The UIL state basketball tournament tips off Thursday with six games, including Fort Worth Arlington Heights’ Class 4A semifinal matchup against Rosenberg Terry.
In all, 24 teams from six classifications will converge in Austin over the next three days with hopes of returning home with a championship trophy.
Three McDonald’s All-Americans, two defending champs and 10 first-time state qualifiers headline this year’s action. Here are previews involving area teams:
Class 4A state semifinals
• Fort Worth Arlington Heights vs. Rosenberg Terry
7 p.m. Thursday at the Erwin Center, Austin
Records: Arlington Heights 23-11, Terry 29-9
Notable: This matchup features two of the highest-rated 2013 football prospects in the country in Arlington Heights forward A’Shawn Robinson, who signed to play football at Alabama on the defensive line, and Terry forward Derrick Griffin, who’s headed to Miami as a wide receiver. … Heights lost in the state semifinals in 2010. … No team has scored more than 50 points against the Yellow Jackets this postseason. … Heights lost its first two games of the season by a combined 55 points. … Terry has never been to state before Thursday. … The Rangers list five players on their roster 6-foot-4 or taller. … Terry has won 15 games in a row and hasn’t lost since Jan. 8.
• Dallas Kimball vs. San Antonio Brennan
8:30 p.m. Thursday at the Erwin Center, Austin
Records: Kimball 22-9, Brennan 39-2
Notable: Kimball is the two-time defending Class 4A state champion and has won five state titles overall. … The Knights defeated two of the top five ranked 4A teams in Texas in the playoffs. … Kimball 6-foot-6 guard Keith Frazier is a McDonald’s All-American. … Brennan is the top-ranked 4A team in Texas. … The Bears are making their first appearance at the state tournament. … Brennan has won 24 games in a row and hasn’t lost since Dec. 7.
Class 5A state semifinals
• South Grand Prairie vs. Cibolo Steele
3 p.m. Friday at the Erwin Center, Austin
Records: South Grand Prairie 36-3, Cibolo Steele 25-12
Notable: South Grand Prairie’s only previous state tournament appearance was in 1975. … The Warriors are 71-6 over the last two seasons. … South Grand Prairie is holding opponents to 35.6 points per game in the playoffs. … Cibolo Steele is making its first appearance at the state tournament. … The Knights finished third in District 28-5A and are the only unranked 5A team at the tournament. … Cibolo Steele has the worst winning percentage (.676) of any team at the state tournament.
• Richardson Berkner vs. Fort Bend Travis
8:30 p.m. Friday at the Erwin Center, Austin
Records: Berkner 33-5, Travis 31-5
Notable: Berkner is making its second appearance (2006) at the state tournament in search of its first title. … The Rams are beating opponents by 13.6 points a game in the playoffs. … Berkner has won 24 consecutive games and hasn’t lost since Dec. 4. … Fort Bend Travis lost 56-52 to Flower Mound Marcus in the 2012 state championship. … The Tigers are beating opponents by 15.2 points a game in the playoffs. … Travis twin 6-foot-5 guards Aaron and Andrew Harrison both signed with Kentucky, are both McDonald’s All-Americans and were all-tournament performers at the state tournament last season.
Class 2A state semifinals
• White Oak vs. Winnie East Chambers
8:30 a.m. Friday at the Erwin Center, Austin
Records: White Oak 35-1, East Chambers 26-9
Notable: White Oak, the defending Class 2A champion, is competing in its fifth state tournament looking for its fourth title. … The Roughnecks are 72-2 over the past two seasons. … White Oak averages 76 points per game. … East Chambers is making its third appearance at state and first since 1996, looking for its first title. … The Buccaneers won their four playoff games by a combined nine points. … East Chambers defeated one opponent by 79 points and two others by 62 this season, but also lost one game by 42 points and another by 40.
• Brock vs. Idalou
10 a.m. Friday at the Erwin Center, Austin
Records: Brock 31-6, Idalou 34-3
Notable: Brock defeated Idalou 69-52 on Dec. 17. The Eagles are making their second consecutive appearance at the state tournament, ninth overall in search of their third state title. … Brock recorded double-digit wins against all five playoff opponents, by an average of 19.6 points. … The Eagles beat District 9-2A rival Ponder 52-42 in the Region II final. … Idalou is making its fourth consecutive state tournament appearance, fifth overall, looking for its second title. … The Wildcats’ 24-game win streak started after losing to Brock. … Idalou tied a season-low for points in its 46-44 win over Holliday in the Region I final.
Jarret Johnson, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @JohnsonJarret
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