History was against Arlington Martin traveling to North Crowley for a District 3-5A clash last Friday and returning home with a victory. But the Warriors, who had never defeated the Panthers on the hardwood, rewrote the script and pulled off an unprecedented 51-50 victory.
Not only did Martin (24-6, 10-2) defeat North Crowley for the first time ever, but it also snapped the Panthers' 82-game district winning streak and 65-game winning streak at home.
"I think from a district standpoint, it was a big win for us because it was a road district game," Martin coach Jeff Plemons said. "We had never beaten North Crowley at home or on the road; so they have a great program, and we're trying to get to the level they're at. For our kids to just stay composed and do that was a huge win."
The Warriors faced an eight-point deficit heading to the fourth quarter but outscored the Panthers 19-10 in the final frame for the win. After Tuesday's 62-46 victory over Arlington Lamar, Martin is tied for second with Arlington Bowie (22-9, 10-2), one game behind North Crowley (24-7, 11-1) in the 3-5A standings with two games remaining in the regular season.
Martin hosts Bowie on Tuesday in what likely will determine the second-place playoff seed.
"The kids played their hearts out; it was a great game," Plemons said. "Hopefully we can make a push and jump into the second spot for the playoffs."
Keller completed a season sweep of preseason District 4-5A favorite Richland with a 52-47 victory Tuesday.
The win moved the Indians (21-9, 12-1) atop the 4-5A standings with two games to play. How has Keller won six in a row and nine of its last 10 games?
"Mental toughness -- our kids are just mentally tough," Keller coach Randall Durant said. "They battle every possession, and they never say die. When it comes to the most crucial part of the game is when we tend to play our best, and it's been that way for us all season."
Up next, the Indians will get a shot at avenging their only blemish in district play when they travel to Justin Northwest (16-13, 7-5) on Friday.
"After we beat Richland the first time, we were probably a little overconfident. We also had the flu hit us that game and just didn't play well," Durant said. "Northwest did play well; they played like they had something to prove and did. Hopefully our learning curve was pretty steep and we've gotten past that."
Tuesday's 72-62 win at Episcopal School of Dallas positioned Fort Worth All Saints to achieve something the boys basketball team has never done before: claim a Southwest Preparatory Conference title.
The Saints (24-6, 6-1 in SPC North Zone), the 12th-ranked private school in Texas, handed ESD its first district loss of the year and now trail by just half a game in the standings. Kendall Adams (35 points), Foster Sawyer (15) and Charlie Flores led the way Tuesday for the Saints, who can clinch at least a share of the North Zone title with wins over Oklahoma City Casady and Tulsa Holland Hall.
A top seed in the SPC Championship Tournament, which starts Feb. 15, could go a long way toward All Saints securing its first title.
"We're young; we don't have any seniors, but they've really come together," All Saints coach Kenny Yates said. "They just enjoy playing and competing, and that's half the battle. We're going to see if we can make a little noise."
Jarret Johnson, 817-390-7760
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