Excerpt: Book 6, 1987

The History of Texas High School Basketball

Volume VI


By Mark McKee

 Website  www.txhighschoolbasketball.com



                Preface                                                                  4

                Acknowledgements                                             5

                Introduction                                                          6

                AAAAA 1987                                                         7

                Region I   5-A                                                        19

                Region II  5-A                                                        57

                Region III 5-A                                                        81

                Region IV 5-A                                                        100

                State Tournament 5-A                                        129

                Recruiting 1987                                                   142

                Power Ratings 1987                                            151

                Playoffs 5-A 1987                                                153

                Top Teams 5-A 1987                                           156

                Top Players + Teams 1980-87                           161

                AAAA 1987                                                           158

                AAAA Playoffs 1987                                            195

                AAA 1987                                                              199

                AA 1987                                                                 213

                A    1987                                                                219




By Mark McKee

                The 1987 addition is the first single season copy that I’ve published. Several factors were considered in making the decision. Bottom line, the books were getting too big with multiple years being included. Two of the best and most influential players in the history of the state grace the 1987 cover, Larry Johnson and LaBradford Smith. They were the first two players from Texas to receive large scale publicity nationwide. They collected every honor imaginable at the high school level. LaBradford and L.J. were named Co-TABC “High School Players of the Year” in 1987. It’s only happened one other time in 36 years of naming the Award. Both were named Parade Magazine All-Americans, USA Today and McDonald’s All-Americans. LaBradford finished his high school career fourth on the all-time Texas scoring list. He was number one all-time in scoring in class 4-A and 5-A. In modern basketball era, Johnson was the first Texan to win “Player of the Year” at the NCAA level. L.J. was also the first Texan ever taken first in the N.B.A. draft. Both players had outstanding college careers and went on to successful pro careers in the NBA.

 This book is dedicated to the teachers and coaches that have impacted my life as an athlete, as a coach, and educator. They were the main reason I followed them into the profession. They gave of themselves to make a better society. Their dedication and resolve inspired me through-out my life. They were a firm hand when I needed it and a smile when I achieved something, I knew I couldn’t. Educators were the difference in my life.         



Where do you start when naming all individuals that have been so instrumental in making these books possible? Billy Allen, Rick Penny, Charles Freet, Micheal Williams, Mike Kunstadt, Larry Brown, Rick Sherley, Boyce Honea, Ira Terrell, Carven Holcomb, Jim Wall, Jerry Stone, Anthony Allen, Danny Kaspar, Jim Duffer, Mike Smith, Ron Powell, Mike  Bridges, Kirk Lundblade, Gary Heyland, “Stretch” Campbell, Reggie Franklin, J.D. Mayo, Tony Mauldin and so many more. Special thanks to the T.A.B.C. and Dave Campbell’s Texas Basketball, along with my great friend, R.V. Baugus. Blue Zertuche and Sam Lowe of Texas Hoops have been very supportive. Basketball historians, Dr. Billy Wilbanks and his fabulous website, Ivy McLemore, Bill McMurray and so many more have kept the high school game of basketball interest alive and well in Texas. Thanks also goes to Bob Springer – Founder & Curator of TEXAS BASKETBALL MUSEUM now in its 13th year of operation.  Check it out.


As we moved into the 1987 season it was a very exciting time for high school basketball. Basketball players and teams were receiving more exposure nationwide than ever before. Street & Smith Basketball magazine was a good example, naming three Texans to their top 20 high school pre-season All-American team. Larry Johnson of Dallas Skyline was named to the 4th team, Johnny Pittman from Rosenberg Terry made the 3rd team and LaBradford Smith of Bay City was named to the first five. Two Texas teams were named as top 25 teams nationally as well. Ft. Worth Dunbar and LaPorte were both named to their pre-season top 20.

In 1987 the U.I.L. continued to loosen up their hold on the basketball world at the high school level. Summer league All-Star teams were now permitted to play in B.C.I. tournaments during the summer months facing teams from around the country. At the B.C.I. shootout in Houston, 48 of the top seniors in the state of Texas were featured. In 1986 and 1987 students were permitted to visit schools during the NCAA’s early signing period and to participate in as many as 20 games in organized summer basketball leagues. Varsity players were still unable to participate in summer basketball camps.

In 1985 it was estimated that 49 Texas players received Division I scholarships; In 1986 that number increased to 56. According to Jay Parker, a Houston based scout, that number would exceed 80 in 1987.

Just as the Texas players were gaining more exposure, the academic world came crashing down on basketball players around the state. Proposition 48 hit the top basketball talent in the state with several restrictions. *

(*) Proposition 48 said that if freshmen students did not meet the new standards, they would still be eligible for scholarships at Division I schools. As freshmen they couldn’t play or practice in their sport until they were sophomores, and then only if they have established a satisfactory academic performance. Furthermore, they would have only three years of eligibility left. Black educators felt that the tests were discriminatory because of the use of standardized test. The rule stated freshmen athletes at Division I schools must have a 2.0 on a 4.0 scale or “C” average in their 11 high school core courses, and make certain minimum scores on standardized college entrance tests. A 700 on the SAT or 15 on the ACT test.


1987 AAAAA

                The 1987 basketball season was especially exciting with all the talent in the Lone Star state. As you may have gathered, following the high school game was a passion of mine. The ’87 season was one of the most anticipated in memory. Dallas Skyline(33-1) had Larry Johnson returning for his senior year and LaBradford Smith was back at Bay City((28-4). Both were Texas Legends! 7’1” Johnny Pittman was coming out of Terry, as one of the most high-profile big men Texas had produced. Ft. Worth Dunbar(34-0) had their entire team returning and were nationally ranked by Street & Smith, as was LaPorte(34-0). The defending state champions, Amarillo, returned most of their key players as well. This was going to be an exceptional season for Texas basketball. The beauty of these teams and this era is the kids were all home grown.

Tournament Action

Dallas Skyline(33-1) traveled to the West Plains Classic in Missouri to face some of the top talent in the Country. In first round action, Florence, Alabama defeated West Plains, Missouri 49-35. Atlanta Booker T. Washington defeated Springfield Parkview 81-54, Dallas Skyline(33-1) got by Mountain Home, Arkansas 76-59. Larry Johnson finished with 34 points and 22 rebounds in the Raiders victory. Memphis Melrose, out of Tennessee, defeated Popular Bluff 67-57. Booker T. Washington advanced to the  finals 74-43 over Florence, and Skyline downed Memphis Melrose 66-59, to gain the finals. Johnson once again dominated with 32 points and 18 rebounds. The finals saw the top team in Dallas face the top school in Atlanta. Booker T. was paced by 6’11” 285-pound, Elmore Spencer(20.0/19.0). Supporting Spencer was 5’10” Charles McDonald and 6’3” Jerome Roland(14.0). Spencer was named Parade All-American and went on to play with Larry Johnson on the National championship team at U.N.L.V. in 1990. Spencer had originally signed with Georgia. Spencer played five seasons in the N.B.A. after being taken in the 1st round of the draft with the 25th overall pick by the Clippers. In the finals, Booker T. defeated Dallas Skyline(33-1) 61-56. The 6’6” 245-pound Johnson, was named tournament M.V.P. Spencer finished with 21 points, 14 rebounds and 5 blocks in the finals against Skyline. Jerome Rowland added 17 points. Atlanta B.T. Washington(27-3) went on to win the Class AAAA Georgia state championship defeating NE Macon(22-10) 75-72. Spencer again was dominant with 23 points, 16 rebounds and 4 blocks in the title game.

                In the Austin Invitational, Dallas Skyline(33-1) made their usual trip south to the Capital city. The Raiders of Skyline took down Austin Anderson(7-23) 102-95, Austin High(13-15) 89-42 in the early rounds and defeated Austin Reagan(16-14) in the semis 47-43. In the finals, Skyline(33-1) defeated Austin L.B.J.(25-7) 71-54 behind Johnson’s 27 points. L.B.J.(25-7) advanced to the finals beating Round Rock(22-10) 75-67. Austin Reagan(16-14) defeated Round Rock(22-10) in the 3rd place game 62-59. Dallas Hillcrest(19-10) won consolation over Waco High(16-18) 49-36. Hillcrest(19-10) had lost earlier to Austin Travis(19-11) 56-50. In the Georgetown Tournament, Spring Branch Memorial(25-8) advanced to the finals defeating Georgetown(16-17) 49-41 and Killeen(28-7) got by District rival Round Rock(22-10) 68-57. Memorial won the finals 45-34 over Killeen(28-7). The 3rd place game was won by Georgetown(16-17) 82-71 over Round Rock(22-10). Killeen Ellison(24-8) grabbed consolation with a 56-51 win over Austin L.B.J.(25-7). In earlier round games Austin L.B.J.(25-7) defeated Belton(19-13) 65-52 and Austin Travis(19-11) 59-52. Killeen(28-7) put down Austin Travis(19-11) 64-44 and Round Rock Westwood(15-13) 48-22. In the Seguin Tournament, SA East Central(30-3) defeated San Marcos(17-13) in the semi-finals 93-70 and Alamo Heights(28-4) got by Seguin(14-18) 81-65. In the 3rd place game, Seguin(14-18) defeated San Marcos(17-13) 61-45 and in the finals, East Central took down Alamo Heights(28-4) 85-82. 6’7” Paul Gipson came away with 35 points for Seguin in the Matadors win over San Marcos. Stanley Coleman racked up 27 points in the Hornets win over Alamo Heights. Tony Terrell followed Coleman with 24 points for the East Central cause. 6’5” Ed Hart was the man for Alamo Heights with 28 points. In the Cibolo Creek Tournament, South San(20-12) defeated Clemens(9-22) in the finals 60-52. Ft. Worth Dunbar(34-0) won the San Marcos Milton Jowers Tournament over Bryan(23-11) 98-73. Dunbar(34-0) defeated Killeen Ellison(24-8) 84-60 and Houston Milby(16-16) 82-47 in the earlier rounds. Killeen(28-7) won the 3rd place game over Houston Milby(16-16) 56-55 in overtime. Houston Lee(26-8) won consolation over Houston Madison(11-17) 53-36. In the 5th place game SA Roosevelt(23-11) beat Clear Creek(18-14) 71-59. Bryan snuck by Clear Creek(18-14) 81-80 in the earlier rounds along with SA Roosevelt’s(23-11) win over Killeen Ellison(24-8) 65-45. Milby(16-16) beat Seguin(14-18) 66-65 in an earlier round, Killeen(28-7) beat SA Roosevelt(23-11) 46-43, Houston Madison(11-17) 93-62 over Abilene Cooper(13-14), SA Madison(19-14) over Houston Stratford 98-50, Clear Creek(18-14) 47-39 over Seguin(14-18), Corpus Christi Carroll(18-14) beat Abilene Cooper(13-14) 79-63, Stratford(23-13) downed Angleton(14-18) 66-46. Members of the All-Tournament team was dominated by Dunbar. The Wildcats had four players named to the All-Tourney team. Derrick Daniels, Myron Wilson, Coyle Allen and Mark Chambers. Also named was Chris Walker of Milby, Jason Hooten from Ellison, Marcus Kinney from Killeen and Arthur Massey of SA Roosevelt. In the Waco Optimist Tournament, Dallas Pinkston(21-8) came away with the championship. Huntsville(21-11) defeated Victoria(27-5) 102-81, Victoria(27-5) also lost to Carthage(22-9) 84-82. The Stingarees had two wins in the tournament over Fairfield 72-54 and Hillsboro 72-67. In Abilene at the McMurry College HS Tournament, South Garland(19-13) advanced to the finals defeating Austin Reagan(16-14) 51-39. Austin Reagan(16-14) won the 3rd place game over Wichita Falls Rider(13-18) 68-53. In the Raymondville Tournament, Weslaco(31-2) won three straight to win the title. The Panthers defeated Kingsville(4-22) 65-43, Los Fresnos(6-22) 70-40 and Raymondville(22-9) in the finals 83-51. At the Harlingen What-A-Burger Tournament, Brownsville Hanna(26-3) came away with a big win over Harlingen(20-11) 61-37 in the finals. McAllen(15-13) defeated Edinburg(18-13) in the 3rd place game 56-53. Weslaco(31-2) had an easy time winning the Edcouch-Elsa Tournament getting past Brownsville Pace(16-14) 90-63, Laredo United(20-12) 93-53 and in the finals dropped Edcouch-Elsa(19-12) 76-54.

                One of the early tournaments of the season was in Ft Worth. The 7-UP Super 8 Invitational basketball Tournament brought together to outstanding talent from around the state. Houston Yates(23-7) defeated South Oak Cliff(13-14) in overtime 99-90. Yates(23-7) had trailed by as many as 20 points in the 3rd quarter. The Lions outscored S.O.C.(13-14) 26-13 in the 4th quarter to come away with the victory in overtime. Kevin Gulley led the Golden Bears with 23 points and Joe Davis followed with 15 points. Darryl Johnson was the leader for the Yates Lions with 32 points and Tyrone Greer put up 18 points. “They just pounded the boards,” SOC coach Alex Gillum said. “They manhandled us. They’re so strong inside. When we were up 20, I told them, don’t think Yates is going to lay down.” Yates assistant coach was ejected from the game and six technical fouls were called in the game.  Dallas Roosevelt(8-20) lost to Houston Kashmere(15-12) 70-66. Ft. Worth Dunbar(34-0) defeated Houston Kashmere(15-12) in the semi-finals 77-63. In the other semis match-up, Houston Yates(23-7) eliminated Ft. Worth Trimble Tech(24-9) 91-65. Yates(23-7) had defeated Ft. Worth Southwest(18-12) earlier 82-62. S.O.C.(13-14) advanced in the consolation bracket dropping Ft. Worth Wyatt(5-21) 76-54. Ft. Worth Trimble Tech(24-9) had a solid win over Houston Kashmere(15-12) in the 3rd place game 84-80. In the highly anticipated finals, Ft. Worth Dunbar(34-0) easily handled the powerhouse Yates(23-7) club 86-63. S.O.C.(13-14) took the 5th place contest 98-51 over rival Dallas Roosevelt(8-20).

                In the Arlington Sam Houston Tournament, Garland(21-10) took home the championship over Shreveport Woodlawn 57-41. Arlington Lamar(18-12) defeated Arlington Sam Houston(21-11) for 3rd place 58-54. Lewisville(8-21) took the consolation trophy getting by Flower Mound Marcus(9-20) 52-42 in a rivalry game. In the semi-finals, Garland(23-9) took out Arlington Sam Houston(21-11) 66-53 and Shreveport Woodlawn advanced beating Arlington Lamar(18-12) 49-36.  Neil Derrick put up 35 points for the Owls in the victory over Sam Houston. The Arlington Classic was one of the largest tournaments in the state with 16 teams participating. First round games consisted of Denton(19-12) over Arlington Lamar(18-12) 56-53, Lubbock Monterey(24-11) beat Arlington High(14-17) 62-51, Wilmer Hutchins(23-11) beat Paris(27-5) 67-62, FW Trimble Tech(24-9) got by Lewisville(8-21) 72-61, Duncanville(31-2) over FW Southwest(18-12) 71-56, Highland Park(27-4) defeated Dallas Roosevelt(8-20) 76-65, Arlington Sam Houston(21-11) got by North Mesquite(14-17) 59-52 and Lake Highlands(18-12) advanced against Dallas Samuel(16-15) 61-56. In the second-round games, Duncanville(31-2) defeated Lake Highlands(18-12) 65-50, Arlington Sam Houston(21-11) beat FW Trimble Tech(24-9) 66-63, Highland Park(27-4) took down Denton(19-12) 44-42, and Lubbock Monterey(24-11) advanced to the semi-finals defeating Wilmer Hutchins(23-11) 78-72. Highland Park(27-4) advanced to the tournament finals beating Lubbock Monterey(24-11) 56-54 and Arlington Sam Houston(21-11) upset Duncanville(31-2) 72-64. In the finals, Highland Park(27-4) took home the trophy beating Arlington Sam Houston(21-11) 68-50. Duncanville(31-2) captured the 3rd place trophy over Lubbock Monterey(24-11) 84-64. Lake Highlands(18-12) won the 5th place game beating Wilmer Hutchins(23-11) 68-60. Consolation was won by Dallas Samuel(16-15) 63-61 over Paris(27-5). In the Pearce-Berkner Tournament in Richardson, Richardson Pearce(17-12) downed Terrell(7-20) 82-48, Bishop Lynch(25-10) beat North Garland(20-12) 65-56, Tyler Lee(26-5) advanced against Dallas W.T. White(2-24) 80-55, Berkner(10-21) got by Mesquite(6-22) 59-42 and Irving Nimitz(7-22) defeated Ft. Worth Brewer(7-24) 68-52. Bishop Lynch(25-10) advanced to the finals defeating Richardson Pearce(17-12) 75-61 and Berkner(10-21) beat Tyler Lee(26-5). Bishop Lynch(25-10) defeated Berkner(10-21) in the finals 77-71. Tyler Lee(26-5) took home the 3rd place trophy with a 78-57 win over Pearce(17-12). North Garland(20-12) won consolation over Dallas W.T. White(2-24) 83-55.

