started off doing the same against Summit. Amarillo High hit six 3-pointers in the first quarter to take an 18-12 lead at the end of the first quarter.
However, the Sandies couldn’t keep up that pace. They didn’t hit another three until Zach Brown nailed a one in the final minute of the third quarter and had only two more the rest of the game.
Nonetheless, Amarillo High built a lead as big as nine points in the second quarter. But Summit chipped away at the deficit and trailed 25-21 at halftime.
The third quarter was tight throughout, as nobody led by more than three and it was tied at 38 when it ended.
Summit then took over with the score tied at 43 midway through the quarter. Daniel Emmou hit a 3-pointer to start a 7-0 run giving the Jaguars a 50-43 lead, and Amarillo High never got closer than four points the rest of the way.
Brown, who emerged as an offensive leader in the playoffs for the Sandies, led them with 13 points. Senior Cooper Pillion and junior Braden Hausen had 11 each.
Summit had three players in double digits, as Richard Lerboye had a game-high 15 points, David Terrell scored 12 and Theo Brannan added 10.
Mansfield Summit 12 21 38 55
Amarillo High 18 25 38 48
MS– Richard Lerboye 15, David Terrell 12, Theo Brannon 10. AHS– Zach Brown 13, Cooper Pillion 11, Braden Hausen 11. Records: Summit 30-5; Amarillo High 33-5.
Nazareth rally falls short against Lorenzo
The Nazareth Swifts showed the signs of an experienced playoff team by finishing strong against Lorenzo.
But it was the start which ultimately determined their fate at Levelland’s Texan Dome.
In a game where offense was hard to come by in the opening minutes, No. 6 Nazareth never quite got untracked. The Swifts made a furious late charge, pulling to within a point, but never led as they fell to No. 15 Lorenzo 43-37.
Nazareth finished the season 24-9.
Neither team distinguished itself offensively in the first quarter, as Lorenzo (25-11) led 6-3. But the Hornets found a rhythm in the second quarter and took a 21-8 halftime lead. Lorenzo maintained that margin through the third quarter, but Nazareth opened a 20-point fourth quarter on Carson Heiman’s 3-pointer and caught fire the rest of the way.
The Swifts steadily cut into Lorenzo’s lead and cut the margin to 36-35 with a minute left. However, Nazareth had three starters foul out, and Lorenzo was able to put the game away at the free throw line.
Kayle Rogers led Nazareth with 11 points, all of which came in the fourth quarter before fouling out. Jakari Davis-Mitchell did everything he could to carry Lorenzo with a game-high 27 points.
Lorenzo 6 21 29 43
Nazareth 3 8 17 37
L– Jakari Davis-Mitchell 27, Keon Mitchell 8. N– Kayle Rogers 11, Luke Schulte 9. Records: Lorenzo 25-11; Nazareth 24-9.
Happy routed by No. 2 Jayton
Happy found out the hard way that the Jayton Jaybirds were worthy of their lofty state ranking.
Jayton opened the scoring with three 3-pointers and Happy could never catch up, as the Cowboys saw their season end with a 61-42 defeat in the second game of the Region I-1A semifinals. Happy finished the season 22-10.
The Jaybirds (28-2) will face Lorenzo at 3:30 p.m. today in the region championship in the Texan Dome to determine who makes the trip to the state tournament in San Antonio next week.
After Jayton’s hot shooting display to open the game, Happy seemed a bit shellshocked and never recovered. When Ben Blankenship hit a 3-pointer to close the first half, one of seven from beyond the arc for the Jaybirds, Jayton led 37-17 and the tone was set for the rest of the way. The Cowboys made the score look more respectable in the fourth quarter after Jayton pushed the lead to 28. C.J. Moore led Happy with 14 points. Blankenship had 14 for Jayton.
Jayton 11 37 50 61
Happy 6 17 25 42
J– Ben Blankenship 14, Sean Stanaland 10. H– C.J. Moore 14, Brance Ferguson 6, Camden Sperry 6. Records: Jayton 28-2; Happy 22-10.