IT'S PLAYOFF TIME: Belton junior forward TJ Johnson (44), shown guarding Temple's Aundra Jackson during the Tigers' 53-31 road win Dec. 22, and the Tigers (17-7) will battle top-ranked Waxahachie (16-2) in a Class 6A bi-district playoff game at 7 tonight at Lorena High School. The 6-foot-6 Johnson averages 25.2 points per game for Belton, which has advanced to postseason play for the first time in its three seasons with head coach Jason Fossett. Belton faces a Waxahachie squad that has two NCAA Division I signees and handed No. 2 Duncanville and No. 3 Richardson their only defeats. (File photo by Matt Corley, Temple ISD/Special to TempleBeltonSports.com)




By GREG WILLE

TempleBeltonSports.com

gwille2@hot.rr.com


BELTON – The Belton boys basketball team is the No. 4 seed from District 12-6A, and the Tigers are making their first playoff appearance since the 2017-18 season.

Waxahachie is ranked No. 1 in the state in Class 6A, dealt No. 2 Duncanville and No. 3 Richardson their only losses this season and has two seniors – Oklahoma signee CJ Noland and Colorado State signee Jalen Lake – committed to play for NCAA Division I programs.

Therefore, it's not a stretch to say that few, if any, interested observers give Belton (17-7) much of a shot to win its bi-district playoff game against Waxahachie (16-2) at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Lorena High School.

For Belton third-year head coach Jason Fossett, however, the only thing that matters is that his Tigers enter tonight's postseason opener possessing a strong belief that they can prevail by playing their best basketball against the heavily favored Runnin' Indians.

“First you have to show up believing you have a shot. A lot of times these games are won or lost before the game is even tipped off. Your guys have to believe you have the opportunity to compete. Then it is important you withstand the first 4 minutes of the game,” Fossett said Monday. “We can't be intimidated by (Waxahachie's) size and speed. We have to make smart decisions with the ball and not give them easy baskets off our turnovers.

“We obviously are going to have to shoot the ball well to have a shot, especially from the 3-point line. (The goal is to) have the game close going into the fourth quarter and give yourself a chance. That is about all you can ask.”

Senior guard Kayden Downs, a varsity player since his freshman season, is the only Belton player who has competed in a playoff game. The 2017-18 Tigers, coached by Trovocie Jackson, lost 61-47 to DeSoto in a 6A bi-district game.

This Belton squad does have a good amount of overall experience, though, with standout junior forward and three-year starter TJ Johnson and senior guards Downs, Ben Jones and Luke Bramlett. Freshman guard Trap Johnson, younger brother of TJ Johnson, completes the starting lineup.

The clash with Waxahachie will be the Tigers' first game since their 80-62 win at Killeen Shoemaker on Feb. 9 that clinched Belton's first playoff berth in Fossett's three seasons at the helm. The Tigers' regular-season finale against 12-6A runner-up Harker Heights first was rescheduled because of the winter storm and then ultimately was canceled, leaving Belton's final district record at 8-5.

Although Belton went 5-5 in its final 10 district games after briefly holding the outright lead at 3-0, Fossett has been impressed by the Tigers' consistent approach and even-keel quality.

“I think the thing I have liked the most is our consistency. Besides maybe one or two games against Temple this season our play has been pretty consistent,” he said. “We have not gotten too high or low when things are going really well or really poorly. The kids have bought into that you have to show up every game and play, because at any point in time you could get beat, especially in 12-6A.”

The only district opponent Belton went 0-2 against was ninth-ranked Killeen Ellison (25-1), whose Eagles repeated as the outright 12-6A champions.

The Tigers face a daunting challenge against Waxahachie's athletic, battle-tested group. The Runnin' Indians went 27-7 last season, beating Richardson Pearce and Coppell in the 6A playoffs before being eliminated 79-58 by Richardson in a Region I quarterfinal.