The Birdville Tournament had some nice talent with L.D. Bell(23-11) defeating Wichita Falls Rider(13-18) 73-67, Ft. Worth Richland Hills(21-10) beat Irving(8-21) 61-55, Euless Trinity(14-16) downed Ft. Worth Paschal(24-8) 61-53, FW Arlington Heights(18-12) defeated Haltom(5-24) 63-43. The Cleburne Tournament saw Hillsboro beat Itasca 93-66, Lancaster(29-2) beat Ferris 58-42, Irvin Nimitz(7-22) beat Ft. Worth Brewer(7-24) 68-52 and Mineral Wells(18-13) downed Midlothian(9-21) 69-63. Lancaster(29-2) defeated Mineral Wells(18-13) to win the finals 67-59. Cleburne(22-6) took 3rd place over Hillsboro 55-49. Mineral Wells(18-13) beat Hillsboro in the semis 67-66. The Dallas Jesuit Knights of Columbus Tournament saw first round wins by Richardson(25-6) over Dallas Sunset(19-9) 79-71, North Dallas(9-17) beat Carrollton Newman Smith(14-17) 55-32, Carrollton R.L. Turner(15-14) defeated Dallas Thomas Jefferson(1-25) 65-43 and Dallas Jesuit(19-10) defeated Dallas Bryan Adams(0-25) 73-48. Richardson won first place in the Jesuit tournament beating Dallas Jesuit(19-10) 65-40. R.L. Turner(15-14) took 3rd place beating North Dallas(9-17) 49-48. The Waxahachie Tournament had some nice competition with Waxahachie(21-8) defeating Bishop Dunne 74-46, Waco Midway(28-5) defeated Ft. Worth Diamond Hill 73-61, South Grand Prairie(12-18) beat Ennis(14-15) 70-63 and Corsicana(13-16) downed Crowley(19-9) 61-57. Dallas Adamson(20-9) won the DeSoto Tournament 56-48 over DeSoto(14-17). Waco Midway(28-5) defeated South Grand Prairie(12-18) and took 1st place 61-48 winning their own tournament. Corsicana(13-16) defeated Waxahachie(21-8) for 3rd place 66-59. In the Wildcat Classic in Plano, Grand Prairie(23-9) defeated Plano(18-11) in the finals 64-59. Irving MacArthur(20-10) won 3rd place 76-56 over Arlington Martin(24-8). The Garland Coca Cola Tournament was one of the biggest in the Dallas-Ft.Worth area. Richardson(25-6) won the Tournament with wins over North Dallas(9-17) 68-43, Garland(23-9) 64-50, South Garland(19-13) 57-39 and North Garland(20-12) 66-56. The tournament really elevated Richardson’s status as one of the better teams in the area. Dallas Hillcrest(19-9) defeated Borger(26-5) in the first round 66-63. South Garland(19-13) downed Hillcrest(19-9) in the 2nd round 68-53, South Garland(19-13) won 3rd place over Dallas Samuel(16-15) 67-65. Garland(23-9) eliminated Hillcrest(19-9) from the tournament 73-60. Bishop Lynch(25-10) won a first-round game over Lake Highlands(18-12) 53-51 and turned right around and lost to North Garland(20-12) 76-65. The Raiders of North Garland(20-12) advanced to the finals defeating Dallas Samuel(16-15). The Spartans of Samuel(16-15) put Plano(18-11) in the losers bracket in the first round defeating the Wildcats 61-59. It didn’t get any easier for Plano as they were eliminated by Garland Lakeview(25-8) 68-60. Lakeview knocked out Lake Highlands(18-12) as well 69-63 and won the consolation bracket over Borger(26-5) 88-77.  

The Irving Tournament saw Arlington Martin(24-8) defeat Irving(8-21) 60-49, Plano East(16-14) downed Irving MacArthur(20-10) 46-39, Irving Nimitz(7-22) beat Dallas Thomas Jefferson(1-25) 72-61, and Texas High(24-5) took down Sherman(28-1) 69-62. Sherman(28-1) and Texas High)24-5) were both undefeated meeting in the first round. 6’2” Jimmy Moss hit 30 points for Texas High(24-5) in the big victory and 6’4” Earl McKinney carried Sherman(28-1) with 23 points. 6’7” Jason Burleson was out for Sherman with an ankle injury. Burleson was one of the top players in the state. Texas High(24-5) remained undefeated taking down Arlington Martin(24-8) in the finals 63-59. In the Lancaster Tournament, Dallas Adamson(20-9) beat Rockwall(17-10) 59-55, DeSoto(14-17) defeated Bishop Dunne 67-54, Lancaster(29-2) beat Terrell(7-20) 71-37, and North Mesquite(14-17) took down Cleburne(22-6) 45-37. Lancaster(29-2) took the championship with a convincing 76-47 win over Dallas Adamson(20-9). North Mesquite(14-17) took 3rd place over DeSoto(14-17) 73-44. The Prairie Classic got underway in Grand Prairie with Arlington(14-17) beating Euless Trinity(14-16) 52-51, Grand Prairie(23-9) beat Burleson 74-36, Richardson Pearce(17-12) defeated Arlington Lamar(18-12) 62-54 and South Grand Prairie(12-18) dropped Flower Mound Marcus(9-20) 60-48. Richardson Pearce(17-12) had their most impressive win of the season defeating Grand Prairie(23-9) in the finals 61-60. The Waco Optimist Tournament was outstanding with the top teams in Central Texas. Corsicana(13-16) took down Waco High(16-18) 54-52, Houston Wheatley(13-14) downed Wilmer Hutchins(23-11) 71-70, Dallas Kimball(23-7) defeated Waco University(11-18) 69-55, Temple(19-12) beat Dallas Carter(9-15) 81-70, Dallas Pinkston(21-8) defeated Gainesville(13-16) 99-77, and Austin Westlake(15-17) defeated Ft. Worth Eastern Hills(1-23) 60-43. Dallas Pinkston(21-8) came away with the championship over Tyler John Tyler(24-8) 66-64.

In the Midland Tournament the Amarillo Sandies(27-3) captured the title with a win over El Paso Eastwood(26-5) 61-41. In the earlier rounds, Amarillo(27-3) defeated Andrews(30-3) 64-52 and Odessa Permian(21-10) 71-54. In the semis the Sandies took down Lubbock Coronado(18-14) 56-43. Eastwood(26-5) defeated Amarillo Caprock(6-22) 54-49 in the other semi-final game. Sammy Simpson and Ashton Nowak were named All-Tournament and Brant Capps was named Tournament MVP. In the Pampa Chamber of Commerce Tournament, Amarillo Tascosa(16-12) defeated Amarillo Palo Duro(18-14) 58-54. In the Amarillo Invitational, Amarillo(27-3) defeated Canyon(19-13) 76-41 and suffered their first loss of the season at the hands of Amarillo Palo Duro(18-14) 55-54. Amarillo(27-3) lost in the 21 City Boys Basketball Tournament to Amarillo Tascosa(16-12) by three points. It was a double elimination tourney. Amarillo(27-3) downed Amarillo Caprock(6-22) 71-55, Amarillo Palo Duro(18-14) 62-56 and Amarillo Tascosa(16-12) in the finals 56-55.

The Greenville Tournament was won by Garland Lakeview(25-8). The Patriots defeated Texas High(24-5) in the semi-finals 74-71, defeated district rival North Garland(20-12) in the finals 70-64. Texas High(24-5) easily won the 3rd place game 76-62 over Dallas Sunset(19-9). Irving MacArthur(20-10) took consolation over Denison(17-11) 56-52. The Ft. Worth West Side Lions Club Tournament brought together the best in the area. FW Southwest(18-12) downed Haltom(5-24) 66-48, FW Trimble Tech(24-9) defeated Plano(18-11) 70-57, Highland Park(27-4) beat Euless Trinity(14-16) 57-55, CC Carroll(18-14) beat O.D. Wyatt(5-21) out of Ft. Worth 82-79, Denton(19-12) beat FW Richland Hills(21-10) 60-57, and Euless L.D. Bell(23-11) defeated FW Arlington Heights(18-12) 63-43. In the quarterfinals, FW Trimble Tech(24-9) defeated Corpus Christi Carroll(18-14) 80-61, FW Dunbar(34-0) defeated Denton(19-12) 69-51, Macon Southwest from Georgia took out Highland Park(27-4) 59-45 and L.D. Bell(23-11) beat FW Southwest(18-12) 55-46. In the semis, Dunbar(34-0) defeated Trimble Tech(24-9) 74-62. L.D. Bell(23-11) defeated Macon Southwest 40-39 in the other semi-finals to advance to the finals. The Blue Raiders used a variety of zone defenses to hold 6’6” Eric Manuel of Southwest in check. FW Dunbar(34-0) took the title defeating L.D. Bell(23-11) 84-59. L.D. Bell coach Ray DeBord said following the loss, “tonight we were just flat, I think it was because of the win last night. We just couldn’t get the intensity. Then we lost our composure in the third quarter.” Coach Robert Hughes of Dunbar agreed with DeBord saying, “we know Bell can play, they won such a big game last night, emotionally they were just a little flat.” Dunbar(34-0) out rebounded L.D. Bell(23-11) 33-15. Macon Southwest captured the 3rd place game over FW Trimble Tech(24-9) 82-43. Arlington(14-17) eliminated Plano(18-11) 60-52 in the consolation semi-finals. Grand Prairie(23-9) took the consolation title over Arlington(14-17) 60-48. Denton(19-12) won the 5th place game defeating FW Southwest(18-12) 56-48 and in the 5th place semi-finals, Highland Park(27-4) lost their second game of the season to FW Southwest(18-12) 63-47. Denton(19-12) got by C.C. Carroll(18-14) 55-49. In the class 4-A division, Everman(14-15) defeated Trinity Valley 52-43, FW Northside(16-13) beat Boswell(14-12) 82-66, Mansfield(10-19) beat FW Brewer(7-24) 82-57, FW Nolan handled Pampa(9-21) 51-47, FW Diamond Hill-Jarvis surprised Cleburne(22-6) 60-53, Andrews(30-3), out of West Texas, defeated Azle 67-61, Waxahachie(21-8) beat Weatherford(8-19) 70-59 and Keller(8-23) got by FW Christian 62-59. In the winner’s bracket in the quarterfinals, Everman(14-15) defeated Keller(8-23) 59-44, Andrews(30-3) beat Mansfield(10-19) 98-84, FW North Side(16-13) dropped Waxahachie(21-8) 67-50, and Diamond Hill got by FW Nolan 62-58. In the semi-finals, Andrews defeated Everman(14-15) and FW North Side(16-13) defeated Diamond Hill. In the championship game, Andrews(30-3) defeated FW Northside(16-13) 74-72. Diamond Hill upset Everman(14-15) in the 3rd place game 57-56. Cleburne(22-6) took consolation over Trinity Valley 48-29. The Dallas Dr. Pepper tournament featured all the top teams in the Dallas area. Dallas Skyline(33-1) defeated Dallas Hillcrest(19-9) 85-59, Dallas Samuel(16-15) took down Richardson Berkner(10-21) 60-53, Gainesville(13-16) got an outstanding first round win over North Mesquite(14-17) 53-43, Lake Highlands(18-12) man-handled Dallas W.T. White(2-24) 101-47, Dallas Bishop Lynch(25-10) defeated Dallas Kimball(23-7) 58-55, Dallas Sunset(19-9) took down North Dallas(9-17) 65-53, Dallas Adamson(20-9) defeated Dallas Bryan Adams(0-25) 78-61, Arlington Sam Houston(21-11) got by Seagoville(10-17) 65-52, Dallas Jesuit(19-10) was impressive defeating a solid Wilmer Hutchins(23-11) team 73-62, Richardson High(25-6) advanced beating Dallas Thomas Jefferson(1-25) 86-31, Duncanville(31-2) beat Dallas Carter(9-15) 77-59, South Oak Cliff(13-14) dropped South Grand Prairie(23-9) 82-69, Dallas Spruce(13-15) upset Garland(23-9) 72-71, Dallas Pinkston(21-8) beat Dallas Woodrow Wilson(1-21) 95-49, Dallas Lincoln(11-9) beat Dallas Roosevelt(8-20) 93-78, and Arlington Martin(24-8) advanced beating Dallas Madison(18-8) 82-71. In 2nd round action, Lake Highlands(18-12) beat Gainesville(13-16) 58-39, Dallas Skyline(33-1) dropped Dallas Samuel(16-15) 73-61, Bishop Lynch(25-10) defeated Dallas Sunset(19-9) 65-64, Arlington Sam Houston(21-11) beat Dallas Adamson(20-9) 82-58, South Oak Cliff (13-14)advanced beating Dallas Jesuit(19-10) 98-67, and Duncanville(31-2) got by Richardson(25-6) 70-65. In the quarterfinal match-ups, Duncanville(31-2) defeated South Oak Cliff(13-14) 73-55, Bishop Lynch(25-10) beat Arlington Sam Houston(21-11) 76-63, Dallas Skyline(33-1) took care of Lake Highlands(18-12) 69-54 and Arlington Martin(24-8) defeated Dallas Pinkston(21-8) 62-52. Duncanville(31-2) advanced to the finals with their 76-64 win over Bishop Lynch(25-10) and Skyline(33-1) defeated Arlington Martin(24-8) 59-51. In the consolation bracket, Garland(23-9) was upset by Dallas Madison(18-8) 74-73 and Kimball(23-7) beat Wilmer Hutchins(23-11) 80-68. In the finals, Dallas Skyline(33-1) came away with an impressive win over Duncanville(31-2) 60-54 in double overtime. Larry Johnson of Skyline finished with 32 points and 20 rebounds for the Raiders. Coach Phil McNeely commented after the game with Skyline, “the kid(Johnson) is a complete package, that wasn’t surprising to us.” Duncanville got into foul trouble trying to triple team L.J. in the middle. Burkhalter played limited minutes due to foul problems. David Nied led Duncanville with 16 points for the Panthers. Johnson hit 24 of 27 foul shots in the contest including six in overtime. Arlington Martin(24-8) took the 3rd place game 74-67 over Bishop Lynch(25-10). Dallas Kimball(23-7) won consolation over Dallas Madison(18-8) 79-66. The All-Tournament team- Larry Johnson and Burnis McFarland of Skyline, Burkhalter and Arthur Hurst of Duncanville, Anthony Snowden of Dallas Pinkston, Stephen Howard of Dallas Bishop Lynch, Vernon Ragsdale and David Inman of Arlington Martin, Kevin Gulley of S.O.C., and Tim Fleming of Dallas Kimball.

