State basketball: DeSoto, Allen lose in 5A semifinals

Posted Saturday, Mar. 08, 2014  comments  Print Reprints
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For all its misses and misfires, Galena Park North Shore got two things right in its Class 5A semifinal against DeSoto: defense and clutch free throw shooting at the end.

North Shore’s pressure defense forced 26 DeSoto turnovers and Jarrey Foster and Kerwin Roach made four free throws over the final 18 seconds in a 48-45 victory that saw DeSoto have two late chances to tie.

North Shore (34-3) got the win despite shooting 26 percent and scoring just 15 points over the second and third quarters Friday. North Shore will face Converse Judson for the state title.

When the offense wasn’t working, coach David Green Jr., just dialed up the pressure defense as far as it could go.

“We’ve had games like this before,” Green said. “Even when we didn’t score, we knew we could create turnovers.”

No turnover was bigger than Foster’s steal from DeSoto’s Cedric Carson – it was more like a blocked shot that Foster grabbed with both hands, Foster, who had scored 10 points in the first quarter but had been struggling with a sore elbow the entire second half, made two free throws for a three-point lead.

Carson then cut it to one with a baseline layup before North Shore got the ball to Roach who was fouled and made both free throws. DeSoto then committed yet another turnover when Takedrick Brown was called for travelling.

That still didn’t quite seal the victory for North Shore.

DeSoto (31-4) had a last desperate chance when Roach tossed the inbounds pass to no one and the ball bounced toward North Shore’s basket. DeSoto’s Julian Miranda chased it down and quickly pulled it back for an off-balance 3-pointer. The shot missed but North Shore knocked it out of bounds with .7 seconds left. Miranda’s final fall-away 3-pointer at the buzzer fell short.

“We gave them a chance,” Green said. “We could have been sitting here crying.”

Foster finished with 12 points and 11 rebounds. Brandon Etienne and Jalin Hart each scored 11 for North Shore. Roach, North Shore’s leading scorer this season, didn’t score until making two free throws with 1:39 to play that put North Shore ahead 42-41.

DeSoto briefly retook the lead on a dunk by Devin Wyatt before Hart made two free throws to give North Shore the lead for good. Terry Maston, who has signed with Baylor, led DeSoto with 11 points and 10 rebounds.

North Shore turned DeSoto’s 26 turnovers (15 in the second half) into 22 points.

“They came after us. We didn’t handle the ball well. We’ve been pressed before,” said DeSoto coach Chris Dyer, who led the school to the 2009 state championship.

Both teams opened the game at a frantic pace, pressing and pushing the ball in transition. Brown made consecutive 3-pointers to open the game for DeSoto. Foster scored 10 in a 13-2 run that sent North Shore into the second leading 17-14.

The pace slowed down from there. North Shore pushed its lead to 24-18 before DeSoto closed the quarter with a 10-1 run. Brown made his third 3-pointer of the half and Dominique Thomas’ layup gave DeSoto a 28-25 at halftime.

The slowdown continued in the third. North Shore missed seven consecutive shots in one sequence and DeSoto pushed its lead as high as 32-25 when Maston had a tip-in basket then followed it with a block on a layup. North Shore was just 2 of 17 shooting in the period but still managed to pull back within 34-32 to start the fourth.

Brown was clearly frustrated DeSoto wilted under the pressure of North Shore’s defense in the second half.

“Nobody was coming back to help,” Brown said. “We should have calmed down and played our game.”

•  Converse Judson 52, Allen 41: The Rockets (37-1) ended the bid by the Eagles (27-9) for a football-basketball title double. Allen led 24-22 at halftime, but Judson outscored Allen 16-4 in the third quarter and went up 44-30 in the fourth.

Tony Allen led Judson with 18 points. For Allen, Jamuni McNeace (7-of-11 shooting) had 16 points and Nick Rutherford (6 of 17) had 14.

Judson, the top-ranked team in 5A, got 11 points and eight rebounds from David Wacker to advance to its first state championship game since 1993.

Judson shot 59 percent in the second half and led 38-28 to start the fourth. Judson made only three field goals in the fourth, but milked its lead with seven free throws.

McNeace, who has signed with Oklahoma, didn’t score in the second half. McNeace also had 12 rebounds.

Class 2A

•  Ponder 51, Aransas Pass 47: Ponder’s Chase Harris scored a game-high 20 points to lead the Lions (31-7) over the Panthers (33-8).

Harris hit a three-pointer with 1:08 left in the fourth quarter to give Ponder a 50-47 lead. Aransas Pass missed a shot in the final seconds before Harris grabbed the rebound and was fouled. He sank a free throw to account for the final tally.

Harris added seven rebounds while Clay Morgan had 15 points and 11 rebounds for Ponder, which led 26-25 at the half. Josh Peterson scored 13 points for the Lions.

Colin Hale had 12 points and seven rebounds for Aransas Pass while Troy Galvan added 11 points. Teammate J.D. Gentry finished with six points and 10 rebounds.

•  Tatum 58, Bushland 41: The Eagles (35-4)dominated the second quarter with a 19-4 scoring run against the Falcons (27-9).

Tatum built a 35-20 halftime lead and then maintained at least a 14-point advantage in the second half.

Three different Tatum players scored in double digits: Chaston Brooks had 15 points and Martin Williams and Robbie Rockwell tallied 10 each.

Bushland attempted to slow the pace against an Eagles team that’s averaging 76 points per game in the playoffs. But Tatum outrebounded Bushland 39-30 and limited the Falcons to just 2-of-15 shooting from beyond the three-point line.

Taylor Cornelius and Teagan Shelton led Bushland with 11 points each.

Class A Div. II

•  Water Valley 58, Nazareth 42: Trae Hannon scored 12 points and the Wildcats (28-5) cruised past the Swifts (24-13) into state championship game.

Water Valley, which has never won a state title, had four players score in double figures and easily rolled over a Nazareth program that has won six state titles, most recently in 2010.

Water Valley shot better than 50 percent through the first three quarters. Nazareth scored just four points in the first quarter and Water Valley led by 30 midway through the third.

Connor Copley scored 12 points for Water Valley and Kellen Kirkland and Brock Demere each scored 10.

Hayden Gerber scored 16 for Nazareth, which committed 24 turnovers that Water Valley converted into 30 points.

•  Laneville 55, Cumby Miller Grove 54: Tiarel Franklin made one free throw with 9 seconds to play, lifting the Yellowjackets (33-6) over the Hornets (27-10) .

Franklin, who had attempted only two free throws earlier in the game, stepped to the line after Miller Grove’s Patrick Covington tied it moments earlier. Franklin made his first attempt but missed his second.

Miller Grove quickly moved the ball upcourt and Covington passed to Aaron Smith, but Smith’s long 3-pointer at the buzzer was well short. Smith had made three from long range.

Dontavious Harris scored 30 points for Laneville and made eight 3-pointers. Covington had 25 points for Miller Grove on 11 of 13 shooting and grabbed 11 rebounds.

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