Waxahachie has been even better this season. Noland, rated as a four-star recruit, scored 30 points and fellow senior Montez Young made the game-winning 3-point shot to give the Indians an 88-85 overtime victory Jan. 9 at Duncanville, which remains the Panthers' lone defeat. Because the teams' second matchup was canceled after being postponed by inclement weather, Waxahachie captured the 11-6A championship with a 9-0 record.

The Indians, who average more than 78 points per game, also have wins over 5A No. 1 Lancaster and 5A No. 6 Amarillo. Their only losses came early in the season against iSchool of Lewisville and 6A No. 8 McKinney. Waxahachie's last game was on Feb. 12, an 80-51 home win in which Noland, Lake and Young scored a combined 41 points.

“I mean, Waxahachie has been No. 1 in the state for the majority of the year. They have CJ Noland, a Power 5 signee at Oklahoma, and Jalen Lake going to Colorado State,” Fossett said. “I told the guys we have not seen a guy like CJ Noland this year. He is probably 6-4, 220 pounds and so strong and skilled with the basketball, but what makes them so dangerous is they have a number of other guys that will probably play beyond high school.

“When you pair two high-caliber college players with some other athletic and long kids that can play the game, you have a recipe to have a lot of success. They force people into making poor decisions and turn those poor decisions into easy scoring opportunities on the other end. They are so explosive and dangerous on both ends of the floor that they can rattle off a 10-0 run very quickly with all the skill they can put on the floor.”

Belton can't come close to matching Waxahachie in terms of big-name recruits, but Downs, Jones (committed to play baseball at East Texas Baptist) and Trap Johnson are skilled 3-point shooters and each has demonstrated the ability to score 20-plus points in a game.

Of course, the main straw that has stirred the Tigers' drink throughout their breakthrough season is the versatile TJ Johnson. The 6-6, 195-pound forward averages 25.2 points per game and has scored 30-plus six times, including a high of 43 at Bastrop Cedar Creek on Dec. 5 and 34 points in the playoff-clinching win at Shoemaker. He's a potent, willing 3-point shooter who also uses his size and athletic ability to impact games as a rebounder and defender.

“TJ is one of those players who makes everyone around him better. The amazing thing is most everyone we played knew TJ was our main threat and he still managed to perform at such a high and efficient level,” Fossett said. “He is not one of those guys who is a volume shooter. He is so efficient in the shots that he takes. Rarely does he take what you would say is a forced or ill-advised shot.

“He trusted his teammates to make the shots when he was double-teamed, and the majority of the time those other guys knocked them down, especially in the key moments. TJ's such a high-IQ guy that you can trust out there with the ball in his hands to make the right play. He puts so much time and effort into it, so I'm glad to see him have the year he is having.”

The Belton-Waxahachie winner will advance to the area round to battle Rockwall (17-9), which grabbed a 55-40 bi-district victory over Wylie on Saturday.

Regardless of whether Belton pulls off a stunning upset against Waxahachie tonight or sees its stellar season come to a conclusion, Fossett has thoroughly enjoyed coaching the Tigers and watching them develop into a playoff-qualifying team.

“This has been such a fun group of guys to coach and to be a part of this year. This is my 20th year as a head coach and this bunch has been one of my favorite groups just because of their competitive spirit and willingness to find a way to win,” said Fossett, who coached Killeen to a 193-51 record and six district championships from 2005-12. “We are not the biggest or fastest guys you have ever seen, but they are such high-IQ basketball players that just want to win."