In the Yellowjacket Classic in Pt. Arthur, Pt. Arthur Lincoln(26-5) took the championship with a 72-65 win over Beaumont Central(22-5). 6’8” Brian Sallier of Lincoln won the tournament M.V.P. despite scoring only 10 points and 10 rebounds in the finals. With a capacity crowd, Central’s Daimon Sweet led Central with 19 points and 9 rebounds. Kenneth Hockless added 13 points for Central along with 12 points from Columbus Wise. The Jaguars of Central were primarily concerned with slowing Sallier’s inside game, which enabled Marion Jackson and 6’5” Craig Anderson to get some good looks. Jackson came away with 14 points and Anderson finished with 20 points. Sophomore, B.J. Tyler, had a nice game as well for the Bumblebees. “They were squeezing down low on Sallier, so we went to the high post and wing,” Coach James Gamble said. “Marion and Craig can hit those shots.” Pt. Arthur Thomas Jefferson(11-16) lost to defending 3-A state champions, Cleveland(19-11), in the 3rd place game 59-57. PA Thomas Jefferson(11-16) played with the triple towers, 6’6” Dennis Mouten, 6’6” George Guilbeaux and 6’3” Frank Hamilton. T.J. out rebounded Cleveland(19-11) 52-30 and lost game. The difference for the Yellowjackets was they turned the ball over 21 times in the game. Craig Lillie hit and off-balance shot from 19-feet to give Cleveland(19-11) the win. Lillie paced Cleveland(19-11) with 19 points. 6’6” Richard Johnson aided Lillie with 18/12 with 7 blocks. In the semi-finals, Beaumont Central(22-5) downed Cleveland(19-11) 86-84 in overtime. In the YMBL tournament in Beaumont, LaPorte(34-0) took the finals over Beaumont Central(22-6) 59-54. LaPorte(34-0) had defeated Pt. Arthur Lincoln(26-5) 62-55 and Beaumont Westbrook(28-7) 65-58 in the earlier rounds. If there was any question about LaPorte’s(34-0) strength, it was definitely answered in the YMBL tournament.  In the early rounds, Port Neches Groves upset LaFayette 40-39, Beaumont Central(22-6) defeated PA Thomas Jefferson(11-16) 52-50, Beaumont Westbrook(28-7) ripped Galveston Ball 71-47. In the Nederland Bulldog Classic, Beaumont Central(22-6) defeated Pt. Arthur Lincoln(26-5) 74-69 in the finals. Lincoln had almost owned the tournament over the years winning three straight titles and six of the previous seven tournaments. Beaumont Pollard was the last team to defeat Lincoln back in 1982 under the direction of Coach James White. James White moved on to coach Beaumont Central after the closing of Pollard.

In the M.T. Rice Tournament, Beaumont Westbrook(28-7) defeated Corsicana(13-16) 78-44, DeSoto(14-17) beat Carthage(22-9) 61-58, Waco Midway(28-5) beat Copperas Cove(5-25) 70-38, Huntsville(21-11) drummed Victoria(27-5) 102-79, Georgetown(16-17) defeated Gatesville 61-44, Irving(8-21) beat Fairfield 55-41, Houston Strake Jesuit defeated Waco High(16-18) 84-58 and Bryan(23-11) advanced beating Hillsboro 78-58. In 2nd round action, Beaumont Westbrook(28-7) defeated Waco(16-18) 68-52, Bryan(23-11) got by Georgetown(15-17) 61-55, Huntsville(21-11) dropped Irving High(8-21) 67-66, Houston Strake Jesuit defeated Corsicana(13-16) 50-44, Carthage(22-9) defeated Copperas Cove(5-25) 58-45 and Waco Midway(28-5) defeated DeSoto(14-17) 62-56. Bryan(23-11) defeated Waco Midway(28-5) in the championship game 65-60. Huntsville(21-11) took the 3rd place game over Beaumont Westbrook(28-7) 66-64. Waco High(16-18) won the 5th place game 61-60 over Georgetown(16-17). Carthage(22-9) eliminated Houston Strake Jesuit in consolation 76-62 and Victoria(27-5) defeated Hillsboro 72-67 in the consolation bracket. In the Mission Thanksgiving Tournament, Victoria(27-5) defeated SA Fox Tech(24-8) in the finals 71-69. In the semi-finals, Victoria(27-5) downed Mission(17-12) 51-46. Corpus Christi Moody(23-9) took down Mission(17-12) in the 3rd place game 58-54. Corpus Christi Moody(23-9) owned an earlier victory over McAllen Memorial(20-13) 65-53. At the Victoria Classic, Bay City(31-5) defeated Harlingen(20-11) in the final 75-53. The Black Kats of Bay City(31-5) defeated Victoria(27-5) in the semi-finals 82-76, while Harlingen(20-11) got past Incarnate Word in the other semi-final game 74-61. Victoria(27-5) took the 3rd place game beating Incarnate Word 86-76. In earlier game Bay City(31-5) defeated Seagoville(10-17) 68-51, Incarnate Word defeated Houston Madison(11-17) 72-65, Harlingen(20-11) took down A&M Consolidated(21-11) 76-71, Victoria(27-5) destroyed El Campo 116-88. Houston Madison(11-17) took consolation 68-51 over Seagoville(10-17). San Antonio Northeast Tournament brought together and outstanding cast of teams. In first round action East Central(30-3) defeated SA Jay(21-12) 86-63, SA Churchill((26-4) beat South San(20-12) 72-65, SA Roosevelt(23-11) continued the District 28-5A domination defeating SA McCollum(13-19) 80-63. 2nd round action saw East Central(30-3) take down SA MacArthur(19-11) 79-76, SA Madison(19-14) got by SA Clark(25-7) 60-51. In the semi-finals, SA Churchill(26-4) lost to East Central(30-3) 94-83 and SA Madison(19-14) advanced to the finals defeating SA Roosevelt(23-11) 57-56. SA Churchill(26-4) downed SA Roosevelt(23-11) in the 3rd place game 75-60. East Central(30-3) lost their first game of the season to SA Madison(19-14) in the finals 89-86. In the consolation bracket, South San(20-12) came away with two solid wins over SA McCollum(13-19) 82-64 and over SA Jay(21-12) 65-62. In the Northside Tournament, SA Holmes(27-5) gave an indication of future firepower defeating SA Jay(21-12) in the finals 65-52. In the semis, SA Jay(21-12) took down SA Churchill(26-4) 76-64 and SA Holmes(27-5) beat SA MacArthur(19-11) 65-56. SA Churchill(26-4) won the 3rd place game over SA MacArthur(19-11) 63-62. SA Clark(25-7) defeated Converse Judson(7-23) in the consolation finals 73-60. Earlier in the tourney SA MacArthur(19-11) came away with a solid win over SA Clark(25-7) 69-67. The South San Antonio Tournament saw teams from all over the state compete. San Antonio East Central(30-3) proved to be one of the states elite by winning the tournament 87-79 over South San(20-12). The semi-final winners were East Central(30-3) taking out Edgewood(20-11) 127-44 and South San(20-12) advanced beating Alamo Heights(28-4) 65-59. Alamo Heights(28-4) took 3rd place defeating Edgewood(20-11) 75-32. In consolation, Clemens defeated SA Lanier(8-19) 51-45. In the consolation semis, Clemens defeated San Angelo Central(19-11) 59-51. San Angelo Central(19-11) took it on the chin earlier losing to East Central(30-3) 95-51. The Hornets of East Central(30-3) also tattooed SA Southwest(16-11) 121-79. Alamo Heights(28-4) came away with a nice win over Laredo Martin(21-8) 63-42 in early round games. Laredo Martin(21-8) defeated SA Lanier(8-19) 72-51 in earlier action. In the SASD Tournament, SA Holmes(27-5) defeated SA Fox Tech(24-8) 71-42. SA Holmes(27-5) defeated another 30-5A rival in the semis, SA Sam Houston(24-8) 56-53. Fox Tech(24-8) advanced to the finals beating SA Highlands(23-10) 55-53. SA Highlands(23-10) took the 3rd place game over SA Sam Houston(24-8) 75-72. SA Edison(19-13) came away with the consolation trophy with a 57-52 win over SA Marshall(16-17). In earlier contest, SA Fox Tech(24-8) beat Corpus Christi Ray(10-21) 72-53, SA Sam Houston(24-8) downed SA Marshall(16-17) 72-53, Corpus Christi Miller(16-16) defeated SA Jefferson 41-40, SA Edison(19-13) defeated Austin Lanier(17-12) 59-55, SA Fox Tech(24-8) beat Kerrville Tivy(23-7) 70-52, SA Sam Houston(24-8) beat Corpus Christi Miller(16-16) 71-47. 

The San Antonio Optimist Tournament was still one of the best in the state, but San Antonio Churchill(26-4) and San Antonio East Central(30-3) did not participate in the Tournament. At the time they were the top two ranked teams in the Alamo City. There were several interesting games in the early rounds. S.A. Holmes(27-5) showed they were a state power defeating Clear Lake(24-9) 57-56 in the first round. Bryan(23-11) took out SA Holmes(27-5) in the 2nd round 82-75 behind Charles Lockett’s 27 points. Lockett was the Vikings top performer and was not eligible in District action. In other key games, SA Jay(21-12) beat Killeen(28-7) 44-43, Bryan(23-11) ran over Corpus Christi King(20-11) 112-61, San Antonio Roosevelt(23-11) beat Austin LBJ(25-7) 63-56, SA Sam Houston(24-8) defeated Lubbock Coronado(18-14) 68-61. Houston Kashmere(15-12) defeated Converse Judson(7-23) 81-72, SA Clark(25-7) defeated Temple(19-12) 81-69, West Oso took out SA Southwest 70-64, SA Edison(19-13) beat Houston Stratford(22-12) 76-69, Houston Smiley(20-13) beat Corpus Christi Ray(10-21) 53-48, Killeen Ellison(24-8) beat SA McCollum(13-19) 77-63, SA Fox Tech(24-8) beat Forest Brook(5-22) 66-59, SA Madison(19-14) beat Midland(10-19) 69-47. Big 2nd round games, Houston Smiley(20-13) defeated SA Mac Arthur(19-11) 42-41, SA Clark(25-7) beat SA Roosevelt(23-11) 61-58, Ft. Worth Paschal(24-8) defeated SA Highlands(23-10) 73-63. Paschal was led by 5’8” James Hill’s 39 points and Morris Farr put up 21 points for Highlands. SA Jay(21-12) beat Houston Kashmere(15-12) 58-53, SA Holmes(27-5) advanced beating SA Fox Tech(24-8) 60-36 in consolation, SA MacArthur(19-11) defeated Killeen Ellison(24-8) 58-53. In the consolation bracket, Killeen(28-7) defeated Clear Lake(24-9) 54-47 and Houston Stratford(22-12) defeated Midland(10-19) 58-48. In the Semi-finals, Bryan(23-11) defeated SA Jay(21-12) 82-77 and FW Paschal(24-8) beat Houston Smiley(20-13) 55-53. James Rogers led the Vikings of Bryan with 30 points in their win over SA Jay and Lockett added 15 points. James Hill paced Paschal with 24 points in the Panthers win over Houston Smiley. James Washington was high man for Smiley with 20 points. Bryan(23-11) lost in the finals 68-66 to FW Paschal(24-8) and SA Jay(21-12) won the 3rd place game over Houston Smiley(20-13) 57-54. Donnel Browning led Paschal with 22 points and tournament M.V.P., James Hill finished with 18 for Paschal. James Rogers led Bryan with 21 points. Rogers and Lockett were named All-Tournament along with Donnel Browning of Paschal. SA Jay(21-12) defeated Houston Smiley(20-13) in the 3rd place game. SA Jay(21-12) took down Houston Smiley(20-13) 57-54. Consolation trophy went to Houston Stratford(22-12) with their 66-61 win over Killeen(24-8). Morris Farr of SA Highlands broke the tournament record with 48 points in Highlands(23-10) 113-100 win over Houston Waltrip(16-18).

Houston Yates(25-8) won yet another Jaycee Tournament during the Christmas Holidays in Houston. The Lions defeated Houston Sam Houston(26-6) in the finals 66-61. Tyrone Greer paced Yates with 19 points and Terry Gee had a great defensive effort for Coach Walter Johnson. Yates entered the tournament with a disappointing 8-6 record. The Lions had high expectations only to lose to LaPorte(40-0) 79-70, Clear Lake(26-10) 70-64, Houston Worthing 71-67, Alief Elsik(23-11) 67-65 and Alief Hastings(35-3) 85-83 in pre-district.

First year coach Walter Johnson explained, “the press clippings and attention we received in preseason hurt our concentration, the players were anxious to compete in this tournament to prove they were worthy of the earlier attention.” Coach Johnson continued, “coming into the season, the players had only worked within my system for four weeks, now they are starting to learn their roles. Gee and Wilbert Ford are vital cogs in our perimeter defense.”

Standouts 6’6” Darryl Johnson and 6’4” Rodney Diggs struggled in the finals after dominating earlier in the tournament. Coach Johnson was also missing his standout point guard, Derek Nichols, who was out with a bad ankle. “Derek is an excellent ball-handler and we missed him,” Johnson said.

Houston Sam Houston(26-6) was led by Darrell Williams with 20 points and 6’11” Gerry Holmes with 11. Holmes also was a force inside coming away with 5 blocks for the Tigers. The semi-finals saw Yates(25-8) defeat Houston Westbury(25-7) 74-72 and Houston Sam Houston(24-10) easily handling Houston Waltrip(16-18) 87-58. Yates(25-8) got revenge for an earlier loss to Houston Worthing(13-12) 99-68 behind Darryl Johnson’s 28 points. Johnson was also the leader in the Lions win over Westbury finishing with 27 points.

In earlier round action, Westbury(25-7) defeated Willowridge(21-10) 62-55, Lufkin(15-16) took down Aldine(21-1) 68-65, Houston Lee(26-8) defeated Houston Smiley(21-14) 60-59, Houston Sterling(15-11) beat Aldine MacArthur(21-12) 65-58, Houston Sam Houston(26-6) beat Houston Furr(17-10) 58-52, Houston Jones)16-13) got by Houston Bellaire(22-11) 65-56, Houston Washington(17-12) took down West Orange-Stark(24-10) 69-58, Yates(25-8) throttled Dickinson 87-58, and Houston Milby(16-16) defeated Houston Washington(17-12) 76-67.

In the finals of the Ft. Bend Tournament, Willowridge(21-10) defeated Spring Branch Memorial(25-8) 72-66. Ron Chovanec put up 36 points for Memorial in a losing effort. James Bailey paced Willowridge(21-10) with 18 points. Deer Park(18-15) took the 3rd place game defeating Clements(9-22) 61-47. In the Alief Tournament, Alief Hastings(35-3) defeated Houston Sam Houston(26-6) in the finals 75-73 in double overtime. Ronnie Ellison threw down 32 points in the victory for Hastings. Alief Elsik(23-11) defeated Houston Yates(25-8) in the 3rd place contest 67-65. Darryl Johnson led the way for Yates with 28 points. Hastings(35-3) had defeated Yates(25-8) in the semis earlier 85-83. Darryl Johnson once again had a big day with 29 points in the losing effort. Tyrone Greer added 22 for the Lions. Coach Rick Sherley and Hastings were paced by their two leading scorers, Preston Ivory and Ron Ellison. The tandem put up 25 points apiece for Hastings. In the Georgetown Tournament, Spring Branch Memorial(25-8) downed Killeen Ellison(24-8) 63-47 and Pflugerville 56-47. In the semi-finals the Mustangs of Memorial(25-8) defeated Georgetown(16-17) 49-41 and in the finals Killeen(24-8) 45-34. In the Lee College tournament in Baytown, Beaumont Westbrook(28-7) defeated Galena Park North Shore(17-16) in the finals 67-48. In the semis, Westbrook(28-7) took out Aldine MacArthur(21-12) 65-63 and North Shore(17-16) got by Baytown Sterling(18-13) 71-53. In the Coliseum Classic, Angleton(14-18) beat Klein(16-13) 55-39, Memorial(25-8) defeated Houston Sharpstown(10-20) 74-45, Northbrook(8-22) beat Seguin(14-18) 61-56, Spring Woods(17-17) defeated Klein Forest(18-11) 56-53 and Houston Westbury(25-8) took out Dulles(21-11) 77-63. In the 2nd round action Angleton(14-18) beat Northbrook(8-22) 70-63, Memorial(25-8) defeated Westbury(25-8) 49-47, Pearland(11-19) beat Spring(9-20) 78-73, Springs Woods(17-17) beat Jersey Village(7-20) 77-61 and Houston Waltrip(16-18) got past Stratford(23-13) 85-69. In the finals of the Corpus Christi Tournament Alief Hasting(35-3) defeated Corpus Christi Moody(23-10) 56-52. In the Deer Park Tournament, Houston Milby(16-16) defeated Alvin(13-18) 62-57, Houston Sam Houston(24-10) beat Deer Park(18-15) 79-56 and Houston Washington(17-12) beat Houston Wheatley(13-14) 95-78.  

