Clarendon survives LaPoynor, will defend 2A crown against Lipan

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Clarendon’s Jmaury Davis goes strong for a layup against LaRue LaPoynor during a UIL Class 2A state tournament semifinal Friday in San Antonio’s Alamodome. [Matthew Smith/ For Press Pass Sports]

SAN ANTONIO— It wasn’t the pretty of ways to close a game out, but all that matters for Clarendon is they won.

The Broncos raced out to a double-digit lead only to see LaRue LaPoynor chip and chip away, but in the end, Clarendon held off the Flyers 69-60 in a UIL Class 2A state semifinal Friday morning at the Alamodome.

No. 2 Clarendon (30-2) will play for its second straight Class 2A state championship when the Broncos face No. 1 and undefeated Lipan (39-0) at 1:30 p.m. Saturday.

Lipan beat Mumford 58-40 in Friday’s semifinals. This will be a rematch of last year’s state semifinal, where Clarendon defeated the Indians 68-47.

“We’re looking forward to Saturday,” Clarendon head coach Boston Hudson said. “We’re going to have to play better than we did against LaPoynor, that’s for sure. This Lipan team is really good. They guard well, and they are really sound. They remind me of New Home from the regional tournament. We need to take care of the ball and knock down shots.”

Clarendon played like veterans of the spacious Alamodome in the first half. The Broncos jumped all over LaPoynor (33-7) opening four minutes an 18-3 lead behind Jmaury Davis’ eight points.

Clarendon shot 9-of-20 in the first quarter, and though they cooled off a bit in the second stanza, and Davis sat the majority of the quarter in foul trouble, the Broncos still took a 40-22 lead to halftime.

However, the second half was a completely different story. The Flyers jumped into a 1-3-1 full court trap that flustered Clarendon. LaPoyner’s pressure defense and Kase Johnston’s shooting narrowed Clarendon’s margin 53-43 by the end of three.

“Their 1-3-1 gave us some trouble,” Hudson said. We were turning the ball over and being uncharacteristic.”

With just seven turnovers after three quarters, Clarendon had 13 miscues alone in the fourth as the Flyers chipped the deficit down to five with 3:39 left in the contest. But fortunately for Hudson, Davis was clutch down the stretch scoring eight in the final frame, and closing out the game with a show-stopping dunk to preserve the victory.

“We were able to lock them down late,” Davis said. “I was in foul trouble, and I thought our guys stepped up. Our defense was the difference and we knew they had trouble running with us.”

Davis finished with a game-high 24 points and 12 boards for a double-double. Cayden D’Costa broke out a small shooting slump going 2-of-3 from downtown and 6-of-13 from the field for 16 points. Despite seven turnovers, Penigar had eye-opening six steals, seven rebounds to go with his 15 points.

Striving toward history

Both Clarendon and Texline are trying to become the first ever Texas Panhandle boys basketball programs to repeat as UIL state champions in the same season. Both teams are also trying to join an elite list. Since 1958, only five Amarillo-area boys teams have won consecutive state titles — Pampa (1958-1959), Dimmitt (1982-1983), Paducah (1987-1988), Nazareth (2002-2003; 2006-2007) and Canadian (2014-15).

Inside the boxscore

LaPoynor will look back at the free-throw line in this loss. The Flyers struggled at the charity stripe going 17-of-29 (58.6 percent).

Both teams struggled from the 3-point line going a combined 8-of-45.

Clarendon out rebounded LaPoynor 55-46, and oustcored the Flyers 36-30 In the paint.

The Broncos never trailed leading for 31:46.

For a look at the full boxscore, please click the link. https://www.uiltexas.org/files/athletics/state-basketball/boxscores-boys/22bb2as2.htm

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