SNYDER — Trophy Club Nelson added another page to its short hoops history, fending off Wolfforth Frenship’s late rally to win 54-47 Friday and advance to its first Class 4A Region I championship.
The Bobcats (30-5), a third-year varsity team that hadn’t won a playoff game until two weeks ago, will face Fort Worth Arlington Heights (22-11) at 2 p.m. Saturday in the Region I final. The winner advances to next week’s 4A state tournament in Austin.
“It feels good. I’m glad we got the win,” said Nelson guard Thomas Williams, who had 16 points and six rebounds. “We played hard, played together and it’s just exciting. Hopefully we’ll get the win [today].”
Frenship (27-11) had no answer for Nelson’s 6-foot-6 sophomore post, Emmanuel Nzekwesi, who scored a game-high 18 points and had 10 rebounds. Nzekwesi and Williams combined to score 19 first-half points, as Nelson led 28-13 at halftime .
“He was good for us tonight, he’s getting better and better and he did a great job inside,” Nelson coach Scott Curran said. “He was getting after loose balls, had some putbacks and made some great post moves downs low”
Frenship outscored the Bobcats 22-15 in the fourth and cut the lead to six points twice in the final four minutes, but Nelson had an answer each time. A 3-point play by Connor Mullis with 2:30 remaining pushed the Bobcats’ lead to 48-37.
Frenship responded with a 7-2 run to whittle the deficit to 50-44 with 1:31 remaining, but Nzekwesi answered with three points in the final 23 seconds to end the suspense.
Bradley Mitchell had 14 points, four rebounds and three steals for Frenship, who also lost in the regional semifinals last season.
Jarret Johnson, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @JohnsonJarret
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