Region I Playoffs                 

El Paso(23-8)                                                        El Paso Bel Air(22-9)

El Paso Eastwood(26-5)                                     El Paso Andress(23-10)

Amarillo(26-3) #7                                                Ft. Worth Trimble Tech(24-9)

Arlington Martin(25-8)                                      Grand Prairie(23-9)

Odessa Permian(20-9)                                       Lubbock Monterey(24-11)

Sherman(27-2) #6                                               San Angelo Central(19-11)

Ft. Worth Dunbar(35-0) #1                               Denton(19-12)

Duncanville(31-2) #5                                          Ft. Worth Richland(21-10)

Top Players in Region I

5’8”        James Burkhalter 22.4        Duncanville

6’4”        Mark Chambers   16.9        Ft. Worth Dunbar

                6’4”        Brant Capps          18.3        Amarillo

                6’0”        Derrick Daniels     11.0        Ft. Worth Dunbar

                6’7”        Jason Burleson     17.6        Sherman

                6’5”        Chris Lowry          23.6        San Angelo Central

                6’4”        George Conner    19.3        Ft. Worth Trimble Tech

                5’8”        James Hill              23.7        Ft. Worth Paschal

                6’4”        Earl McKinney      19.3        Sherman

Region I had three of the top ten teams in the state according to the TABC. Fort Worth Dunbar(35-0), Amarillo(26-3) and Duncanville(31-2) were overwhelming favorites in 1987. Dunbar was the top ranked team in the polls and Amarillo came in as defending state champions. The region was not only top heavy, but also deeper than usual. Nobody was conceding anything to Dunbar, but the Wildcats had an exceptional squad. Coach Hughes and the Wildcats also had some unfinished business with Amarillo.

Sherman(27-2) and Duncanville(31-2) were considered strong candidates to emerge from Region I, along with El Paso Eastwood(26-5). Sherman’s schedule was considered weak, but after Amarillo’s fairy tale story in ’86, the Bearcats could not be overlooked. Duncanville looked to be the regions dark horse and Eastwood was the best in the Sun City. Region I was probably the deepest it had been since the days of Herb Johnson and Midland in 1981. There was a since of tremendous anticipation as the 1986-87 season played out.


District 1-AAAAA

                El Paso High(23-8) took the title in a very competitive 1-5A District race. El Paso Andress(23-10), El Paso Austin(22-10) and El Paso Coronado(21-11) were right on the heels of El Paso High with 10-4 records. The Tigers finished 12-2 in District and a strong 5-1 record against the District’s top contenders. For Coach Tony Harper of El Paso, it was another trip to the state playoffs.

                EP Austin, EP Andress and EP Coronado all finished in a tie for the coveted runner-up spot. The three teams were forced to have a two-game playoff. Theoretically, the winner of the playoff could play Monday, Tuesday and again on Friday in Bi-District against El Paso Eastwood(26-5). That very scenario actually played out.

EP Austin(22-10) won the coin flip, which meant they would get a pass to face the winner of the EP Andress(23-10)-EP Coronado(21-11) match-up. The Monday game took place at El Paso Bowie High School. Andress(23-10) and Coronado(21-11) had faced one another three times previously, with two of the games going into overtime. The first meeting went into three extra periods and the second game required two overtimes to settle the matter. The El Paso Andress(23-10) Eagles favored an up-tempo game while EP Coronado(21-11) preferred the half-court deliberate attack.

Coach Pete Lewinski of Andress looked to point guard Vince Ramirez, Burrell Cleveland(13.0) and William Doctor. Coronado’s head man was Coach Kenny John. 6’5” James Lyman(12.0), Tres Sullivan and Mike Ferguson were at the heart of the Coronado T-Birds attack.

                Andress(23-10) was successful against Coronado(21-11) winning 42-40. Vince Ramirez was the hero against the T-Birds when he buried two foul shots with one second remaining. The Andress Eagles turned right around and eliminated El Paso Austin(22-10) to advance to the state playoffs against EP Eastwood(26-5). The El Paso Austin-El Paso Andress game was played at El Paso Jefferson High School.

Standings – El Paso(23-8) 12-2, El Paso Austin(22-10) 10-4, El Paso Andress(23-10) 10-4, El Paso Coronado(21-11) 10-4, El Paso Irvin(12-19) 7-7, El Paso Jefferson(10-19) 4-10, El Paso Burges(8-22) 3-11, El Paso Bowie(5-26) 0-14:

All-District Team by the El Paso Times- 1st Team- Vince Ramirez(12.2)-EP Andress, John Arizmendez(15.7)-El Paso High, Victor Molina(12.6)-El Paso High, James Lyman(10.8) EP Coronado; 2nd Team- William Doctor(12.8)-EP Andress, Dana Ealey(11.4) EP Irvin, Mike Ferguson(10.8)-EP Coronado, Mike Gay(9.8)-EP Austin, Manny Macias-EP Austin; 3rd Team- Burell Cleveland(13.1)-EP Andress, Steve Enriquez(9.7)-EP Burges, Robert Thomas(12.1)-EP Irvin, Jerry Vela(9.9)-EP Jefferson:  

District 2-AAAAA

                El Paso Eastwood(26-5) only had one returning starter entering the ’87 campaign. 5’11” Brett Wagner(11.8) returned for his fourth year as a starter for Coach Bobby Lesley. Teaming up with Wagner was the outside threat of Rich Olivas(10.5). Inside the Troopers looked to 6’5” Randy Bustillos(12.3) and 6’4” Jimmy Moreno(10.4). Tony Provencio held down the fifth spot. The team was a typical Eastwood team with a strong inside attack along with solid guard play.

                El Paso Riverside(21-9) and El Paso Bel Air(22-9) were the chief rivals to the Troopers run to another District title. Eastwood’s(26-5) only District loss came against EP Riverside(21-9) 56-55. The Troopers finished 13-1 and the top seed in the playoffs. Eastwood would be making their 12th straight playoff appearance. El Paso Bel Air(22-9) edged out EP Riverside(21-9) for the other playoff spot. EP Riverside and EP Bel Air split their District games, but Riverside came up short against El Paso Ysleta(18-13) 48-46 and El Paso Parkland(12-19) 73-65. 

Standings – El Paso Eastwood(26-5) 13-1, El Paso Bel Air(22-9) 11-3, El Paso Riverside(21-9) 10-4, El Paso Ysleta(18-13) 8-6, El Paso Parkland(12-19) 5-9, El Paso Socorro(10-18( 5-9, El Paso Hanks(12-18) 4-10, El Paso Canutillo(2-30) 0-14:

All-District Team by the El Paso Times-“Player of the Year”-5’10” Dave Ranson(19.3)-EP Bel Air, “Coach of the Year”-John Papa-EP Ysleta; 1st Team- 5’11” Brett Wagner(11.8)-EP Eastwood, 6’5” Randy Burtillos(12.3)-EP Eastwood, Fernie Gonzales(17.0)-EP Riverside, Eric Adams(15.8)-EP Socorro, Roger Giles(12.9)-EP Parkland; 2nd Team- Mando Contreras(11.2)-EP Socorro, 6’2” Rick Olivas(10.5)-EP Eastwood, Oscar Trillo(13.6)-EP Riverside, Steve Vicencio(10.5)-EP Bel Air; 3rd Team- Paul Arellano(12.4)-EP Canutillo, Ricky Garcia(8.3)-EP Bel Air, Frank Gonzalez(10.0)-EP Ysleta, Mark Grudzielanek(11.5)-EP Hanks, 6’4” Jimmy Moreno(10.4)-EP Eastwood:

District 3-AAAAA

                The Amarillo Sandies were the defending state champions and returned 7 of their top 10 players from the title team. Coach Allen Simpson of Amarillo looked to have one of the strongest teams to ever come out of West Texas. Coach Grady Newton of Lubbock Monterey was a long-time veteran of West Texas basketball and commented after losing to Amarillo, “that’s the best man defense we’ve seen this year, that’s the only defense they do, and they’re so solid at it.” Newton continued saying, “they’re a tremendous team. They’re one of the best teams in the West Texas area in a long, long time.”

Amarillo’s senior class put up some incredible numbers over their career with the Sandies. A 61-9 varsity two-year record and a 144-10 mark from middle school through high school.

                Standouts for Amarillo during the 1986-87 campaign were 6’2” Sammy Simpson(14.4), 6’1” Ashton Nowak(11.4), 6’1” Don Clapp, 6’4” Brant Capps(18.3), 6’5” Lance Perry and 5’8” Jason Rehm. Amarillo’s winning philosophy was outstanding guard play, strong rebounding and scoring inside and tremendous defense. All of this with one of the top coaches ever to come out of West Texas, Allen Simpson. The season was full of highs and lows.

                Amarillo captured the Midland Tournament taking down three state ranked teams in Andrews(30-3) 64-52, Odessa Permian(20-9) 71-54 and El Paso Eastwood(26-5) 61-41. The Sandies defeated Lubbock Coronado(18-14) in the semi-finals 56-43. Capps was named tournament MVP and Simpson and Nowak were named All-Tournament. In the Amarillo Invitational the Sandies suffered their first loss of the season to Amarillo Palo Duro(14-13) 55-54 on the Dons homecourt. Coach Simpson commented after the disappointing loss, “you could say they out hustled us, it always helps from getting cocky.” Coach Simpson explained, “I think lately we’ve become complacent; we’re not working as hard as we have been.”

                William Thomas led the way for Palo Duro(14-13) with 20 points. Thomas commented after the game, “at the first of the game they kind of intimidated us with their height, but as the game went on, we decided we could win it if we kept at it.”

                Amarillo(27-3) opened District against one of 3-5A top teams, Plainview(18-10). The Sandies came away with a 70-59 victory. Brant Capps finished with a career high 26 points, while 6’5” Lance Perry finished with 18 points. The inside game of Amarillo combined for 44 points against Plainview. The Bulldogs were paced by Willie Ansley and Pat Nash with 14 points apiece.                 

                Next up was a non-district game at home against state ranked Wichita Falls Hirschi(27-5). Hirschi looked to All-State 6’6” Darion Newsome(27.4/17.4/6 blocks) to lead the charge. Hirschi was ranked #3 in class 4-A and supported a 6-3 record. The losses were deceiving considering the football players hadn’t joined the team yet. Nine varsity players came off the gridiron for Hirschi.

Amarillo(27-3) showed their strength with four players finishing in double figures and the Sandies defeated Hirschi(27-5) 73-60. Sammy Simpson knocked down several outside shots as Hirschi sagged on the inside game of Amarillo(27-3). Simpson finished with 19 points and opened things up for Lance Perry and Brant Capps, who combined for 33 points. Darion Newsome got into foul trouble, which really limited the Hirschi attack. Lance Perry commented on Newsome’s foul problems, “he was in foul trouble, he was frustrated and we keyed on him a little more.” Newsome only managed four points in the 2nd half. “I really didn’t get to touch the ball in the 2nd half,” Newsome said. “They played some good defense-I’ll give them that.” Newsome finished the contest with 21 points and Keith Stevenson added 16 points.

                Amarillo went to the spread delay game late with Jason Rehm and Glen Anderson doing the damage. Simpson finished with 19 points along with Nowak, who added 17 points.

                Lubbock Monterey(23-11) had another formidable squad and challenged Amarillo for District. Monterey came into the Amarillo game with a 10-4 record, while Amarillo(27-3) stood at 11-1. Amarillo knew full well what Monterey was capable of having lost the previous season to the Plainsmen 49-44. After the loss on their home court in 1986, Amarillo didn’t lose again, winning state. Over 600 fans jammed into the Amarillo gym and watched the Sandies defeat Monterey(23-11) 72-60. Capps was awesome in the first half hitting 13 of 16 field goals to give Amarillo a 27-13 lead in the 2nd quarter. Alvin Alleyne and Mike Anderson brought the Plainsmen back to take a 40-39 lead with 4:00 left in the 3rd period. “If we hadn’t come back and scored after they got the lead, they probably would have held the ball the rest of the game, and that would have worried me,” Coach Simpson said. “That’s what they did to us last year.”

                Capps finished with 11 of 16 from the floor and 4 of 6 from the line for 26 points. “He’s just played great the last four or five games,” Simpson explained. “He’s putting it in the hole, rebounding, getting down the floor.”

                In the 21st City Boys Basketball Tournament, Amarillo(27-3) suffered their second loss, losing to Amarillo Tascosa(16-12) by three points. Darrin Cunningham finished with 11 points, Mike Mitchell came away with 14 points and Pat Hill added 12 points for Amarillo Tascosa(16-12). Ashton Newton and Lance Perry were the only players in double figures for Amarillo with 14 and 10 points. Capps was held to only 9 points and Simpson only put up 8 points.

                Amarillo lost their only District game to lowly Amarillo Caprock(6-22). That’s right, the last place team in District took down the Sandies 53-47. Coach Simpson’s troops were at an all-time low following the game. Amarillo Caprock only shot 29% from the floor, while Amarillo shot a season low of 35%. Simpson was only 2 of 12, Perry 3 of 9 and Nowak 4 of 14. Amarillo couldn’t shoot from the line either hitting only 5 of 18.

“We played tonight just like we’ve been playing lately,” Coach Simpson said. “I don’t know what the problem is-I wish I knew. I hate to say it, but we’re getting killed, the officials aren’t doing it on purpose, but it’s happening, just look at the film. Still, we should be good enough to overcome that.” 

                Coach Digger Elam commented on Amarillo’s struggles. “Lack of intensity and enthusiasm, everybody’s got an opinion on it, but that’s mine. I just don’t see any intensity when they played us the other night, and I didn’t see any in the city tournament. It doesn’t seem like they get excited,” Elam said. “And they are playing people who night after night are pumped up.”

                The loss put Amarillo(27-3) and Plainview(18-10) tied for first place at 3-1. During the season, Amarillo had lost to all three Amarillo schools, Palo Duro, Caprock and Tascosa. Amarillo(27-3) rebounded with wins over Amarillo Tascosa(16-12) 53-43 and Lubbock High(13-18) 65-45. Plainview slipped up against Lubbock Monterey(23-11) losing 68-57.

Amarillo(27-3) further cushioned their lead in District with another win over Plainview(18-10) 60-49. Amarillo took the air out of the ball in the last three minutes to secure the win. Simpson put up 19 points and Capps joined in with 16. Fred Carter led Plainview with 14 points. The game wasn’t as close as it appeared, Amarillo was up at halftime 38-20.

Lubbock Monterey(23-11) fell next to the Sandies 56-46. Plainview(18-10) continued their free fall losing to Amarillo Tascosa(16-12) 70-59, putting Monterey(23-11) in 2nd place behind Amarillo(27-3). Amarillo Caprock(6-22) got their second District win beating Monterey(23-11) 71-65 to put Plainview(18-10) and Monterey(23-11) at 6-4. Tascosa(16-12) and Palo Duro(14-13) were closing in on 2nd place with 5-5 records. Plainview(18-10) pretty much eliminated any chance Palo Duro(14-13) may have had defeating the Dons 81-68. Lubbock Monterey(23-11) eliminated Amarillo Tascosa’s(16-12) chances 75-65.

                Amarillo(27-3) continued their winning ways defeating Amarillo Tascosa(16-12) 68-57 in front of 1000 fans at the Rebels gym. Tascosa coach, Russ Gilmon, commented about Ashton Nowak, “the difference every time we play them is Ashton Nowak, when he doesn’t play well, we beat them.” Nowak was 10 for 10 from the floor for 22 points and hit 16 of those points in the 2nd half.

                Jon Mark Beilue reported for the Amarillo Globe that the first known dunk by a white guy occurred in the AHS gym against Amarillo Palo Duro(14-13). Amarillo’s 6’2” Sammy Simpson slammed one down with 16 seconds remaining in the game against the Dons.

                In the second meeting between Plainview(18-10) and Lubbock Monterey(23-11), the Bulldogs of Plainview(18-10) defeated the Plainsmen 79-67 forcing a District playoff. Monterey came into the game at 9-4 and Plainview stood at 8-5. The District playoff game was played at Levelland High School and Monterey(23-11) won 75-74 to advance.

