Saginaw boys basketball coach Brent Craft knew his team would have to shoot the ball to compete with Denton Guyer.
The Rough Riders did for a spurt in the first half, trimming a 13-point deficit to five after two free throws by Dominique Johnson midway through the second quarter. But they went ice cold in the third and were eliminated 63-39 in a Class 4A Region I bi-district playoff game at Keller Timber Creek High School.
Guyer (24-6), No. 11 in the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches rankings, advances to the area round Friday against the winner between Arlington Heights and Everman. Saginaw, making its first playoff appearance since 2008, finished the season at 20-12.
Saginaw trailed only 33-26 at the half, but went 6:17 without a point in the third quarter while Guyer went on an 11-0 run to open a 44-26 lead. Justin Griffin scored 13 of his team’s 18 third-quarter points and finished with a game-high 20.
“We came out and got some good looks and hit the open shots there in the second quarter,” Saginaw coach Brent Craft said. “We played good defense and made the plays and went to the half with some momentum. In the third we came out with the intensity, we just missed shots that you have to knock down.
“Guyer is a great team that just has so many weapons on offense that they’re hard to stop. I just told the kids that no one expects us to win; just go out and play like Saginaw Rough Riders do. These kids are all winners in my book for what they accomplished this year.”
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