Canyon celebrates after beating Lubbock Estacado 54-52 in a Class 4A regional quarterfinal contest at the First United Bank Center on Tuesday night. [Trevor Fleeman/ Press Pass Sports]
Canyon beats Estacado in final seconds to reach Region I-4A tourney
It should come as no surprise that a Canyon High basketball team is still playing on the first weekend of March.
The spin this year is that it’s a different Canyon team than the one normally associated with such an accomplishment.
Brooks Wagner hit a pair of free throws with 3.2 seconds left to lift the Canyon boys to a 54-52 win over Lubbock Estacado in a Class 4A region quarterfinal game before a crowd of 4,200 at First United Bank Center. This puts the No. 14 Eagles (28-5) in the region semifinal game at 6 p.m. Friday at Lubbock Christian University.
While Canyon’s perennially powerful girls team gets the lions share of attention on campus, this time it’s the boys who’ve got the spotlight on them, as for the first time since making back-to-back region semifinals appearances in 2002 and 2003, the Eagles are in the region tournament.
And they beat an old nemesis in No. 10 Estacado (27-9), who eliminated the Eagles in this same round last season.
“I told (Estacado) coach (Tony) Wagner before the game it feels like we’ve been on a collision course for 365 days,” Canyon coach Travis Schulte said. “We played an ESPN Classic at Frenship last year and we turned around and played I think an ESPN Classic tonight here. I’m just so pleased with my dudes. Sometimes it’s ugly but we talk about if you train in the zoo, you’re not going to do very well in the jungle and we were in the jungle all night long, and that training paid dividends for us.”
It was a charged atmosphere from start to finish. Neither team led by more than seven points.
The first half featured the type or rambunctious action which would be expected from two top 15 teams. Estacado scored the final 10 points of the half to take a 29-26 halftime lead.
Kemper Jones carried the Eagles offensively with 12 points in the first half. The 6-foot-6 Jones showed his muscle inside in the first quarter, but he hit two 3-pointers in the second quarter to spark the Eagles and finished with a game-high 21 points.
Jones scored nine in the third quarter to continue carrying the Eagles, who took a 38-35 lead at the end of the quarter. That only set the stage for a dramatic finish.
The teams traded baskets in the final minute before Canyon had the ball in the last 40 seconds. Canyon missed an inside shot, but Wagner rebounded it, was fouled and hit two free throws for the deciding points.
“I thought (the Matadors) rebounded so well and we couldn’t keep them off the glass,” Schulte said. “In the end it was our offensive rebound.”
Wagner had 13 points for Canyon, including eight in the second half, and Parker Cunningham had 10.
DeLauren Gordon scored 16 points for Estacado. Devoryea Boyd scored 12 off the bench and Kreeeland Avery added 11.
— Lee Passmore
Lub. Estacado 14 29 35 52
Canyon 12 26 38 54
E— DeLauren Gordon 16, Devoryea Boyd 12, Kreeland Avery 11. C— Kemper Jones 21, Brooks Wagner 13, Parker Cunningham 10. Records: Estacado 27-9; Canyon 28-5.
Hereford rolls by Dumas, advances to Region I-4A
Hereford is headed back to the Region I-4A Tournament for a second year in a row after downing District 4-4A rival Dumas 70-41 in a regional quarterfinal matchup at the Tascosa High School Activity Center on Tuesday night.
The Whitefaces take two the three meetings from the Demons this season, running their record to 19-14 overall. Dumas, which won its first two playoff games since 1971, ends a stellar season at 26-7.
Braedyn Mendoza had a huge night for Hereford putting up 21 points. Teammate Aiden Arias scored 11, followed by Kenyon Loftis with 10. The Whitefaces took over in the second quarter pushing a 17-11 first quarter lead to a 36-19 commanding advantage by halftime.
The Whitefaces took complete control of the game by the end of the third leading 52-28.
Hereford 17 36 52 70
Dumas 11 19 28 41
H— Braedyn Mendoza 21, Aiden Arias 11, Kenyon Loftis 10. D— Evan Hernandez 9. Records: Hereford 19-14; Dumas 26-7.
El Paso Chapin ends Dons season
The Palo Duro Dons saw their season come to an end during a 76-56 loss to El Paso Chapin in a Class 5A regional quarterfinal contest in Seminole on Tuesday night.
Palo Duro ends its superb season at 25-7 overall. The Huskies (31-4) move on to the Region I-5A Tournament to play Mansfield Timberview (33-4) in a semifinal at the Kay Yeager Coliseum in Wichita Falls on Friday.
Chapin never allowed the Dons a window opening the game on a 27-8 run. The Huskies kept Palo Duro at a double-digit deficit the rest of the way to get the victory. Bryson Goldsmith had a game-high 20 for Chapin, while the Dons were led by Nice Nkundimama’s 15 points.
Palo Duro 8 20 37 56
EP Chapin 27 38 56 76
PD— Nice Nkundimama 15, Kadden Price 10. EPC— Bryson Goldsmith 20, KJ Lewis 18, Antwonne Holmes 17. Records: Palo Duro 25-7; El Paso Chapin 31-4.
Shallowater sinks Bushland
Shallowater used a big second quarter to pull away from Bushland for a 68-48 victory in a Class 3A regional quarterfinal game in Dimmitt on Tuesday night.