All-District 1st Team- 6’2” Sammy Simpson(14.4)-Amarillo, 6’1” Ashton Nowak(11.4/6.1)-Amarillo, 6’4” Brant Capps(18.3/8.1)-Amarillo, 6’5” Toby Christian(23.4)-Lubbock High, 6’3” Mike Anderson(13.4)-Lubbock Monterey: 2nd Team- 6’1” Jonny Grushing-Lubbock Coronado, 6’1” Mike Mitchell-Amarillo Tascosa, 5’11” Gerre Waddell-Amarillo Palo Duro, 6’1” Willie Ansley-Plainview, 6’1” Ken Flowers-Amarillo Caprock: District MVP-Brant Capps(18.3/8.1)-Amarillo, “Coach of the Year”-Allen Simpson of Amarillo:  

3-5A Standings: Amarillo(27-3) 13-1, Lubbock Monterey(23-11) 9-5, Plainview(18-10) 9-5, Amarillo Tascosa(16-12) 6-8, Lubbock Coronado(18-14) 6-8, Amarillo Palo Duro(14-13) 6-8, Lubbock High(13-18) 13-18, Amarillo Caprock(6-22) 2-12:

District 4-AAAAA

                Odessa Permian(20-9) returned three starters from a District title team in 1987. 5’10” Lance Watkins(21.5) led the District in scoring and came together with Todd Evans(13.9) to form one of the top backcourts in West Texas. 6’3” Parker Hager(9.1) was the third returning starter for the Panthers. Greg Peacock(7.0), Robert Giddens(7.2) and Chris Turner(3.4) rounded out the Panthers lineup for Coach Charles Pattillo.

                Permian’s only District loss came on their home court at the hands of Abilene Cooper(13-14). Interestingly, the game was not close with Cooper(13-14) winning 65-53. The Panthers turned the ball over 21 times in the loss. “You have to win at home in this District,” Coach Pattillo said. “I really don’t know what happened. We weren’t very sharp…” Permian(20-9) should have been ready for Cooper having lost earlier in the season at the McMurry Tournament in December by one.

Jay Estes fueled Cooper(13-14) victory with 16 points. Doug Starr and Scotty Pugh also got into the scoring act with 14 and 12 points. Lance Watkins(21.5) triggered the Panthers attack with 18 points. 

                Odessa Permian’s biggest challenge in District action came from runner-up, San Angelo Central(19-11). Both teams entered their first showdown with 4-1 marks. The Bobcats had a formable lineup made up of 6’5” Chris Lowry(18.5), Scott Marschall(10.8), Darrell Lewis(1.2), Kirk Allbright(8.0), Trent Vore(6.6) and Mike Martin(5.2).

                With five minutes left in the game, the Panthers(20-9) had a four-point lead over San Angelo Central(19-11). Coach Pattillo ordered his team to go to four corners. Permian proceeded to run off 19 points in the final minutes to come away with a 77-69 win. “They were in tough man to man. We had to spread it out and penetrate,” Pattillo said.

Lance Watkins(21.5) finished with 28 points for Permian (20-9) and 6’5” Chris Lowry(23.6) from San Angelo Central(19-11) countered with 21. Lowry finally missed a foul shot after hitting 32 in a row on the season. Evans(13.9) and Peacock(7.1) got into the act for “Mojo” putting up 16 and 10 points apiece. “We had to count on our quickness tonight,” said Pattillo. “They’re big and good inside, so we couldn’t let them slow it up on us.” Permian(20-9) out rebounded Central(19-11) 39-34. The Bobcats had trouble with Permian’s full-court pressure committing 17 turnovers.

                On February 21, Permian(20-9) stood at 10-1, as they entered the last game of the regular season. San Angelo Central(19-11) could tie for the District with a win. Chris Turner was the difference for Permian tipping in his own miss with seven seconds on the clock. With a standing room only crowd, on their home court, the Panthers claimed the District title 82-80. The Bobcats of Central(19-11) finished second in District at 9-3. Central and the Panthers were the only teams in District 4-5A with winning records.

                Coach Pattillo explained after the win, “the second half was the best ball we’ve played all year, we showed a lot of poise and we executed everything we planned.” Watkins(21.5) finished with 28 points on 14 of 15 from the stripe. Evans(13.9) came away with 18 points, hitting 8 of 9 from the floor. Hager joined in the scoring parade with 12 points. 6’5” Chris Lowry(23.6) of San Angelo Central was amazing putting up 32 points. It was a foul shooting clinic with Permian(20-9) hitting 22 of 25, while San Angelo(19-11) hit 24 of 27 from the line.

All-District 4-5A- “M.V.P.” 5’10” Lance Watkins(21.7)-Odessa Permian and 6’5” Chris Lowry(23.6)-San Angelo Central. “Coach of the Year” Charles Pattillo-Permian and Scott Galloway-San Angelo Central, “Sophomore of the Year”-Scotty Pugh of Abilene Cooper. 1st Team- 5’9” Pat Garrett-Abilene, 6’2” Doug Starr-Abilene Cooper, 6’2” Jay Estes-Abilene Cooper, 6’3” Jay Wayland-Midland, 6’1” Victor Dancer(14.7)-Odessa High, 6’0” Ed Rheams(10.2)-Odessa High, 6’2” Todd Evans(13.9)-Odessa Permian, 6’3” Greg Peacock(7.1)-Odessa Permian, 6’2” Park Hagere(9.1)- Odessa Permian:

Standings: Odessa Permian(20-9) 11-1, San Angelo(19-11) 9-3, Abilene(8-21) 6-6, Abilene Cooper(13-14) 5-7, Odessa High(10-17) 4-8, Midland High(10-19) 4-8, Midland Lee(11-18) 3-9:

District 5-AAAAA

                In the 1986-87 school year I was hired as the assistant basketball coach at Lewisville High School in a rather unusual situation. The Lewisville I.S.D. decided to open up two new high schools in the same school year. The Colony and Flower Mound Marcus were opened, leaving the opportunity for a full-time basketball position with the Farmers at Lewisville High. Eddie Fitzhugh, the former assistant at Lewisville, moved over to Marcus to take the head basketball position with the Marauders. Needless to say, we had very little talent on hand when I arrived at Lewisville. The team had been basically gutted. Rob Wylie was the head man with the Farmers. Rob previously coached at San Angelo Central. He was great to work for and very personable. Coach Wylie was the best I ever worked with on full-court drills. For the next thirty years of coaching, I was still using many of his drills I learned back in 1987.  

Coach Wylie and myself were really excited about the varsity because of our youth. The top players were two sophomores and two juniors. 6’2” Michael Hubbard, 6’3” Keith Chambers(17.0) were both talented sophomores and 6’2” Chris Lyles and 5’5” Tad Haskins were solid juniors. The best player was probably Lyles, although Chambers had a great deal of potential. Lyles had tremendous body control, nice jumper, major ups and was really long. He was a delight to coach and very dedicated. With these four underclassmen, the future looked bright for the Farmers. Unfortunately, some of the other players on the ’87 team were not so gifted.

                District 5-A was not very strong in 1987 and was dominated by the Sherman Bearcats(28-1). Coach Al Hambrick led the Bearcats and had a real strong returning nucleus in 6’4” Byron Whitfield, 6’4” Earl McKinney and 5’7” Kevin Pruitt. This was without question one of the top returning groups in the District and the North Texas area.

Coach Hambrick welcomed to Sherman one of the top transfers in the state in 6’7” 235-pound Jason Burleson from Hamilton, Texas. Burleson was one of the top quarterback prospects in the nation and left Hamilton half way through the football season as a sophomore. Burleson’s father was the head coach at Hamilton and felt pressure from the community to diversify his offensive attack, which was centered around Jason. Because of the move, Sherman High School got this phenomenal athlete. On the basketball court, Burleson had averaged 28.5 points a game as a sophomore for Hamilton and dominated. Burleson was named “Newcomer of the Year” in Central Texas on the basketball court. He would have an immediate impact for the Bearcats.

Burleson(15.9/8.2) had a strong inside presence with a soft touch. He also had the ability to shoot with range. He was one of the most imposing athletes I’ve ever seen on a basketball court. “Jason is a big asset to this team,” point guard Kevin Pruitt said. “He can get a rebound and kick out on a break like you wouldn’t believe.”

Joining Burleson was the District M.V.P., 6’4” Earl McKinney(19.3/8.9). McKinney was very athletic and strong inside. McKinney was called the Bearcats most consistent player by Coach Hambrick. McKinney later took his talents to South Plains J.C. and West Texas State.

6’4” Byron Whitfield(16.2/6.9) was another space eater on the inside for Coach Hambrick. Byron Whitfield was described as a leaper, with shot blocking skills, as well as a strong rebounder. “My role is to rebound, move around and block shots. We have the potential and talent to go to state,” Whitfield said. Whitfield later played at Grayson County Jr. College.

The back-court was made up of 6’0” Chris Vogelsang and 5’7” Kevin Pruitt. “Kevin has all the tools to be a great point guard,” Coach Hambrick said. Pruitt played for Concordia Lutheran after graduation and Grayson County. Lack of depth was the team’s Achilles heel, especially in the backcourt. Vogelsang was a clutch shooter from outside and 6’1” Bradley Scruggs provided a lift off the bench for the Bearcats. Back-up point guard, Chad Oakley, had held the position but moved to Ohio. 

 Sherman had a rather soft schedule with few challenges for the talented group. The Bearcats opened the season with wins over Northwest(15-14) 82-56 and North Garland(20-12) 78-54. At the high school level teams were not going to be able to match-up with the size and physicality that Sherman possessed.

Denison(18-12) was a big rivalry game and the Bearcats survived 68-66 in overtime. Richardson Pearce(17-12) had their strongest team since 1983 with 6’3” Lance Levin(14.0) and 6’3” Mike Fish(13.6) leading the charge. Pearce came in at 3-0 and had just defeated a playoff bound Garland(23-10) team 80-78. The Mustangs fell to Sherman 82-73 in a great game. McKinney put up 22 points, followed by Whitfield with 20. Pearce placed four players in double figures and still loss. Kenny Feld led the charge with 19 points, Levin came away with 14 points, Fish hit 13 and Dave Wilson kicked in 12 points. I had coached Feld, Levin and Wilson as freshmen while in the Pearce feeder system.

Gainesville(13-16) was next up against the Bearcats and fell 60-51. Burleson hit 22 points in the victory over the Leopards. Sherman(28-1) traveled to McKinney and took part in the Dr. Pepper Tournament. The Bearcats came home with the championship defeating FW Carter-Riverside(11-15) 91-75, Greenville(8-21) 68-64 and Plano East(16-14) 55-41.

Burleson led Sherman in the finals with 18 points but twisted his ankle. The injury put him on the shelf for the next two weeks. This was a big blow to the Bearcats attack due to their limited depth. 6’4” Earl McKinney was named tournament M.V.P. The following Tuesday, Sherman once again defeated Plano East(16-14) 46-35 without Burleson services. 

At the Irving Tournament, Sherman missed the 6’7” Burleson. In a high school rarity, two undefeated and state ranked teams met in the first round, Sherman(9-0) and Texas City(9-0). In a game where the Bearcats were already thin on the bench, foul trouble plagued Coach Hambrick’s troops. Four players ended up fouling out and Texas High hit 29 of 40 foul shots to upset Sherman 69-62. “I don’t like to talk about officials, but I thought they were inconsistent. It was hard for us to adjust,” Hambrick said following the loss. “Not having Burleson hurt us a lot.” Jimmy Moss put up 30 points in the winning effort for Texas High(22-4).  

Sherman took the consolation bracket in Irving with wins over Dallas Thomas Jefferson(1-25) 79-56 and Irving MacArthur(20-10) 75-72. Greenville(8-21) fell next to the Bearcats for the second time 77-63. Coach Hambrick was so dissatisfied with the officials that at halftime he confronted them, “we asked the officials about the acting that had resulted in fouls being called on Burleson.” Every time the Greenville players would touch the big junior, they would flop all over the place. The results of which were four fouls at halftime for Burleson. Whitfield finished with 19 points in the win and McKinney added 18. Have I mentioned before, Greenville is a tough place to play.

As Sherman entered District, they were heavy favorites. The only real question was would they go undefeated. Coach Hambrick said going into District, “we’ve never been in this position before, but I don’t mind being picked first. It’s a good position to be in, but the only thing is, it will make people play that much harder against us.”

Denton(19-12) and Wichita Falls(14-15) were viewed as the strongest challengers to Sherman in the District campaign. The Broncos stood at 8-9 and Wichita Falls came into District at 7-8. Denton had been in the playoffs five of the previous six seasons, so they could not be overlooked. Coach Maurice Evans was still at the helm at Denton.

Two of Denton’s losses had come at the hands of top ranked Dunbar. Denton defeated FW Southwest(18-12) 56-48 and FW Richland(21-10) 60-57 in pre-district. Losses were to Duncanville(31-3) 62-45 and Arlington Sam Houston(21-11) 58-49. 6’0” Anthony Edwards(9.3), 6’4” Heath Wagner(8.6) and 5’8” Darrell Breedlove(8.4) were the Bronco leaders.

Eric Chatman came off the football field to give a big boost to the Coyotes of Wichita Falls(14-15). Chatman had only played five games with the varsity after a fine football season at quarterback. Joining Chatman were 5’10” Dwayne Bryant(21.1), 6’2” Craig Keiser(13.6), 6’0” Raymond Houston(13.8) and 6’1” David Williams(11.8).

Wichita Falls Rider(13-18) stood at 4-13 in pre-district and didn’t strike much fear in anybody. 6’2” Clayton Warren(16.0), 6’0” Willie Mozeke(11.1)  and 6’0” Daren Harmel(14.0) were Rider’s double digit threats. Lewisville served notice by defeating Plano East(16-14) in pre-district 66-57. The Farmers stood at 3-12, but had some players with the ability to get hot. Chris Lyles scored 28 points in the win over East. “We can’t look past Lewisville, I know from scouting them, they’re a good basketball team,” Coach Hambrick said. “They like a fast-paced game. They like to run and press… they have some good jumpers and shooters.”

Flower Mound Marcus(9-20) stood at 4-11 and did not have a senior class. 6’5” Bobby Kenton(18.1) was talented and Brandon Blackmon(13.6) was  underrated. The Marcus coach was Eddie Fitzhugh, the former standout at Dallas Kimball and T.C.U. Fitzhugh was a great teacher of the game. I learned to have a great deal of respect for Fitzhugh as a coach. His teams were always disciplined and played hard defense, much as he did as player. Weatherford(8-19) looked to 6’3” Trey McKinley and 6’2” Jeff Hollis for points.

As District approached, I was excited about finally seeing Sherman(28-1) up close and in person. I was still good friends with the brain trust at Richardson Pearce, Coach Walt Davis and his assistant, John Parnell. I had run into them prior to our game with Sherman and asked the two veteran coaches about the Bearcats. Their response shocked me. They both laughed and said, “good luck.” Neither had ever talked about an opponent that way in all the years I had known them. As I persisted for an explanation, they described how physically imposing the Bearcats were and just down right intimidating. “Be sure and don’t let your players watch pre-game warmup,” Coach Walt Davis said. “They will psych your players out as they tear down the goals.” They both had a good laugh at my expense.

  Irving Nimitz cancelled their December 30 game against Sherman, giving the Bearcats a two-week lay-off entering District. As we prepared for Sherman, coach Wylie and myself knew we would have to play out of our minds to have a chance. The Pearce coaches were correct, as I watched the pre-game warm-up. I was a young coach, but they were awesome with Burleson, McKinney and Whitfield doing their thing. The threesome was referred to as BMW in the Sherman newspapers. We(Lewisville) only trailed 34-28 at halftime, but the 2nd half was all Sherman, as they ran away with a 74-50 win. As the 3rd period opened, the Bearcats went on a 21-2 run and it was “game over.” It was a real humbling experience. Thirty-three years later, I still remember the Bearcats.

Next up for Sherman(28-1) was the 120-mile trip to Wichita Falls(14-15) to face the Coyotes. The thing I always remember about my travels to Wichita Falls was they had the best chicken-fried steak I had ever eaten. After the game we would have our post-game meal. I always liked to travel to Wichita Falls looking forward to the steak. Yes, I was not an intellectual giant, but those are the things that stay with you.

Coach Hambrick was worried about the travel out west to Wichita Falls and the Coyotes(14-15) press. The Coyotes, Dwayne Bryant(24.0), was the leading scorer in District. Eric Chatman had found his stroke as well scoring 24 points in the Coyotes win over Marcus. 6’2” Craig Keiser(18.0) was also seen as a threat in the contest for Wichita Falls.

