The Trophy Club Nelson boys basketball team took a giant step forward Tuesday night by claiming its first playoff victory in the school’s brief history.
“I just told them it’s something that will always be there; it will always be in that trophy case,” Nelson coach Scott Curran said. “So, their name will always be there and it’s something they can always remember.”
The Bobcats had compiled 47 regular-season wins, two playoff berths and a district championship in their first two varsity seasons, only to be eliminated in the first round twice.
Nelson (27-5) can cross another milestone off its list after Tuesday’s 59-53 victory over Fort Worth Polytechnic.
The inside/outside duo of senior guard Keyunta Watkins and 6-foot-6 sophomore forward Emmanuel Nzekwesi combined for 40 points in the win.
The postseason triumph was especially sweet for a large senior class, many of whom played as freshmen on a team unattached to a district when Nelson opened in 2009.
“It’s real special for them to sort of lay the foundation and see the benefits of working hard and doing things the right way,” Curran said. “It’s been a process. The kids had a good year when we opened up, then got a little taste of the playoffs. They were wanting to win one, they did and like I said it’s something they’ll never be able to take away from them.”
Up next for the Bobcats is a Class 4A Region I area-round matchup against Waco University (29-4) at 7 p.m. Friday at Glen Rose High School.
Don’t be surprised if Arlington Seguin is a little amped before the tip of its Class 4A Region II area-round clash Friday against Wylie.
The Cougars failed to make it past the second round of the playoffs the past two years. Two seasons ago, Seguin was largely a team of sophomore upstarts, who seemingly overachieved.
Last year, though, the Cougars had aspirations of a run to the state tournament, only to fall to Fort Worth Arlington Heights in a heart-breaker at the American Airlines Center. Seguin has been motivated ever since to prove that last season was an aberration.
The Cougars (30-4), who entered the playoffs as the No. 4 ranked Class 4A team in Texas, dispatched Nacogdoches 67-31 in the first round to set up Friday’s game against Wylie (13-18) at Lewisville High School.
“We’re pretty pumped up about it. We’re going to seize the moment and try and move onto that next level,” Seguin coach Robert Thigpin said. “It’s a big game for us. We haven’t been past the second round, and we felt like we should have been past it the last two times. We’re hoping the third time is the charm for us.”
Fort Worth school district opponents Dunbar and Wyatt will renew their rivalry Friday in a Class 4A Region I area playoff game. The schools didn’t face each other in the regular season for the first time in years after being split into different districts by realignment last February.
Dunbar (21-9), the District 6-4A champs, throttled White Settlement Brewer 71-45 in the first round. Wyatt (19-12), which was the runner up in District 7-4A, edged Crowley 47-44 to advance.
The Chaparrals swept Dunbar last season and have won three of the past four meetings.
Jarret Johnson, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @JohnsonJarret
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