#Belton #BeltonTigers #BeltonBasketball #BeltonHighSchool #BoysBasketball #UILplayoffs #TempleBeltonSports

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RIVALRY ACTION: Temple College sophomore forward Aleu Aleu (35) takes a 3-point shot over McLennan sophomore defender Rayquan Brown during the second half of the visiting Leopards' 100-62 loss to the 17th-ranked Highlanders on Monday night at The Highlands in Waco. Aleu made three 3s and was 8-of-9 on free throws as the Texas-San Antonio signee scored 21 points to pace TC (4-2, 1-2 Northern Texas Junior College Athletic Conference). The Leopards will host Grayson at 7 p.m. Wednesday at TC Gym. Brown was one of two MCC players with 18 points as the Highlanders (10-0) improved to 4-0 in the NTJCAC. (Photo by Greg Wille, TempleBeltonSports.com)



By GREG WILLE

TempleBeltonSports.com

gwille2@hot.rr.com


WACO – Clifton Ellis played point guard for Temple College during the 1995-96 and 1996-97 seasons. Asked how he and the Leopards fared in their two road games against rival McLennan Community College, Ellis simply stated, “It did not go well."

Twenty-four years after his last trip to Waco to play the Highlanders, Ellis returned Monday night as TC's first-year head coach. He might have thought he was experiencing flashbacks, because once again a visit to MCC and The Highlands did not go well – at all – for the Leopards.

No. 17-ranked McLennan repeatedly used swarming defense to create opportunities on offense, and the unbeaten, unrelenting Highlanders also controlled the rebounding game and got 13-plus points from five players as they rolled to a thorough 100-62 win over turnover-plagued, cold-shooting Temple.

“It's a difficult game when we don't rebound or defend or make shots,” Ellis said afterward. “As a coach I've got to make some adjustments. This was an eye-opener for our guys and for me as well.”

Because of the prolonged winter storm that froze Texas for a full week, both the Leopards and the Highlanders were playing for the first time since Feb. 10, when they recorded Northern Texas Junior College Athletic Conference victories against Southwestern Christian and Weatherford, respectively.

Following the extended layoff, it was McLennan (10-0 overall, 4-0 NTJCAC) that played with significantly better energy and sharpness than Temple (4-2, 1-2), something that clearly bothered Ellis.

“First game back after being off for 10 days, we didn't play with the energy that they played with. We weren't the more aggressive team. They put us on our heels the whole game,” said Ellis, whose squad trailed 48-30 at halftime after making only seven field goals in the opening 20 minutes. “I'm probably most disappointed in our rebounding. That's something we try to emphasize, but we were not rebounding with urgency and we didn't do a good job of getting back on defense. On offense we've got to move the ball better, and we weren't scoring around the rim. That makes the game difficult.”

Sophomore 6-foot-8 forward and Texas-San Antonio signee Aleu Aleu made three 3-point shots and was 8-of-9 on free throws while scoring 21 points for Temple, which didn't have any other double-figure scorers. Sherrod Whitley made three 3-pointers for his nine points, and fellow freshman guard Brandon Monroe hit two 3s and scored eight points off the bench.

The Leopards' other three starters – sophomore point guard Tyler Watkins, sophomore guard Khouri Perkins and 6-10 sophomore forward Mawien Mawien – combined for only 11 points as Temple finished with 19 points fewer than its previous season low.

Rayquan Brown and Diego Gonzalez spearheaded McLennan's balanced scoring attack with 18 points apiece, Harker Heights graduate Dillon Gooding and Chris Pryor produced 15 points each and Maurice Harvey contributed 13. Those five players outscored the Leopards 79-62, along with helping the athletic, up-tempo Highlanders collect 17 turnovers and pressure Temple into a slew of difficult shots.

“That's one thing we try to hang our hat on, is defense, and our guys are getting better. They're working hard and trying to buy into what we're trying to do,” said 19th-season McLennan coach Kevin Gill, who coached against Ellis for the first time after competing against longtime Leopards coach Kirby Johnson 36 times in the previous 18 seasons dating to 2002-03. “I was really proud of them, because we don't just have one guy that's going to lead us to victory. We've got to do it as a collective group, and they did a good job tonight.

