GARLAND — For three quarters West Mesquite gave Arlington Seguin all it could handle.
But a dominant stretch in the middle of the fourth quarter booked the Cougars’ place in the Class 4A Region II final as they outlasted the Wranglers 70-59 in a semifinal Friday at the Curtis Culwell Center.
Seguin (33-4) meets Dallas Kimball in the 4A regional championship at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Culwell Center.
“It was a very tough game,” Seguin coach Bobby Thigpen said. “This is the third time we’ve played them this year, so they kind of know us and we kind of know them. They played really hard and they played with a lot more intensity in the first three quarters than we did, I think. But we finally woke up and got going.”
West Mesquite (26-10) opened the game with five straight points and took an 8-3 lead before a Kimani Jackson dunk sparked an 8-0 Cougars run. Seguin (33-4) led 14-10 after the first quarter. The Wranglers put together a 14-2 run for a 24-16 lead and led 28-25 at halftime.
In the third quarter, neither team could build a bigger advantage than four points, and Seguin led 45-41 entering the fourth period. A 7-2 start to the fourth seemed to give the Cougars confidence, and by midway through the quarter the lead had ballooned to 11 on a Chris Boleware basket.
“Our defense was the answer,” Boleware said of the key stretch in the fourth quarter. “We stepped up our pressure on [Braylon] Rayson, and he’s the guy that triggers everything [for West Mesquite].”
A Greg Wesley dunk with 2:47 left gave Seguin a 58-47 lead and another emphatic Wesley’s dunk with 22 seconds left sealed the victory.
“We didn’t want this game to be our last game,” said Boleware, who scored all 11 of his points in the second half. “We didn’t want to go out to a team we’d already beat twice.”
Brandon Parrish led the Cougars with 21 points, while Marcus Frazier added 16.
“We’re a senior-led team,” Frazier said. “So, we’re focused and hungry. We really want it. Our goal this whole season has been going to get that ring, so we’re not going to let anything stop us.”
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