Sherman came away with a 73-57 win over Wichita Falls(14-15). Burleson re-injured his ankle, which was a major concern for Coach Hambrick. Next up was the big game with Denton(19-12). Some 2000 fans showed at the Sherman gym in the highly anticipated game. McKinney was good for 25 points and Burleson finished with 21 points and 13 rebounds in the Bearcats 66-55 win. “The crowd really fired us up. I’ve never played in front of a crowd that size. I couldn’t believe it – I almost died,” Burleson commented.

Sherman was down 45-34 at halftime to Wichita Falls Rider(13-18) before turning things around and outscored Rider 27-10 during a stretch in the 2nd half. The final stood at 86-71, as Sherman continued their winning ways. BMW scored 71 of the 87 total points in the contest. Whitfield finished with 26 points, Burleson had 24 points and 10 rebounds and McKinney ended up with 21 points and 13 rebounds. The Bearcats frontline was one of the strongest in the entire state. At the end of the first round of District, Sherman(28-1) stood at 7-0, Denton(19-12) came in at 6-1 and Rider(13-18) was 5-2. Sherman had finally gotten the states attention at #10 in the T.A.B.C. polls.

Earl McKinney scored 27 points in Sherman’s 101-68 victory over Lewisville(8-21) in the first game of the second round. Sitting on the bench during such a “whippen” was humiliating. The demoralized look on the kids face after the game was something you won’t soon forget. I learned a great deal following the loss. Once again, experience is a great teacher.

Burleson was awesome in Sherman’s 85-71 win over Wichita Falls(14-15). The big junior post finished with 30 points, 15 rebounds on 14 of 20 from the floor. Pruitt added 18 points and 15 assists along with only 2 turnovers.

The second District game between Sherman(28-1) and Denton(19-12) was basically for the District title. The game was moved to the North Texas State Super Pit, because of crowd size. “It’ll be good, it’s kind of a neutral setting,” Hambrick said. Sherman(28-1) remembered well their loss the previous season against the Broncos in a 2nd place playoff game. Denton(19-12) had won the game and revenge was on the mind of most of the Sherman players. “We owe them one, I think our guys have got to be thinking about that,” Coach Hambrick explained.

For Coach Maurice Evans, this was not his first rodeo. He had been involved in several big games as a young coach and as a player for the Broncos. “We have to play a better defensive game,” Evans said. “We can’t allow them to score 70 points or better, we’re not that explosive on offense.” Denton came in at 16-10 and Sherman stood at 22-1.

Sherman(28-1) pretty much secured a playoff spot with their 65-59 win over Denton(19-12). The Bearcats dominated inside with BMW scoring 56 of their 65 points. Denton survived from the outside relying on Darrell Breedlove, Larry Keys, Matt Farlow and Tim Kimble.

Sherman won their first District title in 13 years defeating Wichita Falls Rider(13-18) 83-68 behind McKinney’s 23 points. Coach Hambrick had been looking for a solid back-up point guard behind Pruitt. He found one in this game in Derrick Dunlap. Dunlap came in and played well in crunch time. In the win over Keller(8-23) 93-57, Whitfield showed his talents with six dunks over the course of the game.

Flower Mound Marcus(9-20) really tested Sherman(28-1) the second time around losing 78-70 to the Bearcats. Brandon Blackmon and Bobby Kenyon combined for 52 of the Marauders 70 points in the loss. BMW came away with 65 of Sherman’s 78 points in the win. Blackmon came up with a big game finishing with 38 points. Whitfield threw down his 20th dunk of the season in the victory.

The Bearcats closed out District against the Weatherford(8-19) Kangaroos. Weatherford had lost the first meeting 71-38, so they decided to go to the slowdown game. By going to four corners, Weatherford(8-19) was able to control the tempo and keep things close. Whitfield was out most the 2nd half due to foul trouble. Up 43-42 with 1:37 remaining the Bearcats went to the four-corners offense themselves. Sherman ended up winning a close one 46-44 on Jason Burleson’s 32 points and 13 rebounds. Coach John Gales of Ft. Worth Trimble Tech was in the crowd scouting for his Bi-District match-up against Sherman.

Denton(19-12) was upset late in the 2nd round losing to the Lewisville Farmers(8-21) 77-62, giving the Broncos their third loss in District. Denton still had a two-game lead over WF Rider for the second playoff spot. The Farmers finished strong as their talent began to gel, winning three out of their last four games by double digits. Hubbard, Lyles and Chambers combined for 55 points in the Farmers upset win. The real difference late in the season for the Farmers was the overall play of 5’5” Tad Haskins at point guard.

Early in the season, Haskins was put down on the junior varsity, because he was pretty much a head case. My junior varsity was very average, but with Haskins running the show we were competitive. He was a varsity player playing on the junior varsity. He was dominating at the J.V. level. Remember, I had a football mentality. When Tad pulled his antics in practice with me, we left the gym and went to the football field. I informed him this was the last time we would ever see that crap on the court or he would quit. After a few 100-yard bear crawls, he saw the light. Needless to say, we were crystal clear after that episode. Tad was quick and could handle the basketball with a high IQ both on and off the court. In the 2nd round of District, Tad was back with the varsity, distributing the ball to Hubbard, Chambers and Lyles.  

Coach Hambrick was not happy with his team in the last few games of District, so he felt a warm-up game against a top-level team would prepare Sherman for the playoffs. Wichita Falls Hirschi(23-5) was considered a strong state ranked team, which would provide the test needed before facing Ft. Worth Trimble Tech. Hirschi was ranked 4th in the state rankings in class 4-A. They had just lost another warm-up game to the #1 class A school in the state, Paducah 81-77, in Vernon in front of 2600 fans. Hirschi had lost earlier in the season to Paducah 65-54. Coach Randy Byers of Hirschi called Paducah, “the best Class A team I’ve ever seen, and that’s including some of the Snook teams.”

                Hirschi(23-5) had a strong basketball tradition over the years and looked to All-Stater, 6’6” Darion Newsome(28.5/15.5). Joining Newsome in the Huskies line-up were 6’3” Keith Stevenson(14.0) and 6’5” Derrick Glasker(9.0). “I feel like we need to re-establish ourselves, we’ve had some slow-paced games recently,” Coach Hambrick said. “Hirschi likes to run, but they’re and inside type team, similar to us. With their size, we’ll be tested in the paint.”

                Sherman suffered their first loss of the season with Burleson in the line-up to Hirschi(23-5) 75-73. Darion Newsome hit a short bank shot with 31 seconds left to give Hirschi the win. The Huskies outscored Sherman 11-1 over the last three minutes of the game. With three minutes left in the contest the Bearcats led 72-64. Hirschi came back and tied things up with 1:10 remaining. Sherman had the ball looking for the last shot of the game. The Bearcats turned the ball over in the backcourt, giving Hirschi an opportunity to close things out. Following Newsome’s winning bucket, Sherman had another chance to tie the score, but turned the ball over once again with three seconds on the clock.

                Wichita Falls Hirschi’s(24-5) full court press gave Sherman fits forcing four turnovers in the final three minutes. “Their press really didn’t bother us till the very end,” Coach Hambrick said. McKinney came away with 24 points, Whitfield put in 23 points and Burleson accounted for 12.

For the winners, Keith Stevenson finished with 16 points and Newsome added 15 points, along with Daryle Gould. Coach Randy Byers commented after the win, “Sherman has some super talented kids, I don’t know if they have a weakness. I really believe it’s better to lose before the playoffs. It takes some of the pressure off you.”

                “We played better than we have the last couple of games, but Hirschi is a very good team,” Coach Hambrick said. Whitfield missed on a dunk that could have been critical in the game’s outcome, and was called for a technical for grabbing the rim. Sherman finished the game with 16 turnovers. Hirschi was extremely quick according to Coach Hambrick.

                Sherman was entering the playoffs for the first time since 1974 when they finished 20-8. Sherman was knocked out of the playoffs quickly by Marshall that year. Sherman was led during the season by coach Dick Swetnam. Swetnam later became assistant superintendent in Rockwall I.S.D. Also, the 1987 Bearcats finished with 27 wins breaking the school record set in 1955 at 26-1. In ’55 the Bearcats finished with a 26-3 record after dropping both playoff games to Kilgore, in the best two out of three match-up.

                Since 1950, Sherman has had seven 20-win seasons; 1951(22-5), 1952(22-10), 1954(23-14), 1955(26-3), 1973(20-7) and 1974(20-8). For Coach Al Hambrick, the season was the culmination of three years of hard work. Hambrick played high school ball at LaPoynor and won state three out of four seasons playing varsity ball. Hambrick moved on to play at Henderson J.C. and later Austin College in Sherman. Hambrick played for Bill Ingram at LaPoynor. Ingram called Hambrick, “one of the finest young men I’ve ever been associated with.”

His college coach, Bob Mason, said of Hambrick, “He’s just a real special individual.” Coach Hambrick served as assistant coach under Bill Estes before taking over the reins at Sherman. “He was everything you’d what as an assistant, he’s just a first-class individual in every way,” Estes said.

                Alan Burton of the Sherman Herald Democrat had a great interview with one of the former players on the Bearcats 1955 squad. I thought you would find it interesting in how the game of basketball changed over the years at the high school level. Bill Evans was the coach of the 1955 Sherman Bearcats. Kenneth McCord played on the team and shared his thoughts about how the game has changed over the years. “It just wasn’t the fast-paced game that it is today,” McCord said. “Back then, we didn’t fast break much. I think we were better outside shooters, but we couldn’t jump and go inside like they do today. Nobody dunked the ball, we had one player that was capable and he was 6’2”. Everybody ran man defense, not many zones and nobody pressed. We had metal backboards and dimly lit gyms. We played year-round and worked in the summer,” McCord said.    

All-District 5-5A 1st Team-6’2” Eric Chatman-Wichita Falls; 6’7” Jason Burleson(17.6)-Sherman; 6’4” Byron Whitfield(16.2)-Sherman; Bobby Kenyon(10.9)-Marcus, 5’9” Darrell Breedlove of Denton, 6’3” Keith Chambers(17.0)-Lewisville, Eric Chatman-Wichita Falls: “Player of the Year”-6’4” Earl McKinney(19.3/8.9)-Sherman and 6’2” Clayton Warren-Wichita Falls Rider, “Coach of the Year”-Al Hambrick-Sherman; “Sophomore of the Year”-Keith Chambers-Lewisville; “Defensive Player of the Year”- 5’9” Darrell Breedlove-Denton: 2nd Team- Kevin Pruitt-Sherman, Heath Wagner-Denton, Larry Keys-Denton, Willie Mozeke-Wichita Falls Rider, Jason Jaynes-Keller, Dwayne Bryant- Wichita Falls, 6’2” Chris Lyles-Lewisville, 6’1” Brandon Blackmon-Marcus and Trey McKinley-Weatherford:

Standings 5-5A- Sherman(28-1) 14-0, Denton(19-12) 11-3, Wichita Falls Rider(13-18) 9-5, Wichita Falls(14-15) 7-7, Flower Mound Marcus(9-20) 5-9, Lewisville(8-21) 5-9, Weatherford(8-19) 4-10, Keller(8-23) 1-13:

District 6-AAAAA

                Dunbar came into the 1987 season looking for their six-state tournament trip in eleven seasons. The Wildcats visited Austin in 1977, 1979, 1980, 1981 and 1984 with no state championships. “I’m not sure you can name another 5-A team that’s done that,” Coach Robert Hughes said. The Wildcats returned several three-year starters, which is unheard of at a school like Dunbar. 6’0” Derrick Daniels(11.0/13.0 assists) was considered the team’s top player and one of the best in the Lone Star State. His quickness and passing ability were unmatched state wide. 6’0” Myron Wilson(10.0) joined Daniels in the backcourt as one of the top outside threats in Cowtown. When Wilson was hot, he had unlimited range shooting the ball. Coming off the bench was the best six-man in the state in 6’2” Randy Williams(14.0). Williams was one of the best ever produced by Dunbar. Williams could shoot, elevate, finish inside, post-up, whatever was needed. 6’4” Mark Chambers(16.9/11.4) was the team’s leading scoring threat inside. He played much bigger than his height and was one of the team’s top defenders. Chambers later played at Cisco JC. 6’3” Coyle Allen(15.7) was Coach Hughes top defender and a strong scorer inside. 6’3” Lionel Hamilton(7.4) rounded out the starting line-up. Coming off the bench inside was outstanding depth in underclassman 6’5” Quintin Boozer and 6’5” William McDonald. Coach Hughes commented that both players were a year away, but vital to the team’s interior game. The teams lack of size was made up by their tradition and tough defense, along with excellent team quickness. 

Dunbar had faced one of the most challenging schedules in the state with wins over Denton(19-13) 49-36 and 69-51, Wilmer Hutchins(23-11) 75-74, Houston Kashmere(15-12) 77-63, Houston Yates(25-8) 86-63, Killeen Ellison(25-9) 84-60, Houston Milby(16-16) 82-47, Bryan(23-11) 98-73, Plano(20-12) 88-52, and Trimble Tech(24-10) 74-62.

Although the District race was not close, 6-5A had some outstanding teams. Ft. Worth Paschal(25-9) came into District with a great deal of momentum having just captured one of the top tournaments in the state in San Antonio. Paschal(25-9) defeated Bryan(23-11) 68-66 to win the Optimist Tournament in San Antonio. Paschal entered District with an impressive 14-game winning streak. The Panthers went down to Macon Southwest out of Georgia 82-43 in the What-a-Burger Tournament, and fell to Houston Yates(25-8) 82-62 and Kimball(23-8) 62-55.

Coach Walter Dansby replaced Jim Wall at Paschal and struggled his first two seasons with the Panthers. Dansby played sophomores his first season and took his share of lumps. James Hill, Donnel Browning, David Trimble and Frank Bailey saw major minutes as sophomores. Freshman Gray Bullis also saw court time in Coach Dansby’s first season. Paschal standouts were senior 5’8” James Hill(23.7), 6’8” Gray Bullis(12.5 rebounds) and Frank Bailey(11.0 assts) and Donnel Browning.

Trimble Tech had a solid win over Plano(20-12) 70-57 in pre-district. The Bulldogs had one of the best backcourts in the state with 6’4” Jerrold Gales and 6’4” George Conner. Conner averaged over 20 points a game at the next level at SW Texas State and Gales played at North Texas State.

FW Southwest(18-12) proved themselves with a solid win over Highland Park(27-5) 63-47 in the What-a-Burger tournament. Southwest was fueled by 6’8” 350-pound Oliver Miller. Miller later played at Arkansas and in the N.B.A. 6’4” Robbie Mitchell(17.6/12.1) was the leading scorer for Coach Wood and Southwest.

The District landscape was dominated by Dunbar, but there was plenty of competition. It might be said that this was one of the top Districts in the state.

                Ft. Worth Trimble Tech(24-9) took on Paschal(25-9) in an early season District showdown. The Panthers were down 57-36 with only five minutes remaining when they began pressing Trimble Tech. Paschal got the lead down to one point at 60-59 before George Conner began hitting foul shots. Conner hit 6 of 8 down the stretch to give the Bulldogs a 70-65 win. James Hill(23.7) led Paschal with 25 points. The game was played at Billingsley Field House.

                Ft. Worth Dunbar(34-0) took down Trimble Tech(24-9) 72-62 in the two rivals first round game. Randy Williams led the way for the Wildcats with 20 points, followed by Mark Chambers with 18, Coyle Allen added 14 points. Derrick Daniels had a dismal game hitting only 3 of 14 field goal attempts. Coach Hughes was not happy and commented on Daniels play, “every one of those were taken with a degree of difficulty, Derrick wasn’t thinking about scoring, he was thinking about grandstanding.” Dunbar controlled the glass as usual with Chambers pulling down 15 boards, Lionel Hamilton finished with 15 rebounds and Allen added 10. Trimble Tech dropped to 3-2 in District action having lost previously to Ft. Worth Southwest.

                Ft. Worth Southwest(18-12) put their hat in the ring with a 52-50 win over Paschal(25-9) at Wilkerson-Greines Activity Center. Carlos Mendez was the hero for Southwest hitting a pair of free throws with three seconds remaining.

                Paschal(25-9) played a critical first round game against Dunbar(34-0). The Panthers 6’8” Gray Bullis finished with a career high 26 points and created havoc inside for Dunbar. The big junior post was 10 of 11 from the field and 5 of 6 from the stripe. 6’4” Mark Chambers of Dunbar fouled out with 5:53 remaining with Dunbar up 59-53.

