HALTOM CITY — The out-of-town guests at the 56thWhataburger Basketball Tournament took their fair share on Day 1 of the holiday classic Thursday at Thomas Coliseum.
Louisville Ballard had to overcome quite a display from the most sought-after recruit in the country in the late game, but the Bruins joined Humble Atascocita and Jonesboro (Ark.) in defeating local teams — Arlington Martin, Fort Worth Trimble Tech and Euless Trinity — to advance to Friday’s Orange Division quarterfinals.
Kelan Martin nailed a 3-pointer from the corner with 5 seconds left to lift Ballard (10-1) to a 72-70 victory over Trinity (12-3) and Myles Turner, who had the most impressive day even in defeat with 25 points, 13 rebounds and seven blocks.
Atascocita (14-4) and Ballard will play at 2 p.m. Friday for a spot in tonight’s semifinals. Jonesboro will face Justin Northwest at 9:30 a.m.
The Hurricane of Jonesboro, a town in northeastern Arkansas, was the most inhospitable of the three, employing an aggressive half-court trap that gave the Trimble Tech Bulldogs fits in a 47-30 victory.
Tech turned the ball over 17 times, including eight in a three-point first quarter. The Bulldogs’ sluggish effort was the result of a five-day layoff, mandated by the UIL over the holiday break, Tech coach Wendell Ivory said.
“We were out of sync,” said Ivory, whose team wasn’t the only one with holiday legs. “Shots weren’t falling and the offense wasn’t moving the way it normally does.”
Arkansas doesn’t have the same requirement, though the out-of-staters did have to travel eight hours. The Hurricane didn’t get into town until around midnight Thursday.
“In the shootaround we were a little rusty, but we got going,” said Marquise Pointer, a junior who had 11 points and collected six rebounds for Jonesboro, a top-ranked 6A team in Arkansas.
Jarma Perkins hit three consecutive 3-pointers in the first quarter to get the Hurricane going. Jonesboro relied on its guard combo of Pointer and Kahron Ross, a Lehigh recruit.
The Hurricane is also missing two important pieces to its roster: Aaron Washington, a 6-foot-5 junior who injured his knee last week, and 6-8 freshman Salisu Yahaya.
The layoff even might have affected Turner, the nation’s No. 2 recruit who scored 10 in the first half but 15 in the second while demonstrating good range. He scored five straight in a 16-4 Trinity run that turned a six-point deficit into a six-point fourth-quarter lead.
“I think anytime your kids are off for five days, yes, it makes a difference,” Jonesboro coach Wes Swift said. “Ours were off for two, and I thought we were dead.”
Trimble Tech, led by Spencer Franklin’s nine points and six rebounds, moved into the consolation bracket and will play Richardson Berkner at 8 a.m. Friday.
In another consolation game, Trinity will face Martin at 6:30 p.m.
• Humble Atascocita 67, Arlington Martin 65: A double-double by Arlington Martin senior guard Nick Babb just wasn’t enough as the Warriors lost to Humble Atascocita 67-65 in Thursday’s opening round.
Babb, an Arkansas signee, finished with 23 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks against the Eagles (14-4), who are ranked No. 13 in the Class 5A Texas Association of Basketball Coaches state poll.
No. 21 Martin (8-4) led 53-45 to close out the third quarter, but a Greg Shead halfcourt make as the buzzer sounded seemed to spark the Atascocita offense to start the final frame.
With three minutes left, Eagles senior forward Joe Burton drained a 3-pointer to tie the game at 62. On the next possession, Burton fed Zach Haney on an alley-oop that gave the Eagles the lead.
Martin had several chances to tie the game back up or take the lead as the game wound to a close, but it couldn’t capitalize on the chances.
Haney led Atascocita with 20 points, five rebounds and a block.
• Plano West 73, Richland 64 (OT): Richland did its best to upset the No. 5 team in the state, but Plano West prevailed in overtime.