“Through the pandemic and then last week with the weather, it's just good to get a chance to play," he added. "We were really on tonight as far as executing and our defense turning into offense. Coach Ellis does a good job over there and Temple has a good team. They're a young team and they're going to get better. Sometimes it just happens like that. It's happened to me before. You've just got to keep going. I'm just glad we were at home.”

With weather-related postponements drastically altering the NTJCAC schedule, Temple's game at McLennan began a stretch of nine conference games in 22 days for the Leopards, who will host Grayson at 7 p.m. Wednesday at TC Gym before playing at Weatherford on Saturday. Temple's rematch with McLennan is at home on Monday, March 15.

“That's a lot of games,” Ellis said. “You only get so many conference games, and we kind of wasted one today. We can't let this one loss turn into four in a row.”

Temple got off to a positive start as two free throws by Watkins and Mawien's inside basket on a goaltending call gave the Leopards a 4-1 lead with one minute gone. However, McLennan then quickly ripped off an 8-0 run – with baskets by Harvey, Brown, Pryor and Gonzalez – that created a 9-4 Highlanders advantage and was a sign of things to come.

Even with Aleu making a pair of 3-pointers and passing to freshman forward Maison Adeleye for an inside bucket, the scoring of Harvey and Gonzalez – an aggressive freshman point guard from Puerto Rico – helped propel MCC to a 26-12 lead with 8:43 remaining in the first half.

Aleu made three free throws after getting fouled on a long-range shot and Watkins sank a left-wing 3 to keep Temple within striking distance at 28-18, but Gooding and Brown then sparked a 9-0 Highlanders run for a 37-18 lead 4:22 before halftime. The Leopards didn't make a field goal from the 6:41 mark until Monroe hit a 3 with 26 seconds left before intermission. Monroe buried another 3 10 seconds later following a turnover as Temple trimmed its halftime deficit to 48-30.

“The way MCC defends you, it forces shots that you don't want to shoot,” said Ellis, whose team was 11-for-11 on free throws (Aleu was 7-for-7) in the first half but also committed nine costly turnovers compared to McLennan's three giveaways. “It seemed like every time we hit a 3, then we'd either foul or give up an offensive rebound. On the road in this conference, you can't give away possessions.”

Five straight points by Brown pushed the Highlanders' advantage to 24 at 55-31, but two left-wing 3s by Whitley, Aleu's right-wing 3, Adeleye's basket off a turnover and a right-wing 3 by freshman Elijah Lomas keyed a 14-5 Temple spurt to make it 60-45 with 13:53 remaining as McLennan suddenly was stricken by turnover woes of its own.

Multiple baskets by Aleu and Lomas kept the Leopards in contention at 71-55 at the 10-minute mark, but the Highlanders then swiftly put the game on ice with a rapid-fire scoring flurry. Brown made a skillful bank shot and completed the three-point play, Kirk Smith Jr. threw down a two-handed dunk on a fast break and Brown punctuated the game-sealing run with a powerful one-handed slam, putting MCC back in full control at 78-55 with 7:43 left.

MEN'S COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Northern Texas Junior College

Athletic Conference


No. 17 McLennan 100,

Temple College 62

Temple (4-2, 1-2 NTJCAC) – Aleu Aleu 21, Sherrod Whitley 9, Brandon Monroe 8, Elijah Lomas 7, Tyler Watkins 7, Maison Adeleye 4, Mawien Mawien 2, Khouri Perkins 2, Davion Sargent-Young 2.

McLennan (10-0, 4-0 NTJCAC) – Rayquan Brown 18, Diego Gonzalez 18, Dillon Gooding 15, Chris Pryor 15, Maurice Harvey 13, Nehemiah Nuckolls 6, Kirk Smith Jr. 5, Asare Otchere 4, Ja'Kyrie Robinson 3, Sudi McElroy 2, Amani Harris 1.

3-point goals – Temple 10 (Aleu 3, Whitley 3, Monroe 2, Lomas 1, Watkins 1); McLennan 5 (Gooding 2, Brown 1, Harvey 1, Robinson 1).