“We got the ball inside and we got Chambers out,” said Paschal Coach Walter Dansby. Paschal had numerous turnovers late attempting to get the ball inside to their big man. Derrick Daniels led Dunbar to the 78-67 victory scoring 17 points. Coyle Allen joined the scoring parade for Dunbar with 18 points, Randy Williams added 13 points and Chambers finished with 12 points. James Hill(23.1) was critical to Paschal’s effort finishing with 18 points.

                Trimble Tech(24-9) was looking for revenge against Ft. Worth Southwest(18-12), as the Bulldogs had lost previously in the first round. Both teams had two District losses coming into the game. Trimble Tech(24-9) got the win 59-52 paced by George Conner.

                Ft. Worth Arlington Heights(18-12) had a formidable team and showed why defeating Paschal(25-9) 60-58. Eventually this was the loss that eliminated the Panthers from the playoffs. Joseph Collier scored a tip-in with five seconds remaining to give Arlington Heights the win. The Yellowjackets of Arlington Heights scored the final eight points of the game to claim victory. Collier finished the evening with 19 points. Paschal fell to 5-4 in District, Southwest stood at 6-3 and Tech came in at 7-2 in District action. James Hill was good for 19 points in the loss and Donnell Browning finished with 17 points.

                Paschal(25-9) faced a must win situation against Trimble Tech in their 2nd round match-up. The Bulldogs had won the first meeting between the two rivals 70-65. The Panthers kept their playoff hopes alive with an 81-80 victory in double overtime at Wilkerson Greines. Paschal’s James Hill(23.7) was going for the game winner with only 12 seconds remaining when George Conner blocked his attempt. Hill got another chance seconds later and hit the winning bucket with three ticks on the clock. Browning led the Panthers with 23 points and Bullis added 13 points. Gales was the leader for Tech with 23 points and Conner added 16 points. Tech now stood at 7-3, while Paschal improved to 6-4 in District.

                Dunbar(34-0) manhandled Trimble Tech(24-9) in their second District contest 84-59. Chambers paced Dunbar with 23 points in the win over Tech and Williams followed with 17 and Daniels came away with 15 points. Conner was good for 15 points for the Bulldogs and Gales had 16. Hughes was very hard on his players despite the lopsided score. Several of his players spoke out about how hard Hughes had been on the team. Star point guard, Derrick Daniels said, “I just don’t think all of that is necessary and it makes it hard for us to play our own game. I’d like to play relaxed and it was hard to do that tonight because we didn’t know when coach would go off again. I’m getting real tired of that,” the junior guard said.”

                “You would have thought that we lost this game the way coach was carrying on,” Chambers said. “I just try to block it all out of my mind because I know how he is and I’ve played for him a long time.”

Randy Williams chimed in saying, “sometimes the tongue lashings cause me to not want to enter the game, this is supposed to be fun, we all like to play,” Williams continued, “but at least when you’re sitting over on the bench you don’t have to worry about being fussed at. But that’s just coach Hughes style and we all like playing for him.”

                Coach Hughes was not real fond of the comments and refused to let his players talk to the press the rest of the season. He also failed to make comments following the Trimble Tech game. “This is my team and we don’t have any room for the showtime type of stuff,” Hughes said. “I’m not going to stand for that.”

                Dunbar(34-0) had little trouble winning their 11th District title in 12 seasons defeating Southwest(18-12) 74-56. Robbie Mitchell led Southwest with 21 points and Myron Wilson was the leader for Dunbar with 22 points. Coyle Allen and Chambers both added 15 points apiece for the Wildcats. Southwest, Trimble Tech and Paschal all stood at 8-4 battling for that second playoff spot with two games remaining.

                Paschal(25-9) eliminated  FW Southwest(18-12) 60-58 in a close one at Wilkerson Greines. Southwest led 54-48 with three minutes remaining when Paschal went to full-court pressure. Southwest turned the ball over three straight times, which got the Panthers back into the game. At the 2:18 mark, Browning stole the ball to put Paschal up 57-54 on a three-point play. Thomas Nolley of Paschal was singled out following the game for his outstanding defensive effort holding Robbie Mitchell(17.6) to only eight points.

                Trimble Tech(24-9) kept pace with Paschal(25-9) defeating Ft. Worth Arlington Heights 75-65. Tech and Paschal both stood at 9-4 entering their last game of District action. There was only one minor problem for Paschal, they still had one remaining game against Dunbar. They would have to beat the Wildcats to force a game for the second playoff spot.

                In front of 4500 fans at Wilkerson-Greines, Paschal played their best game of the season taking Dunbar into double overtime before surrendering 70-66. Randy Williams of Dunbar hit a 15-foot jumper with nine seconds left to give the Wildcats the victory. Myron Wilson hit two foul shots with one second remaining to make the final margin four points. It was Dunbar’s closest game since their one-point victory over Wilmer Hutchins on November 25.

The big blow coming out of the Paschal game was leading scorer and rebounder, Mark Chambers, was gone for the season with two broken bones in his foot. Chambers missed the entire 4th quarter and both overtimes. Chambers still led the way for Dunbar with 19 points and Wilson added 16 points along with Daniels 14. Hill was the leader for Paschal with 19 points, Browning scored 17 points and Bullis added 16. Paschal finished an outstanding season at 25-9 and missed the playoffs. “It was the most exciting game I’ve ever been involved in my entire coaching career,” coach Walter Dansby said. Hughes refused to comment following the game, due to his players comments that were published in the paper following the Trimble Tech game. 

Dunbar finished the regular season with an incredible 34-0 record. The Wildcats were ranked #3 in the nation by USA Today and #1 in the TABC state rankings. How good were the Wildcats, only time would tell? Chambers loss would devastate most teams, but the Wildcats just reloaded.

All-District 6-5A 1st Team-5’8” James Hill(23.7)-FW Paschal; 6’4” Mark Chambers(16.9/11.4)-FW Dunbar; 6’4” George Connor(19.3)-FW Trimble Tech; 6’4” Robbie Mitchell(17.6/12.1)-FW Southwest; 6’3” Coyle Allen-FW Dunbar; “Player of the Year”-6’2” Derrick Daniels(11.0/13.8 assists)-FW Dunbar; “Newcomer of the Year”- Derrick Boyd-FW Wyatt; “Coach of the Year”-Robert Hughes-FW Dunbar:

Standing 6-5A- FW Dunbar(34-0) 14-0, FW Trimble Tech(24-9) 10-4, FW Paschal(25-9) 9-5, FW Southwest(18-12) 9-5, FW Arlington Heights(18-12) 8-6, FW Wyatt(5-21) 4-10, FW Western Hills(4-22) 2-12, FW Eastern Hills(1-23) 0-14:

District 7-AAAAA

Arlington Martin looked to be an early season favorite to take first in 7-5A. The Warriors returned five starters from a 22-9 team. Malcolm Frisby(6.5), 6’2” Vernon Ragsdale(15.3), 6’5” Gary and 6’7” Jerry Freemon(10.6/10.0) and 6’5” David Inman(11.3/6.0). Gary Freemon handled the point guard position and presented a lot of problems with his size for opponents. Ragsdale was a 92% foul shooter that proved helpful late in games.

Martin advanced to the semi-finals in the Dallas Dr. Pepper Tournament losing to Dallas Skyline(34-2) 59-51. Martin defeated Bishop Lynch(25-10) in the 3rd place game 74-67. Jerry Freemon led the Warriors against Lynch with 17 points. Martin faced back to back future N.B.A. players in the Dr. Pepper tourney playing Skyline’s Larry Johnson(29.0) and 6’8” Stephen Howard(22.5) with Lynch. Howard put up 12 points against Martin and Johnson finished with 20 points against the Warriors. Both were held well below their average.

 Arlington Martin defeated S.O.C.(13-14) 86-71 in pre-district along with Bishop Lynch(25-10) 74-67 and South Garland(19-13) 61-58. Martin losses included Irving MacArthur(20-10) 76-56, Duncanville(32-3) 54-46, Grand Prairie(23-10) 64-62 and Dallas Skyline(34-2) 59-51.

The District race was very competitive with five teams making strong runs at the two playoffs spots. Arlington Martin(24-8), L.D. Bell(23-11), Arlington Lamar(18-12), Arlington Sam Houston(21-11) and Ft. Worth Richland Hills(21-10).

Martin(24-8) rolled to an 8-0 mark early in District before being upended by Ft. Worth Richland(21-10) at Thomas Coliseum 50-48 in overtime. Jon Fletcher(12.0) hit the winning bucket at the buzzer for the Rebels. Martin dropped to 8-1 and Richland moved to 7-2 in District. Matt Pruitt put up 20 points for FW Richland and Brian Cimperman finished with 12 points. Malcolm Hass was held to only six points by Martin. Jerry Freemon was the leader for the Warriors with 15 points. The game was not well played by either team. Martin only shot 25% from the floor and Richland wasn’t much better with 38%.

Martin(24-8) split with Richland Hills(21-10), Arlington Sam Houston(21-11) and L.D. Bell(23-11) and took District with a 15-3 mark. The Warriors losses were close. Sam Houston came away with a one-point win at 65-64 over Martin.

The District championship game was played in the last regular season game between Richland Hills and Arlington Martin. The Warriors pulled out a 54-53 win to take the title. Jerry Freemon led the charge for Martin with 15 points and 6’2” Malcolm Haas paced Richland Hills with 14 points.

In discussing the District title Coach Husband said, “it means a lot for us, we don’t have to play Duncanville.” Martin had shared the title the two previous seasons and went into the playoffs as the 2nd seed.

Coach Robert Gill of Arlington High was impressed with the Warriors saying Martin was the only area team he has seen that could stay with Dunbar. “I think Martin could give them a heckuva game,” Gill said. “Martin can rebound with them, not many other teams in the area can…”

Martin’s size and balanced scoring made them tough to defend. “We’ve been fortunate enough not to have a guy scoring 20 points a game,” Coach Danny Husband said. “When you depend on one player and he has a bad night, you’re going to get beat.”

Richland Hills(21-10) came away with a 14-4 mark and took the second playoff spot, splitting with Sam Houston(21-11) and Arlington Martin(24-8). Arlington Lamar(18-12) knocked Richland(21-10) out of the top spot beating them in both games 50-43 and 41-40.

District 7-5A played 18 games in league action. Some teams can get lost over the course of play. L.D. Bell(23-11) in the Hurst-Bedford ISD was probably the strongest team at the end of the season, but lost three of their first four games. All the games were played prior to the Christmas holiday. Arlington(14-17) beat the Blue Raiders 66-58 in overtime, Arlington Lamar(18-12) defeated L.D. Bell 54-43 and Arlington Martin(24-8) took them down 59-52.

Following the setbacks, Coach Ray DeBord brought up a young 15-year old from the Junior Varsity named Tommy Maddox. The sophomore proceeded to hit 32 points in his first varsity game against Ft. Worth Arlington Heights. With 6’3” Maddox opening things up, teams were unable to double and triple team Courtney Jeans. “We needed another scorer to give Courtney an opening,” Coach DeBord said. “People have been putting their whole defensive scheme on stopping him and made him look like something he really isn’t. Courtney is a super player and does things in practice that you wouldn’t believe. With Tommy in there now, people will have to defend Courtney honestly.”

                As L.D. Bell(23-11) entered the Westside Lions Club tournament over the holidays, they were trying to come together as a team. The Blue Raiders went all the way to the finals losing to Ft. Worth Dunbar(34-0) 84-59. In the quarterfinals, Bell had upset nationally ranked Macon Southwest 40-39. In the semi-finals they took down Ft. Worth Southwest(18-12) 55-46.

Following the holiday’s, the Blue Raiders were very competitive. L.D. Bell(23-11) did a number on Arlington Sam Houston(21-11) 64-62. Two of the top players in the state went at it in this one. Jeans(19.1/12.0) from L.D. Bell came away with 22 points and Jamaal Brown(21.7) from Sam Houston put up 26 points. Jeans ended up at Texas, while Brown took his talents to Ohio State. L.D. Bell(23-11) proved very competitive with wins over Arlington Lamar(18-12) 51-50 and Arlington Martin(24-8) 62-53. Unfortunately, the Blue Raiders couldn’t get past Ft. Worth Richland(21-10), losing to the Rebels both times 70-60 and 60-58.

Arlington Lamar(18-12) was unable to make the playoffs but finished with their first winning season in school history. The team centered around 6’3” Ricky Marshall. Lamar was coached by Larry Hargett and assisted by Brad Chasteen. Starters included Marshall, David Hogg, Anthony Black, Brett Misenhimer and Terrance Parmer. Coach Hargett had coached at North Carolina at Greensboro from 1978-82 and was an assistant at Baylor from 1982-84.

                Arlington Sam Houston(21-11) traveled over the holidays to Dallas and played in the Dr. Pepper tournament against the best in Big D. The Texans lost to Bishop Lynch(25-10) in the quarterfinals 76-63. Jamaal Brown received most of the attention when discussing Sam Houston and rightfully so. The 6’2” junior was one of the top players in the state.

Arlington Sam Houston(21-11) downed Duncanville(32-3) 72-64, Denton(19-13) 58-49, with losses coming at the hands of Highland Park(27-5) 68-50, Grand Prairie(23-10) 67-55, Duncanville(32-3) 62-56.

The Sam Houston(21-11) Texans had some great District wins over Ft. Worth Richland(21-10) 75-67, Arlington Martin(24-8) 65-64, Arlington Lamar(18-12) twice and L.D. Bell(23-11) 69-65. Losses came against L.D. Bell 64-62, Arlington Martin(24-8) and FW Richland(21-10) 56-55. Grapevine(14-17) snuck up on Sam Houston(21-11) 72-64 and Arlington(14-17) took them down 87-72. Both these teams had losing records in District and eliminated the Texans from the playoff hunt.

All-District 7-5A 1st Team-6’2” Vernon Ragsdale(15.3)-Arlington Martin; 6’5” David Inman(11.0)-Arlington Martin; 5’9” Gary Webb-Arlington High; 6’2” Malcolm Haas-FW Richland Hills; 6’3” Mike Pruitt-FW Richland; 6’3” Ricky Marshall-Arlington Lamar; 6’3” Jamaal Brown(21.7)-Arlington Sam Houston; 6’2” Courtney Jeans(19.1) L.D. Bell; 6’5” Guy Odom-L.D. Bell; 6’3” James Williams-Euless Trinity; “Player of the Year”- Vernon Ragsdale-Arlington Martin; “Offensive Player of the Year”-Jamaal Brown-Arlington Sam Houston; “Defensive Player of the Year”-Mike Pruitt-FW Richland; “Sophomore of the Year”-6’3” Jason Bigham-Arlington and 6’5” Tommy Maddox-L.D. Bell; “Coach of the Year”-Danny Husband-Arlington Martin:

Standings 7-5A- Arlington Martin(24-8) 15-3, FW Richland Hills(21-10) 14-4, Arlington Sam Houston(21-11) 13-5, Arlington Lamar(18-12) 13-5, L.D. Bell(23-11) 12-6, Euless Trinity(14-16) 8-10, Arlington(14-17) 8-10, Grapevine(14-17) 5-13, Haltom(5-24) 1-17, Burleson(2-27) 1-17:  

District 8-AAAAA

                District 8-5A was almost conceded to the Duncanville Panthers in 1987. Coach Phil McNeely had possibly his strongest team up to that point. Starters included three juniors and two seniors. After taking 2nd in the Dallas Dr. Pepper Tournament to Dallas Skyline(33-1), Duncanville(31-2) was considered one of the top teams in the Metro-plex along with FW Dunbar(34-0) and Skyline(33-1). Coach McNeely had an 83-16 record in his three seasons with the Panthers.

Two 6’5” juniors were at the heart of the Panther success. Arthur Hurst(11.3/11.0) and Marcus Crowell(12.2) were outstanding rebounders with solid offensive games. Hurst had transferred in from Dallas Kimball. 5’8” James Burkhalter was one of the most explosive guards in the entire state, averaging 22.4 points a game along with 6.5 assists. 6’4” Ben Ratliff provided depth off the bench behind Crowell and Hurst. 6’2” David Nied was a returning starter as well and only a junior.

