Three local teams look to advance in basketball playoffs
The three remaining Arlington teams in the UIL boys basketball playoffs enter Tuesday night’s regional quarterfinal round have three different stories to tell.
The most intriguing match-up will pit Bowie (25-8) against fellow District 3-5A rival North Crowley (28-7) at 8 p.m. at Wilkerson-Greines Activity Center in Fort Worth. The Volunteers (pictured above in orange) are evidently hoping the third time is the charm, as they lost both regular season games against the district-champion Panthers, albeit in close games.
North Crowley captured the two meetings -- 67-62 in Crowley and 71-70 at Bowie -- by use of a deep roster. The Panthers are led by senior guard Jalan McCloud, who averaged 16 points a game, while senior forward Brandon Webb chipped in eight points and four rebounds a game.
Bowie has been the more impressive team in the playoffs, outlasting Richland, 76-70, in the Bi-District round, and smashing District 1-5A champion El Paso Coronado, 52-33, in last week’s Area playoffs. The Panthers have edged Justin Northwest, 53-47, and El Paso Montwood, 50-47, in overtime.
Meanwhile, Martin, the team that really did beat North Crowley in the regular season, travels to Andrews for a 6 p.m. contest with El Paso Bel Air, the third-place finisher in 1-5A. The Highlanders have shown the ability to win close games in the playoffs, stopping Keller, 60-56, in four overtimes on Friday, after nosing out Abilene, 52-45, in the Bi-District round.
The Warriors, on the other hand, have had an easier time in the playoffs, dismissing Southlake Carroll, 65-51, and Odessa Permian, 63-36. Senior Nick Babb leads Martin with 11.7 points a game, while sophomore Andrew Dotson has averaged 11.3 a contest.
Martin’s only two district losses were to North Crowley and Bowie in the first half of loop play, and the Warriors avenged both losses in the return games, upsetting the Panthers, 51-50, and the Volunters, 62-54.
The third local entry, Juan Seguin is matched up with Lucas Lovejoy, the champion of District 13-4A, at 7:30 in Coppell. Seguin has been impressive in the playoffs so far, crushing Nacogdoches, 67-31, and Wylie, 73-43.
Seniors Brandon Parrish and Greg Wesley have been a strong 1-2 punch for the Cougars this season, combining for 27 points and 11 rebounds a game. Seguin will face some size from Lovejoy, a team led by 6-6 senior Jake Flaggert and 6-4 senior Trevor Eckard.
The Leopards lost only one district game this season, ironically, to the same Wylie team that Seguin beat by 30 points last week. The only team to beat Seguin in district, Mansfield Legacy (28-8), is still alive in the playoffs, facing McKinney North in the first game of the double-header, at 6 p.m. in Coppell.
(Photo courtesy: BeRecruited.com)