Tuesday night turned into a track meet, so Crowley kept running, all the way to a regional tournament berth.
The Eagles battled through three quarters of fast-paced action before getting an edge on Waco and cruising to a 73-53 win in a Class 4A Region I quarterfinal contest at Hillsboro High School.
Crowley (19-11) will play Amarillo Palo Duro or El Paso Andress on Friday night in the regional semifinals at The Coliseum in Snyder.
As Crowley expected, Waco (22-9) came out at a furious clip, taking a 20-18 lead after the first quarter.
“They want a fast pace,” Crowley coach Alfred Jones said. “We want to control the tempo, run when we can run and get layups. They just wanted fast regardless.”
After trailing 33-29 at halftime, Crowley came out with a spark in the third quarter, going on a 6-0 run to take a two-point lead. A pair of Waco buckets gave the Lions the lead back before Crowley took back over for good.
Danaez Moses scored seven straight points to give Crowley a 44-39 lead with 1:58 left in the third quarter. Moses and Markus Jones lengthened Crowley’s lead, as the two combined for nine of the Eagles’ first 10 points in the fourth quarter. Crowley took a 61-45 lead after sophomore Wyatt Beene converted a three-point play with 2:55 left.
Markus Jones, the District 8-4A co-MVP as a defensive end in football, poured in a team-high 24 points, most of which came inside the paint. Moses finished with 21 points.
Crowley, which beat state-ranked Fort Worth Dunbar to get to Tuesday’s round, has the momentum it wants heading into Friday’s regional tournament, Alfred Jones said.
“We celebrate it tonight, we accept it then we move on,” he said. “We have to get back and focused.”