Fort Worth Dunbar built an early lead and hung in with Fort Bend Elkins for much of the game in a back-and-forth tussle Thursday night in the Class 5A boys basketball state semifinals at the Alamodome.
But in the end, Elkins proved to be too much to handle as Dunbar fell 101-73.
No. 1 Elkins (36-2) advances to play No. 3 Lancaster (35-2) at 3 p.m. Saturday. Lancaster defeated Edinburg Vela 79-58.
Dunbar had its largest lead of the first half, 28-19, on Quinton Brigham’s free throw at the 3:26 mark, but Elkins went into the break with a 15-8 run. Brigham scored 11 of his 15 first-half points in the second quarter.
The Knights increased their lead by outscoring the Wildcats 10-2 to open the third quarter to go up 44-38, and they led 59-50 going into the fourth. Elkins extended the lead to 71-52 with 5:46 left on two free throws from Kenneth Busby and never looked back.
Busby led the Knights with 21 points, including 16 in the second half. Elkins, which scored 42 points in the fourth quarter, shot 62 percent from the field for the game and 70 percent in second half.
Brigham was 12-of-31 from the field and led Dunbar with 27 points and 12 rebounds. Logan Ray added 17 points for Dunbar (23-12), which was making its 15th appearance in the UIL state tournament. Elkins is in its first.
Dunbar was 28 of 80 from the field and 2 of 10 from 3-point range.
“We missed too many layups which messed our shooting up,” Dunbar coach Robert Hughes Jr. said. “If we could’ve gotten some kind of momentum, then we could have gotten some other shots. We weren’t making ours and they were making most of their shots.”
Jevon Maclin’s three-point play with 1:23 left in the first quarter and a steal and layup from Tobias Phillips led to a 17-14 Wildcats’ lead to start the second period.
The Wildcats led 36-34 at the half after 16 offensive rebounds resulted in 11 second-chance points. They also scored 14 points on Elkins’ 15 turnovers.
“In the first half, if we could’ve gotten that 10-point lead, maybe we could have stuck with them,” Hughes said. “Layups are our game. I don’t know, we were just out there missing.”