After trailing Plano West (9-3) for the majority of the game, Richland used a 10-3 run in the fourth quarter to take back the lead on a 3-pointer by senior guard Hayden Hunter.
Richland (10-3) would continue its offensive streak, widening its lead to as much as eight, but then the Rebels missed four straight free throws, allowing Plano West to close the margin.
The Wolves tied the game 62-all with less than a second left on a fadeaway 3-pointer by Plano West junior forward D.J. Hogg, who finished as Plano West’s high scorer with 17 points.
Richland lost its momentum in the extra frame, going cold from the field and turning the ball over several times before Plano West ran away with the game.
Richland big man Tim Priller was the game’s leading scorer with 23 points and four rebounds. Plano West’s Tre Anderson finished one rebound short of a double-double, scoring 11 points and grabbing nine boards.
• Jonesboro (Ark.) 47, Fort Worth Trimble Tech 30: Lehigh signee Kahron Ross had 17 points to lead the Hurricane (7-1) into the quarterfinals.
Marquise Pointer added 11 points and six rebounds for Jonesboro, which used eight Bulldogs turnovers in the first quarter to jump out front.
Spencer Franklin had nine points and six rebounds for the Bulldogs (9-4).
• Plano East 83, North Crowley 54: Trey Patterson scored a tournament-high 30 points, and Zach Smith cleaned up rebound after rebound in the second half as Plano East routed North Crowley in Thursday’s opening round.
Plano East (9-4) took a 10-point lead into the half and poured it on in the second, outscoring North Crowley (8-5) by 19 in the last 16 minutes. Caleb Banks led the Panthers with 19 points.
• DeSoto 61, Denton Guyer 54: DeSoto, the top-ranked Class 5A team in the latest TABC state poll, needed everything it had to down Denton Guyer, the No. 11 4A team in the state.
DeSoto (12-2) trailed Guyer 30-29 at the half, but the Eagles mounted an 18-2 run in the third and fourth quarters.
After a first quarter that saw both teams rain in 3-pointers, DeSoto settled into an inside game, feeding senior post Terry Maston on the blocks to create the game-winning run.
Maston finished with a game-high 29 points, 23 of which came in the second half, and he had five rebounds. Guyer (7-5) was led by junior guard Sean Choate’s 21 points.
DeSoto advances to the winners’ bracket to face Plano East at 11 a.m. Friday, and Guyer moves into the consolation bracket to face North Crowley at 5 p.m..
• South Grand Prairie 75, Garland Lakeview Centennial 68: South Grand Prairie, No. 12 in the latest Class 5A ranking by the TABC, looked to a spark from the bench to overcome No. 25 Garland Lakeview Centennial 75-68 in opening-round action.
Coming off the bench, senior DJ Thorpe finished with nine points and two rebounds, which included two straight 3-pointers in the fourth quarter that gave South Grand Prairie (11-2) a lead it wouldn’t relinquish for the remainder of the game.
Thorpe, a 6-foot-3 guard, also made an huge impact on the defensive end of the court in the final frame, blocking two shots, including one on Centennial big man Elbert Robinson, standing 7-foot-1.
South Grand Prairie’s Cameron McGriff and Jalon Anderson finished tied for the team high with 12 points.
Senior forward Charles Beauregard’s 26 points led Centennial (8-5). He also had 4 rebounds.
• Justin Northwest 71, Richardson Berkner 51: Justin Northwest’s Elijah Christman scored 20 points as four Texans (12-2) posted double figures in a first-round upset of the state’s seventh-ranked 5A team.
Taylor Johnson had 15, Josh Tatum 12 and David Ogunwolu added 10 for Northwest, which used an 11-0 first-quarter run to jump out on the Rams (9-2) and a 10-0 stretch to put them away in the last five minutes of the second half.
Torey Everett led Berkner with 20 points and teammate Josh Francis had 15. The Rams the deficit to 61-51 with 5:30 to play, but a three-point play by Jesse Devries and buckets by Johnson and Christman put the Texans up 19.
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