Mansfield Legacy spent the past week serving notice to the rest of District 15-4A that it's a legitimate contender for the league crown.
The Broncos (17-6, 5-1 15-4A) have won five consecutive district games since dropping the district opener 62-52 to Lancaster on Dec. 18.
"Our guys have slowly started playing together," Legacy coach Marchie Murdock said. "Most of our losses are to big 5A schools and we've been in games against teams but just weren't able to finish at the end."
Coach Murdock didn't have to look too far for an answer. His son, also named Marchie, a senior captain, scored the game-winning points in consecutive two-point district victories.
Murdock's last second layup Friday gave Legacy a 47-45 road upset of Arlington Seguin, which was the top-ranked Class 4A team in the state at the time. The win propelled Legacy into a three-team tie atop the standings with Seguin and crosstown rival Mansfield Summit, which it faced Tuesday..
Coach Murdock was wary of a classic letdown against Summit.
"It's a setup, it's the hardest part of coaching," Murdock said. "Getting young people to understand that you have to keep playing the same way and to keep fighting like we have something to prove. And we do after going 9-21 last season, which was very humbling."
Legacy came out flat Tuesday and spotted the Jaguars (14-11, 4-2) a 17-4 first-quarter lead, before outscoring Summit 28-12 in the second half for a 40-38 victory. Murdock sank a pair of free throws with 9 seconds left to seal the victory and help Legacy keep pace with Seguin (21-4, 5-1) for the lead in 15-4A.
"These two wins were very big for us, it put us tied for No. 1 in district with Seguin," said Legacy guard Chris Smith, who scored nine second-half points Tuesday. "It gives us confidence to keep going on and get ready for Lake Ridge on Friday."
Senior guard Tyler Wright hit a running jumper in the lane with 1 second to play to give Joshua a 43-42 District 8-4A victory over rival Burleson on Tuesday, snapping a 63-game district losing streak dating to a 59-56 loss to Everman on Feb. 8, 2008.
Wright's heroics gave the Owls (1-19, 1-5) their first district victory since defeating Alvarado 55-46 on Feb. 5, 2008.
"He split a double team, pulled up at the free-throw line and as soon as it left his hand, I don't think any of us had any doubt it was going in," Joshua coach Jeff Hudak said. "It was just one of those things where it left his fingers and you knew it was going in. It went through the net, all of the kids rushed the court -- it was a great experience, a great atmosphere."
The win was Hudak's first as a varsity head coach after spending eight seasons as an assistant at Birdville. Burleson coach Ted Tomchesson handed Hudak the game ball afterward and congratulated him.
"I told the guys after the game that I don't get this win without them so I had them all sign the ball," Hudak said. "I'll put the ball in a little case and put it up in my office. I told the guys I will always remember that one."
A photograph of the signed ball was posted on the dfwvarsity.com Twitter feed.
Jarret Johnson, 817-390-7760
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