With just Tuesday’s regular season finales to be played, Keller and Fossil Ridge are headed to the boys basketball playoffs, with only the question of bragging rights still up for grabs.
Keller owns the tiebreaker with Fossil Ridge as to the owner of the top seed from District 4-5A, but Fossil Ridge’s game with third-place Northwest could be the difference in a shared title or a second-place finish for the Panthers.
Keller still had to overcome winless Central, as well, for a 12-2 district mark.
The Tuesday games were played after the press deadline, but results can be found at dfwvarsity.com.
The pressure – and focus – was on Fossil Ridge, but the game of importance was going to keep the Panthers from being flat and looking forward to the playoffs next Monday or Tuesday.
“We won’t be looking ahead at all,” said Fossil Ridge head coach Zack Myers. “We’re still fighting for a district championship. They’ll (Keller) get the number one seed but we’re playing for a district championship. One of our goals is to win a championship and we’re still in control of our own destiny,” Myers said.
The tougher schedule down the stretch seemed to be to the Panthers’ liking, Myers said.
“There’s no patsy left on the schedule,” he said. “We’ve had battles that went down to the fourth quarter. As long as you win them, they’re what you want. We have a veteran team and each game you know you have to execute down the stretch, hit free throws down the stretch, take care of the ball down the stretch. It’s how we’ve been able to win close games like we have.”
Keller didn’t enjoy an easy contest last week, as they fought off Northwest for a 51-46 win. The victory set up the final game with Central for the district title at stake.
The Indians had just five players score in the win over Northwest. Nolan Taylor again led the way for the Indians with 18 points, with Brock Anders scoring 12 and Kyle Tanner added 11.
Richland was Keller’s Achilles’ heel, as the Indians’ only two losses came to the Rebels. Last Tuesday’s game was a 53-44 loss for Keller, which was outscored 21-7 in the final quarter.
Conversely, Keller has tagged Fossil Ridge for their only two district losses.
Fossil Ridge, though, beat Richland last week, 57-50 on Friday.
Regardless of the seeds, the two schools will start preparations for their playoff seasons.
Keller, as the top seed, will likely play Arlington Lamar next week.
Fossil Ridge’s likely foe in the bi-district round will be Fort Worth Paschal, although Paschal was still to play Lamar Tuesday. A Paschal win sets up the Panthers versus the Panthers, while a Lamar win would force a tie between the two schools and a coin flip or seeding game would ensue.
• Timber Creek will finish with Carroll after coming off a win over 64-29 thrashing of Haltom on Friday. De’Vante Waldon led all scorers with 26 points for Timber Creek (4-9) in the win. John Hatcher added 15 for the Falcons.
• Central has the final game with Keller in a long, winless season. The Chargers have been paced all year by J.R. Rogers, who scored 12 points in the loss to Carroll on Friday.