Free throws – Temple 14-18; McLennan 19-28.

Halftime score – McLennan 48, Temple 30.

#TempleCollege #TempleCollegeLeopards #TempleCollegeBasketball #TC #TCLeopards #TCbasketball #TCmen #McLennan #McLennanHighlanders #JUCObasketball #JUCOhoops #NTJCAC #NTJCACbasketball #TempleBeltonSports

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BACK ON THE ATTACK: Playing his first game since Feb. 9, Academy junior point guard Darion Franklin made three consecutive 3-point shots in the first quarter and scored 16 of his game-high 18 points in the first half to help the No. 16-ranked Bumblebees beat Teague 70-43 in a Class 3A bi-district playoff game Saturday evening in Riesel. Senior guard Jaylin McWilliams added 12 points for District 19-3A champion Academy (18-7), which has won its last 11 games and will play 18-3A No. 2 seed Scurry-Rosser in the area round at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Buffalo High School. Senior Tanner Rambeau and sophomore Scout Brazeal scored 10 points each for the Bees. (Photo by Greg Wille, TempleBeltonSports.com)



By GREG WILLE

TempleBeltonSports.com

gwille2@hot.rr.com


RIESEL – Because of the persistent winter storm that put Central Texas in a deep freeze and dominated people's lives for a full week, the Academy boys basketball team was unable to do anything organized together from its 53-32 win at rival Rogers last Friday until its Class 3A bi-district playoff game against Teague on Saturday evening.

The proloned wait for even longer for junior point guard Darion Franklin, who missed the Rogers game because of disciplinary reasons as his Bumblebees completed their second straight undefeated run to the District 19-3A championship.

Finally with an opportunity to get back on the court, Franklin and No. 16-ranked Academy didn't take very long to get back up to full speed.

Franklin made three consecutive 3-point shots during his 11-point first quarter that sparked the Bees, and their turnover-producing defense frustrated Teague throughout as Academy charged to a thorough 70-43 victory at the Riesel High School gym.

“It feels really good. That game off against Rogers made me mad,” said Franklin, who's helped power Academy to a 26-0 district record the last two seasons. “So me coming back, I had to play as hard as I can. I was just itching to play real bad. This is my favorite sport.”

Academy fifth-year head coach James Holt expected his squad to exhibit some rust in its first action in more than a week, but the Bees (18-7) overcame any layoff-related problems by playing with maximum effort and intensity.

“We did not have a practice. This is our first time to touch a ball since Rogers. We played on a Friday (Feb. 12) and then we played today,” Holt said after the Bees won their postseason opener for the third straight season. “I thought the key was just to come out and play hard. I told the kids, 'We're going to make mistakes because we haven't touched a ball in eight days, but let's make those mistakes full-speed. Let's not make those mistakes because we're tired and we're going to take a play off here and there. If you're tired, we've got a good bench and let's get a substitute in there who can go full-speed.'”

Franklin scored 16 of his game-high 18 points in the first half, and Bees senior guard Jaylin McWilliams scored nine of his 12 points in the first two periods as Academy built up a 35-19 halftime lead. Senior power forward Tanner Rambeau scored 10 points, and so did sophomore reserve guard Scout Brazeal – all in the fourth quarter as the Bees' starters supported the backups from the bench.

Academy has won 11 games in a row since its 77-74 home loss to 4A No. 21-ranked Waco La Vega on Jan. 5. The Bees advanced to next week's area round and will play 18-3A No. 2 seed Scurry-Rosser at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Buffalo High School. Scurry-Rosser defeated Riesel in bi-district action Saturday.


