One basketball floor can barely contain the talents of Euless Trinity’s Myles Turner and Garland Lakeview Centennial’s Elbert Robinson.
On Day 3 of the Whataburger Tournament on Saturday morning, the two went head to head, a struggle between two of the best bigs in the country facing off for a spot in the consolation final of the Orange Bracket at Thomas Coliseum, with Centennial coming out on top 72-64.
Turner, an all-tournament selection who averaged a double-double in three games, got the best personal stats between the two, scoring a game-high 27 points, 16 rebounds and six blocks while battling foul trouble in the second half.
But Robinson helped Centennial clinch the victory even after he picked up two quick fouls and had to leave momentarily. He still managed to see a lot of minutes and finished with 16 points and five rebounds.
The two players are as different as they are big. Turner, 6-foot-11, was gifted with a frame that shares features with the Empire State Building and with a wing span that could cover seemingly all of West Texas, not to mention block a shot or six.
He is versatile, can put the ball on the floor when needed and has range on a jump shot.
Robinson, a left-handed 7-footer, resembles a mountain range, a 275-pounder who is immovable on the block and uses a big lower body to back defenders down and to be a bully in the paint. The LSU signee also has soft hands that are ideal for receiving and dishing the ball from the high post.
“He has a nice fluid game,” said Turner, who hit two of his three 3-point attempts. “Once he’s in the flow of the game, he can take over whenever he wants.”
Centennial went 8 for 8 on free throws in the final minute to outlast the Trojans (13-4).
Trinity jumped out with a 10-2 run to start the game, but Centennial (10-5) answered with an 11-0 stretch of its own in the second quarter.
The Patriots went on to capture the consolation title by defeating Richardson Berkner 65-47.
Saturday’s faceoff between the big men wasn’t the first and likely won’t be the last.
“He’s a real powerful guy,” Turner said. “I don’t know about seeing someone exactly his size [consistently], but his power and savvy ... definitely.”
•Justin Northwest 93, Plano West 73:
Taylor Johnson scored a game-high 30 points, including 13 in a decisive third quarter, to help Northwest claim fifth place.
The Texans (14-3) shot 59 percent from the field and poured it on in a 33-point third quarter.
Elijah Christman added 26 and point guard Josh Tatum distributed the ball almost perfectly for the Texans.
D.J. Hogg had 27 for the Wolves, the state’s fifth-ranked team who were without two key players, Mickey Mitchell and Tyler Davis.
Northwest came out of halftime on fire, with David Ogunwolu cleaning up any missed shots.
“The ball was just going in,” said Johnson, who scored 19 second-half points. “Sometimes it’s like that.”
Northwest, the only unranked team in the event, went 3-1 at the tournament.
“It was a success for us,” Johnson said. “That’s good for us as a team.”
DeSoto 75, Louisville Ballard 72 (OT): The Eagles, Texas’ top-ranked team, blew a 16-point fourth-quarter lead but fended off hard-charging Ballard to claim third place.
Takedrick Brown (16 points) had a 3-pointer, and Terry Matson (team-high 20) had two key buckets in overtime for DeSoto (14-3).
Down 73-72, Ballard (11-3) missed a 3-point attempt with 7 seconds left and later missed a shot to tie with 2 seconds remaining.
Quentin Snider, a Louisville signee, had 27 for Ballard, including 19 in the fourth quarter and overtime.
•North Crowley 52, Fort Worth Trimble Tech 39:
The Panthers earned a victory in a game between two teams that each needed a win.
Greg Roy led all scorers with 19 for North Crowley (9-6). Caleb Banks added 14.
The game was the first of sorts for the tournament, which had been a double elimination tournament in the past. This year, event officials added a guaranteed third game for teams that lost in the first and second rounds. Arlington Martin and Richland played in the other.
The Bulldogs, who went 0-3 in the tournament, continued to have trouble scoring. Rayvyon Parks and Le’Mon Roberts each had eight for Trimble Tech (9-6).
•Richland 64, Arlington Martin 60:
Richland’s 7-0 run early in the fourth quarter was enough to hold off the Warriors.
Martin’s Josh Swearingin pulled down three offensive boards that resulted in three put-backs for the Warriors, but a Tim Priller baseline jam with 1:45 left in the game served as the dagger in the Richland win.
Priller finished with a game-high 23 points and six rebounds in the game.
Swearingin netted a team-high 18 points, six of which came in the fourth quarter. Martin standout guard Nick Babb was held to just one point in the game, but he pulled down a game-high nine rebounds.
Richland guard Hayden Hunter was key in sparking the Rebels’ (11-4) comeback, putting up 14 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter.
Martin (8-6) was without senior post Myles Garrett as he left on Saturday for Thursday’s Under Armour All-America football game in St. Petersburg, Fla.
•Justin Northwest 57, Plano East 56:
The Texans edged past the Panthers to earn a spot in the fifth-place game.
Josh Tatum had 12, and Elijan Christman had 11 for the Texans (13-3), who went on to face Plano West.
Plano East’s Issac Asrat had 26, including nine of his team’s final 16 points.
The Panthers (13-3) dropped their last two games of the tournament after opening with a victory over North Crowley.
•Plano West 65, Humble Atascocita 59:
Plano West needed a drastic shift in momentum late against Atascocita and got it on the defensive end of the court.
Late in the fourth quarter, West’s Yoel Gebemicael stepped into the lane in front of a breaking Joe Burton and took a charge on a massive dunk that put life into the West squad.
West (10-4) mounted a rally and eventually erased its deficit on a layup and free throw by junior guard Soso Jamabo. The win pushed West into the fifth-place game against Justin Northwest.
West’s D.J. Hogg led all scorers with 16 points to go with seven rebounds and four blocked shots. Atascocita’s Joe Burton netted 15 points, a team-high, before he fouled out in the fourth quarter.
•Richardson Berkner 67, Denton Guyer 61:
The Rams, paced by Torey Everett’s 28 points, earned a place in the consolation final with victory in the first game of the final day.
Miles Crawford had 25 for Guyer (8-6).