ALAMODOME, March 10, 2022, 8:30 p.m. - The first 5A semifinal was dull, for about one-tenth of one second. The most heated contest of the day saw Beaumont United edge Dallas Kimball, 66-64. Mansfield Timberview took the nightcap, 55-43, over Boerne Champion.
City View won quarter # 4, Dallas Madison (37-7) the first three, enough to take game one of the two 3A semis, 69-62.
The Trojans will meet San Antonio Cole in Saturday's final.
Trojan Rodney Jeter led all scorers with 24 points. Junior Gibson Kenrick, Jr. was high man for City View with 15.
In the late afternoon 3A game, returning titleholder San Antonio Cole escaped a fierce fourth quarter Hitchcock rally to win by four, 53-49.
Senior Trey Blackmore scored the final four points for the Cougars, at the foul line.
In the fourth quarter, Hitchcock added 20 points to the scoreboard,; Cole added 15.
Graford almost relied too heavily on its most talented ball handlers and defenders - Marc Matthews and Teagan Ford - yet somehow the Jackrabbits held on to take the opener (1A) of the 2022 Boys State Tournament over Calvert, 32-30.
But Graford seniors Matthews and Ford played superbly, though obviously tiring in the game's closing minutes; they led a team that held the high scoring Trojans to their lowest point total of the year, and Trojan leading scorer, M. J. Thomas, to well below his 23.3 ppg average for his team's previous 30 games.
The good news for the Trojans: most of their team returns.
The Jackrabbits (36-3) move on to Saturday morning's 1A final against Texline (34-3), the defending 1A champion.
The Tornadoes of Texline came down from the cloudy air of a title defender long enough to take care of Irion County with relative ease 58-42. Texline took the lead at 6-5 midway through the first and never trailed thereafter.
Texline played like a champion, led by its two senior 6'4" defenders, Will Luther and Noel Lozano, which Graford, no doubt, will also have trouble with in the final.
We look for the Jackrabbits to slow down the final as much as they can. That said, their best strategy just may be to run, run, run, hoping to tire Texline's big men.