Amarillo High saw its fantastic season come to an end falling to Mansfield Timberview 68-59 in the Region I-5A championship at the Kay Yeager Coliseum in Wichita Falls on Saturday. [Naomi Skinner/ For Press Pass Sports]
WICHITA FALLS— Sometimes it is how you start and not how you finish.
Mansfield Timberview gave Amarillo High a gut punch in the form of a 10-0 run – ignited off turnovers – just more than three minutes into the game and the Sandies never really recovered in a 68-59 Region I-5A final loss Saturday at Kay Yeager Stadium.
That 10-0 run handed Timberview a 13-4 lead with 4:45 to play in the first period and ended with a Donavan O’Day steal and feed to Jared Washington for a layup.
The turnover was Amarillo High’s fourth in the game and the eighth point Timberview had produced off the mistake-free Sandies.
Timberview, no stranger to state tournaments berths with four in the last six years, never let AHS closer than seven points the remainder of the game after the early run and used the delay strategy much of the final 11 minutes to seal the state tournament berth.
“They punched in the gut early,” said AHS senior guard Brendan Hausen, who ended his career as the AHS all-time leading scorer at more than 2,200 point and scored a game-high 33 points making 7 3-pointers. “We battled back but they are disciplined. They are a winning team and have a great culture program. We got them last year but they punched us in the mouth early and it took us a while to respond. They brought the ball out that was smart by them with no shot clock.
“I’m so proud of the way we fought and gave ourselves a chance.”
AHS (32-7) certainly went toe-to-toe with Timberview (35-4) much of the final three quarters, but the play of Timberview senior guard and Region I-5A tourney MVP Chendall Weaver was too steady and prevented the AHS comeback.
Weaver scored a team-high 28 points on 8-of-11 shooting, was able to get to the line going 9-of-10 along with tying for team-high rebounds at four.
“Weaver is a warrior,” said Timberview coach Duane Gregory of his 6-3 guard who scored the Wolves opening five points of the game and scored 19 of his 28 points in the first half. “Man, he’s so tough. Whatever you need to be done he’s going to do it. Finishing inside, knocking down a three, getting a rebound, taking a charge, diving for a loose ball, whatever you need, you name it, he’s going to do it.”
O’Day and Washington joined Weaver in double figures for Timberview with 14 and 12 points, repectively.
Gregory said the mission for his team Saturday was to keep an eye on Hausen at all times, a job he didn’t hand to one player but two mainly in Braylon Crosby and O’Day.
“We wanted to try to take Hausen out of the game as much as we could,” Gregory said. “We knew he was very good and we couldn’t eliminate him but limit him as much as we could. Crosby and O’Day did a good job and we wanted other of their guys to have to make plays. When knew Amarillo High had such a good team and is well coached. I have to tell you I think it’s neat the respect we have between the coaching staffs. It’s a unique situation.
“Right now, I’m as excited for my guys as I possibly can be.”
Timberview’s impressive start keyed the win and it also hurt AHS coming up with 14 steals, along outscoring the Sandies at the free throw line 18-3.
Another unique factor in the game was Hausen (finished with 33 points), senior center Cade Hornecker (9) and senior forward Damonze Woods (11) combined to score all of AHS’ points opening 45 points.
Not until 1:47 remained in the game did somebody other than AHS’ Big Three score when Sandie senior guard Xa Landry-Britton scored cutting the Timberview lead to 62-47.
“It wasn’t an effort thing with us,” said AHS coach Jason Pillion. “That start doomed us and give Timberview credit they had a lot to do with it. We just didn’t play very well. We didn’t guard and we didn’t execute. We did uncharacteristic things. That happens and unfortunately it happened in the regional championship game.”AHS ends its season at 32-7 and with six seniors (four starters) playing their final game Saturday in the regional finale. Last year the Sandies reached the state semifinals.
“This team meant a whole bunch to me,” said Pillion, fighting off tears. “How they went about it means and did things so much to me. I know what they did and I know that’s what everybody on the outside loves about them. But when you are on the inside with these guys and how they did it and how they cared about each other and how they let us coach them. The respect they showed for everybody from opponents to officials to the community and people around the school, it’s just top of the line.”
Hornecker, who joined Hausen on the All-Tournament team, said the rough start was tough to overcome but no regrets and he has a band of brothers for life.
“Timberview was pressuring us, they were speeding us up, they we in control of the pace of the game pretty much the whole game,” said Hornecker, headed to Southern Illinois to play D-I college ball. “I think that kind of screwed us. We were coming back there but had already dug us too deep of a whole. … we tried our hardest and fought to the very end. But at the end of the day we dug ourselves to big a whole at the beginning of the game.”
Hornecker has a tattoo proving his devotion for life to his teammates.
“I’m so proud of this team,” Hornecker said. “These are my brothers for life. I have it tatted on me ‘Only Us.’ That’s us. That’s been our thing since our sophomore year. These are my brothers for life me, Brendan, Demonz, Javin (Daniels), Xa. This is the last time we are going to be on the court together and we have been playing since second grade. That means a lot to me.”
Hausen was equally emotional after the game telling his teammates and head coach Pillion “I’m sorry” over and over minutes after the game had ended.
“I told Coach Pillion I would deliver him one,” said Hausen referring to a state championship, which would have been the first boys state basketball title at AHS and in the Amarillo ISD since 1986. “I wasn’t able to get a state championship and I really wanted one for Amarillo. It was time. I gave it my all, and, honestly I don’t’ have any regrets on the way it ended. I gave it my all and I’ll forever cherish my time at Amarillo High. To get this point and playing with these guys was a dream come true.”
Region I-5A final
At Kay Yeager Coliseum, Wichita Falls
Mansfield Timberview 68, Amarillo High 59
Timberview 20 16 8 24 – 68
Amarillo High 10 11 9 29 – 59
Mansfield Timberview (34-4): Braylon Crosby 2-3 3-4 7, Chendall Weaver 8-11 9-10 28, Donovan O’Day 5-8 4-7 14, Jared Washington 5-9 2-4 12, Samir Dhalle 3-5 0-0 7,
Daniel Vieira-Tuck 0-0 0-0 0, Derrick Scott 0-1 0-0 0, Jaydn Hollis 0-0 0-0 0, Amare Momoh 0-0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 23-37 18-25 68.
Amarillo High (32-6): Corey Nickerson, Jr. 1-4, 0-0 3, Xa Landry-Britton 1-3 0-0 2, Brendan Hausen 13-24 0-0 33, Cade Hornecker 4-7 1-1 9, Damonze Woods 5-8 1-3 11, Cooper Pillion 0-0 1-2 1, Braden Hausen 0-3 0-0 0, Drew Shafer 0-0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 24-49 3-6 59.
3-point goals: Timberview 4-11 (Weaver 3-5, O’Day 0-2, Washington 0-2, Dhalle 1-2), Amarillo High 8-23 (Nickerson Jr., 1-4, Landry-Britoon 0-1, Br. Hausen 7-16, Br. Hausen 0-2). Total fouls: Timberview 16, Amarillo High 19. Fouled out: None. Rebounds: Timberview 21 (Crsoby 4, Weaver 4, Washington 4), Amarillo High 21 (Woods 8). Assists: Timberview 13 (O’Day 7), Amarillo High 14 (Hausen 5). Turnovers: Timberview 12, Amarillo High 15. Blocks: Timberview 1 (Dhalle 1), Amarillo High 1 (Hornecker 1). Steals:Timberview 14 (O’Day 5), Amarillo High 7 (Woods 3). Technicals: None. Attendance: 400.