The Falcons trailed 15-7 after one, but the Mustangs took over in the second quarter outscoring Bushland 20-11 to take a 35-18 lead.
Trevor Winn went for a game-high 17 points for Shallowater, followed by teammate Jakari Davis with 14. Bushland’s Grant Whaley finished with 13.
The Mustangs (31-1) advance to the Region I-3A Tournament to play Brock (30-6) in a semifinal Friday at the Rip Griffin Center at Lubbock Christian University.
Bushland 7 18 30 48
Shallowater 15 35 49 68
B— Whaley 13, Purcell 9, King 8. S— Winn 17, Davis 14, Stallings 10. Records: Bushland 17-10; Shallowater 31-1.
Broncos bounce Gruver
Clarendon extended its postseason winning streak to 10 straight games dating back to last season after blistering Gruver 63-36 in a Class 2A regional quarterfinal at the Caprock High School Activity Center on Tuesday night.
The No. 2 Broncos (27-2), the defending UIL Class 2A state champions, advance to the Region I-2A Tournament to play No. 7 New Home (31-4) in a semifinal at the Texan Dome on the campus of South Plains College in Levelland on Friday.
Clarendon jumped on Gruver from the start building an 18-6 lead, quickly pushing that advantage to 33-11 by halftime, and never letting the Greyhounds (25-9) recover. Balance scoring was the story for Clarendon, as Cayden D’Costa poured in a game-high 18 points, followed by Jmaury Davis with 17, and Lamarcus Penigar’s 16.
Gruver was led by Jefferson Weaver’s 14 points.
Gruver 6 11 23 36
Clarendon 18 33 42 63
G— Jefferson Weaver 14, Colton Millsap 12. C— Cayden D’Costa 18, Jmaury Davis 17, Lamarcus Penigar 16.Records: Clarendon 27-2; Gruver 25-9.
Wildorado last second shot stuns Swifts
In the wildest finish of the 2021-2022 season that left fans on both sides in awe, and will be talked about for weeks to come, it was the Wildorado Mustangs exacting revenge on rival Nazareth 46-45 on a last second shot by Luke Mason during a Class 1A regional quarterfinal on Tuesday night at the Caprock High School Activity Center.
Nazareth had fought back from a 12-point halftime deficit to take a 45-44 lead after a pair of Carson Heiman free-throws with 16 seconds left in the game.
With one last chance, Wildorado head coach Connor Copley didn’t call a timeout, and let his team play it out. The gamble paid off. With 2.7 seconds Swayde Cleavinger fired up an off-balance 3-pointer that missed off the front of the rim. Mason grabbed the rebound for the put back winner, though the clock had seemed to expire. As the Swifts celebrated, the officials counted the bucket, and it was the Mustangs who celebrated on the floor coming away with the dramatic victory.
Wildorado (28-7) advances to the Region I-1A Tournament for the first time in school history, while also beating Nazareth (23-12) for the first time after a pair of losses during District 3-1A play. The Mustangs now face Jayton (26-8) in a semifinal at 2:30 p.m. Friday at the Texan Dome on the campus of South Plains in Levelland.
The Mustangs went on a 26-8 run to close out the first half to take a surprising 28-16 lead. Cleavinger gave his team the boost putting up 17 first half points including shooting 5-of-5 from beyond the arc before the break. Cleavinger finished the night with a game-high 23 points in the victory.
Nazareth battled back in the third to cut the lead, 36-30. By the final minute of the fourth quarter the Swifts rally was near complete when Heiman buried a 3-pointer, then hit the pair of free-throws with 16 seconds remaining before Wildorado’s buzzer beater.
Heiman had 12 points despite the loss for the Swifts.
Wildorado 16 26 36 46
Nazareth 11 16 30 45
W— Cleavinger 23, Bryant 11. N— Gerber 13, Heiman 12. Records: Wildorado 28-7; Nazareth 23-12.
Texline outlasts Earth
In a frantic up and down the court contest, No. Texline survived a late scare from Springlake-Earth, pulling away for a 91-77 victory in a Class 1A regional quarterfinal round matchup at the Palo Duro High School Activity Center on Monday night.
Texline’s William Luther and Earth’s Evan DeLeon put on quite the display in front of the electric fans in attendance. Luther was all over court for the Tornadoes coming one assist shy of a triple-double, pouring in 31 points, pulling down 19 rebounds, and dishing out nine assists. DeLeon carried the Wolverines (18-8), especially late scoring 20 of his impressive game-high 42 points in the fourth quarter.
Texline took control in the first half opening the game on a 12-2 run. The Tornadoes sustained that momentum to halftime leading 49-29. Texline then grew the lead to as many as 26, going up 61-35 midway through the third quarter.
However, Earth didn’t quit. DeLeon caught fire in the fourth quarter leading a massive charge that saw the Wolverines cut the deficit to 74-71 with three minutes to play. But from that point forward, Luther scored five straight points, the Wolverines ran out of gas, and Texline ran away in the final two minutes for the 14 point win.
Noel Lozano complimented Luther’s effort with 27 points.
Texline (31-3) advances to the Region I-1A Tournament for third straight year, and will meet
Texline 24 45 65 91
S-Earth 14 29 50 77
T— Luther 31, Lozano 27, Espino 12, Drumm 12.
S— DeLeon 42, Castillo 12. Records: Texline 31-3; Springlake-Earth 18-8.