INSIDE FORCE: Academy senior power forward Tanner Rambeau (25) goes up against Teague defenders Tylin Randle (left) and Wayland Allison to score two of his 10 points during the 16th-ranked Bumblebees' 70-43 win over the Lions in a Class 3A bi-district playoff game Saturday in Riesel. Looking on are Bees junior guards Trae Rambeau (left) and Darion Franklin. Academy (18-7) won its postseason opener for the third consecutive year. (Photo by Greg Wille, TempleBeltonSports.com)



Muscular senior guard Nemier Herod scored 13 points to lead Teague (9-16), which didn't secure 20-3A's No. 4 seed until Crockett beat Groesbeck earlier Saturday at Riesel in a weather-postponed game to solidify that district's final standings. Lanky freshman guard Jehmel Rice contributed 12 points and junior forward Wayland Allison added 11 for the Lions, who were hindered by 10 first-half turnovers and 17 giveaways through three quarters.

Teague also made only four 3-point shots and was 11-of-21 on free throws, while Academy drilled eight 3-pointers and was 8-for-10 from the foul line.

For the first 1½ minutes, anyway, Academy looked like a team that hadn't been able to get into the gym for a full week to work on its game. Rice made a 15-foot jump shot 18 seconds into the game and then hit a 10-foot jumper for a 4-0 lead with 50 seconds gone, while the Bees misfired on their first two shots from 3-point range.

“I think we hadn't touched a ball in eight days,” Holt said, “and it kind of showed early.”

McWilliams, last season's 19-3A Most Valuable Player, got Academy going by slicing in from the left wing for a layup, then he was fouled after a Teague turnover and made both free throws for a 4-4 deadlock.

Then it was Franklin's time not only to shine but to supply the Bees with a comfortable lead that the Lions never threatened.

After his team created a turnover, Franklin made his first 3-point from the left corner for Academy's first advantage at 7-4 with 6:06 remaining in the first quarter. Then he snared a crosscourt pass and sank a 3 from the left wing to make it 10-4. And when the Lions inexplicably left him wide open on the left wing, Franklin buried another 3 – his third connection from beyond the arc in a span of 1:56 – to stake the Bees to a commanding 13-4 lead midway through the opening period.

“Darion was on fire early, so that kind of got us going,” Holt said. “When he's going good, it kind of gets everybody rolling and in a good mood and playing well.”

Franklin said he entered the game with a focused, specific mindset: “Kill whoever's in front of me.”

Teague guard Jacob Callahan finally put a small delay in Franklin's personal tour de force by making a right-corner 3 for a 13-7 game, but Franklin responded with a close-range basket off a deft pass from senior guard Jerry Cephus. Franklin missed his next 3-point attempt, but junior guard Trae Rambeau grabbed the rebound in midair and converted the putback bucket to make it 17-7 with 3:04 left, helping the Bees lead 17-9 after collecting seven Teague turnovers in the first quarter.

Academy essentially put the game out of reach with a red-hot start to the second period. Another Lions turnover led to Franklin's easy layin, and he made one of two free throws after a Teague player was called for an intentional foul for shoving Franklin in the back on an attempted layup. Tanner Rambeau scored an inside basket, then McWilliams made a skillful reverse layup and nailed an open 3 from the left wing to extend the Bees' advantage to 27-10 1:43 into the second.


LET IT FLY: Academy senior guard Jaylin McWilliams takes a 3-point shot over Teague senior defender Nemier Herod during the No. 16-ranked Bumblebees' 70-43 victory against the Lions in a Class 3A bi-district playoff game Saturday night in Riesel. McWilliams, last season's District 19-3A MVP, made two 3-pointers and scored 12 points to help Academy notch its 11th consecutive win. Looking on for the Bees are junior Darion Franklin (2), senior Kollin Mraz (1), senior Tanner Rambeau (entering lane) and junior Trae Rambeau. (Photo by Greg Wille, TempleBeltonSports.com)



Burly inside force Tanner Rambeau – the 19-3A MVP as a sophomore – scored two more point-blank baskets off passes from Franklin, and McWilliams fired a 75-foot, one-armed pass to Franklin for an easy layup to help Academy take a 35-19 lead into the halftime break.

Any hope that Teague had to make a comeback was extinguished in the third quarter. Tanner Rambeau scored two close-range buckets, then Cephus blocked a Herod 3-point shot before senior guard Kollin Mraz added a follow-up hoop for a 41-23 lead.

Cephus scored off a steal, McWilliams sank a right-corner 3 and Franklin made a putback before Mraz's difficult finish on a fast break produced a three-point play, punctuating a 12-0 spurt for a 51-23 advantage with 1:49 remaining. Senior reserve post Tyler Lambert made back-to-back inside baskets to push Academy's lead to 55-25 after three quarters.

The 30-point margin allowed Holt to put his starting lineup – Franklin and seniors Cephus, Mraz, McWilliams and Tanner Rambeau – on the bench for the entire final period. That gave Brazeal the opportunity to make two 3-pointers and score 10 points, while sophomore point guard Cole Shackelford's five points included a right-corner 3 shortly after a hard foul knocked him into the first row of seats, with his shot eliciting a spirited reaction from his teammates and Academy's fans.

“I would love if our starters didn't play a fourth quarter all playoffs, because that means we're where we want to be,” Holt said. “It's good for our bench guys to get more playing time, because if you saw our (Region III quarterfinal) last year against Crockett, we were in foul trouble. Darion was in foul trouble. So our bench guys have to be able to come in and contribute in a big game. And at the same time, we don't want anybody getting hurt, so we try to take care of that.”

An area-round win Wednesday against Scurry-Rosser would propel Academy into its third straight appearance in the Region III quarterfinals. The first two ended with intense, rugged losses to Crockett: 50-41 two years ago and 58-52 last year, ending the Bees' season at 30-7.

Academy can't run into Crockett again this season until the regional final, but the Bees might clash with 20-3A champion and No. 17-ranked Franklin (17-1) – the only program to defeat Academy in its last 40 district games – in a Region III quarterfinal late next week.

“I think it's important to all these kids. They know this could be a really special year, even though it's probably been the craziest year in their life. But I do think for the seniors there is probably something a little bit extra there,” Holt said. “And I think we'll see it more as the playoffs go, that when the games get tight, that's when your players have to show up. The good thing is we've got a deep team and I think it's important to all of them, so we're just going to keep playing hard.”

Said Franklin, Academy's lone junior starter, about the Bees' five seniors and the vital elements to continuing their playoff run: “I just wish the best for those guys. I've been playing with those guys since I was very young, so I want to make this the best year they've ever had. Keep your composure, play your game and just have fun.”

BOYS HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL


CLASS 3A BI-DISTRICT PLAYOFF


No. 16 Academy 70, Teague 43

Teague 9 10 6 18 – 43

Academy 17 18 20 15 – 70

Teague (9-16) – Nemier Herod 13, Jehmel Rice 12, Wayland Allison 11, Xavier Harvey 4, Jacob Callahan 3.

Academy (18-7) – Darion Franklin 18, Jaylin McWilliams 12, Scout Brazeal 10, Tanner Rambeau 10, Kollin Mraz 5, Cole Shackelford 5, Tyler Lambert 4, Jerry Cephus 2, Chris Preddie 2, Trae Rambeau 2.

3-point field goals – Teague 4 (Allison 1, Callahan 1, Herod 1, Rice 1); Academy 8 (Franklin 3, Brazeal 2, McWilliams 2, Shackelford 1).

Free throws – Teague 11-21; Academy 8-10.

Note – Academy extends winning streak to 11 games and advances to area round to play Scurry-Rosser at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Buffalo High School.

#Academy #LittleRiverAcademy #AcademyBumblebees #AcademyBasketball #AcademyHighSchool #TXHShoops #BoysBasketball #BasketballPlayoffs #TempleBeltonSports

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