                Irving MacArthur(20-10) and Grand Prairie(23-9) were considered the major threats to Duncanville dominance. Daniel Myers, a 6’5” post from Grand Prairie, was considered one of the best in the District along with 6’2” Lamont Louden(19.4) from South Grand Prairie(12-18).  

                Duncanville(31-2) got past Grand Prairie(23-9) 60-59 in an early District match-up of front runners. Hurst and Burkhalter led the Panthers charge with 20 and 23 points. Grand Prairie(23-9) placed four players in double figures. In the two teams second encounter, Duncanville(31-2) again came out on top 53-51. Burkhalter, David Nied and Hurst all put up double figures for the Panthers. 6’5” Garron Thursby propelled the Gophers with 23 points.

                The Cardinals from Irving MacArthur(20-10) got into the middle of the District race as the season progressed. Duncanville(31-2) and Irving MacArthur(20-10) went head to head with the Panthers having little trouble in the first game winning 81-63. The Cardinals were much more competitive in the second game losing 66-60. Burkhalter again was big for Coach McNeely with 23 points, followed by Crowell with 19 points. MacArthur looked to Jason Lowe for 21 points in the loss. The losses by MacArthur forced a playoff between Grand Prairie and the Cardinals for 2nd place.

                Grand Prairie(23-9) and MacArthur(20-11) split their District games with MacArthur taking the first meeting 53-44 and Grand Prairie coming back to take the re-match 48-43.

                In the big match-up in District 8-5A, Grand Prairie(23-9) and Irving MacArthur(20-11) battled for the second playoff spot. The two schools came together at Arlington High School to settle matters. The Gophers proved to strong winning 60-49 to advance to the playoffs against Arlington Martin(24-8). With the scored tied at 34 apiece, Grand Prairie went on a 14-4 run to pull away for good. 5’8” Danny Searuggs came up big for the Gophers with 18 points and 8 steals on the evening. Searuggs and 5’8” Gilbreath combined for 34 points in the Gophers winning effort. The Gophers inside combo of 6’5” Garron Thursby and 6’5” Daniel Myers only managed 18 points on the evening. Sophomore post, Brian Zvonecek led MacArthur with 11 points.

Duncanville(31-2) was impressive in pre-district beating L.D. Bell(23-11) 55-53, Plano(20-12) 66-54, FW Southwest(18-12) 71-58, Arlington Martin(25-9) 64-62, Lubbock Monterey(23-11) 84-64, Arlington Sam Houston(21-11) 62-56, Denton(19-13) 62-45, Richardson Pearce(17-12) 69-62, Richardson(29-7) 70-65 and Lake Highlands(18-12) 65-50.  Losses by the Panthers came against Arlington Sam Houston(21-11) 72-64 and Dallas Skyline(33-1) 60-54 in overtime.

Irving MacArthur(20-11) defeated Arlington Martin(25-9) 76-56. Losses by the Cardinals were to L.D. Bell(23-11) 69-62, Richardson(29-7) 60-56, Garland Lakeview(25-8) 80-56.  

Grand Prairie pre-season schedule was challenging as the Gophers defeated Tyler John Tyler(24-9) 76-67, Arlington Sam Houston(21-11) 67-55, Arlington Martin(25-9) 64-62, Lake Highlands(18-12) 67-65 in overtime, Plano(20-12) 64-59; Losses included North Garland(20-12) 64-52, North Mesquite(14-17) 39-35, Dallas Kimball(23-8) 68-53. 

All-District 8-5A 1s Team-5’8” James Burkhalter(22.4)-Duncanville; 6’5” Mike Honeycutt-Mansfield; 6’2” Lamont Louden(19.4)-South Grand Prairie; 6’5” Garron Thursby-Grand Prairie; 6’5” Daniel Myers-Grand Prairie; 6’5” Arthur Hurst(11.3)-Duncanville; 6’1” Charles Boyce-DeSoto; “Player of the Year” James Burkhalter-Duncanville; “Sophomore of the Year”-Brian Zvonecek-Irving MacArthur; “Coach of the Year”-Phil McNeely-Duncanville:

Standings 8-5A-Duncanville(31-2) 14-0, Irving MacArthur(20-10) 11-3, Grand Prairie(23-9) 11-3, South Grand Prairie(12-18) 6-8, DeSoto(14-17) 5-9, Mansfield(10-19) 4-10, Irving(8-21) 3-11, Irving Nimitz(7-22) 2-12:


T.R. Sullivan of the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram playoff picks:

                Teams to Beat-Dunbar(34-0), Amarillo(27-3), Duncanville(31-2):  

                Teams to Watch-Sherman(27-2), Arl. Martin(24-8), EP Eastwood(26-5), Trimble Tech(24-9):

                As the Region I playoffs began in class 5-A, it was truly amazing the talent that had assembled stretching from El Paso all the way to Ft. Worth. Whoever survived the region would once again be a major threat to capture the state title. T.R. Sullivan of the Star-Telegram made his picks prior to the playoffs in 1987 with a great deal of accuracy. Most knowledgeable fans viewed Dunbar, Amarillo and Duncanville as the teams to beat coming into the playoffs. 

Ft. Worth Trimble Tech(24-9) and Sherman(27-2) prepared to meet in Bi-District at Loos Field House in Dallas. I was in attendance and new very little about Trimble Tech. Tech was led by Coach John Gales, who was the brother of Jimmy Gales, the head coach at North Texas State. John Gales had been at Tech since 1968. Gales graduated from Ft. Worth I.M. Terrell in 1957 and played basketball at Wichita State.

Gales was thankful to make the playoffs. “We had a heck of a battle for 2nd place,” Gales said. Both Sherman and Tech looked to run the ball up the court as Gales commented, “I’m not interested in slowing things down.” Tech entered the playoff hunt for the second year in a row. The biggest difference in the two teams is Tech had a deep bench and Sherman was pretty thin. Also, Tech had played a much more challenging schedule than the Bearcats.

                The Tech attack centered around George Conner(19.3) and Jerrold Gales(14.8). The pair were considered two of the elite guards in Ft. Worth and state. Broderick Steele, Winston Johnson and Marcus Anthony were other key players for the Bulldogs.

“Conner is a good player; he can penetrate and also shoot from the outside. Gales is a very good wing shooter and they go to them in the clutch.” Coach Hambrick explained. “We’ll take the fast break if it is there, but we’re not going to get into a race with them.” Hambrick continued saying, “their main strength is their depth, they use about 10 people and like to run on offense, they are extremely quick.”

                Coming into the contest, Coach Al Hambrick was delivered a tough blow when he was informed Jason Burleson had been accused of assault involving an Austin College Coed. “As far as I’m concerned, it’s mere accusations and he’s innocent,” Hambrick said.

                The Trimble Tech-Sherman game came right down to the last five seconds of the game. Sherman’s Chris Vogelsang went to the foul line shooting two foul shots with the score tied at 65. Vogelsang missed the first attempt and Trimble Tech immediately called timeout. Coach Gales was trying to ice Vogelsang. The senior guard had missed all three of his foul shot attempts prior to the critical second shot. Vogelsang stepped up to the line and gave Sherman a one-point advantage 66-65. Trimble Tech immediately pushed the ball up court and missed a 15-footer at the buzzer that rimmed out. “All I told him during the timeout was to use your legs,” Coach Hambrick said.

                The Bearcats were down 53-40 midway through the 3rd quarter when Trimble Tech made what turned out to be a poor decision. Coach Gales had his troops go into the delay game. Gales and Connor began working one on one near mid-court. Sherman proceeded to force five turnovers and scored seven unanswered points going on a 9-2 run. “I think them trying to stall helped us,” Hambrick said following the big win. “I thought the difference in the game was when they went to the spread,” point guard Kevin Pruitt said. “The momentum shifted,” Earl McKinney agreed.

                Coach Gales explained his decision, “we’ve worked on that all year, we wanted to set them up and make them think we were stalling and then penetrate for the easy shot.”

                Burleson was the man in crunch time for Coach Hambrick. “Jason did a super job; we went to him about 90% of the time in the 4th quarter.”

I think our crowd kept us in the game tonight,” Burleson said. BMW scored 55 of Sherman’s total 66 points. Burleson finished with 25 points. The lead changed hands 13 times during the contest and it was Sherman’s first Bi-District win since 1954. Gales and Conner both finished with 20 points apiece in the Tech loss.

 For me, I didn’t recall much about the game except how talented the backcourt of Trimble Tech was with Connor and Gales. They were really gifted. The finality of the playoffs really hit home, Trimble Tech’s season was over and nobody would see that talented backcourt again at the high school level.

El Paso Andress(23-10) came into the game against El Paso Eastwood(26-5) with very little rest. Andress played two games earlier in the week, if you recall, defeating El Paso Austin and El Paso Coronado. The Andress-Eastwood game was part of a double-header along with El Paso Bel Air and El Paso High at the Special Events Center. Andress(23-10) relied on a small quick line-up, while Eastwood(26-5) had a stronger inside game. Andress starters were Vince Ramirez(12.2), William Doctor(12.8), Burrell Cleveland(13.1), Mike Reyes(9.3) and Ralph Hayes or Arthur Edgar. If the Eagles were going to beat Eastwood they would need to limit the inside game of 6’5” Randy Bustillos(12.3) and 6’4” Jimmy Moreno(10.4).

The two teams had previously met twice before with the Troopers winning both games 57-50 and 71-48. Eastwood(26-5) continued their mastery over the Eagles 67-52 behind the twin towers, Bustillos and Moreno. The inside game of the Troopers combined for 32 points for Coach Bobby Lesley. Coach addressed Bustillos improvement saying, “his improvement the second half of the season was the reason for our improvement as a team during the second half of the season.” Rich Olivas scored 14 points for Eastwood, all from range. Wagner ran the Troopers show finishing with 9 points and 9 assists. Ramirez paced the Eagles with 13 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists. Andress finished the season at 23-11.

In the second game of the double-header, El Paso Bel Air(22-9) prepared to meet El Paso High(23-8). The Tigers of El Paso came away with a tough 58-57 overtime win to advance. 6’0” Kelly Rebe came off the bench to spark the Tigers with 16 points. Victor Molina was good for 17 points in the victory. The El Paso zone defense of Coach Tony Harper did a number on the city’s leading scorer Dave Ranson(19.3). The 5’10” Ranson was held to only 11 points. With Ranson struggling, Bel Air looked to Albert Hernandez for 17 points and 8 rebounds along with Steve Vicencio’s(10.5) 13 points. Bel Air finished the season at 22-10.

Lubbock Monterey(24-11) and Odessa Permian(20-9) were pretty familiar with one another having played each other twice previously. The Plainsmen had two wins over Permian entering their Bi-District match-up. Monterey had handled the Panthers pretty easily 88-56 and 61-53. Coach Pattillo of Odessa Permian traveled to Levelland to get another look at Monterey(24-11), as they faced off against Plainview(18-10). Monterey(24-11) had advanced to the big dance taking down Plainview 75-74 in a District play-in game.

Speaking of Monterey, Coach Pattillo commented, “they’re real sound fundamentally, we’ll try to make them shoot the ball from the outside, but I don’t think their post can go outside and score like Lowry, in fact, I’m counting on it,” Pattillo said. Lowry being Chris Lowry of San Angelo Central. Monterey(24-11) came in with four double digit scorers. Mike Anderson(13.1), Alvin Alleyne(11.4), Chad Pierce(11.4) and Kyle Avery(11.2) provided the scoring for the Plainsmen along with Shane Weisbuerg(5.8).

Permian(20-9) took down Monterey(24-11) at Seminole High school 57-55. Monterey out-scored the Panthers 18-3 in the 3rd quarter and seemed to be taking control of the game leading 45-41. While trailing by four points, Pattillo told his troops, “Monterey is playing like they want it more.” Permian proceeded to take the lead 48-47 with 2:48 remaining and went to their all too familiar spread offense. Every time Permian would hit a layup, Monterey came right back with a long-range jumper by Chad Pierce. With 34 seconds, Monterey put Watkins on the line with a one and one situation. Watkins shot 82% from the stripe during the season and became the school record holder. Watkins closed out the game hitting 4 for 4 to put the game away. Monterey’s Kyle Avery hit the jumper to make the final read 57-55 in favor of Permian. The outstanding guard combo of Watkins(21.7) and Evans again paced the Panthers with 19 points and 18 points. Evans(13.9) again shot the lights out hitting 9 of 13 from the floor. Monterey finished the season at 24-12.

Amarillo(27-3) opened the playoffs against San Angelo Central(19-11) at Howard College. Coach Scott Galloway of Central was just happy to be in the playoffs. The Bobcats were making only their 2nd appearance in the state playoffs since their 1963 state championship team. Coach Simpson of Amarillo commented, “when you get in the playoffs, you’re a better team, the pressure is off in getting in. We’re just one of the 64 teams.” Amarillo was more than just one of 64 teams being ranked at #7 in the TABC rankings. Amarillo was heavily favored with all five starters hitting over 50% from the floor and four averaging in double figures.

Coach Simpson commented about his ’87 squad, “for 30 games, this is the best basketball team I’ve had, the reason is defense, this is a much better defensive team than last year. The only thing that concerns me is depth. Our depth is not playing very well right now.”

San Angelo Central(19-11) was paced by the outstanding skills of 6’5” Chris Lowry(24.0). Lowry had committed to the Air Force. “He’s a take-it-to-the-hole type guy who draws a lot of fouls and is shooting 84% from the line,” Simpson said. Starters for the Bobcats were 6’7” Kirk Albright, 6’0” Trent Vore(6.6), 6’1” Scott Marshall(11.2) and 6’0” Colin Buroline(4.2). San Angelo Central had won 16 of their previous 19 games coming into the playoffs.

San Angelo Central(19-11) brought a big contingent, but it had little effect, as they had no chance against Amarillo(27-3) losing 82-55. Lowry was the only real threat finishing with 22 points. Simpson came away with 23 points, followed by Capps with 17 and Nowak added 12 points.

Ft. Worth Richland Hills(21-10) looked to be the underdog as they approached their coming game with the highly ranked Duncanville(31-2) Panthers. Richland relied on 6’2” Matt Pruitt and 6’3” Malcolm Haas for their inside strength.

Duncanville had one of the most potent teams in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area. 5’8” James Burkhalter(22.4), 6’5” Arthur Hurst(11.3) and 6’5” Marcus Crowell(12.2) were all critical to Coach Phil McNeely’s attack.

In a game that wasn’t supposed to be close, Duncanville(31-2) nipped Ft. Worth Richland(21-10) 66-63. 6’5” Arthur Hurst(11.3) played well finishing with 27 points and 17 rebounds. Crowell(12.2) also finished in double figures with 13 points as did Burkhalter(22.4) with 15 points. Haas led Richland with 20 points, Pruitt added 13 points, Fletcher put up 14 points. The game was close throughout. The difference was the glass. The Panthers held a 31-16 advantage over Richland. “The game in a nutshell was the offensive boards,” Richland coach Ken West explained. “That was their best play, the missed shot and the tipped rebound.”

Duncanville was up 60-49 with 4:35 remaining when the Rebels forced some turnovers and rallied closing the gap to 60-57 with 1:56 left.

Arlington Martin(24-8) took on Grand Prairie(24-9) in Bi-District at Wilkerson-Greines in Ft. Worth. The Warriors put away the Gophers of Grand Prairie in a hard fought 59-53 victory. Grand Prairie’s 6’5” Daniel Meyer got into serious foul trouble and left the game at the 6:05 mark of the 4th quarter. Meyers ended up sitting the final 4:56 of the 3rd period as well, which enabled Arlington Martin to rally to a 48-39 lead. The Warriors closed the game hitting 7 of 9 foul shots in the last minute. Martin’s Coach Danny Husband was hoping he could limit Meyers influence on the game’s outcome. “We tried to go at him all night, go at him and get him in foul trouble,” Husband said. With Meyers on the sideline, Martin’s inside game flourished with David Inman(11.3) shooting 10 of 13 from the floor and scoring 20 points with 9 rebounds. “It was just soft rims,” Inman said. Vernon Ragsdale(15.3) added 16 points for the Warriors. Meyers finished with only 10 points for the Gophers. Brian Dubiski was the leader for Grand Prairie with 14 points. Grand Prairie had defeated Martin earlier in the season by two points. Martin finished the evening hitting 15 of 18 free throws, while the Gophers struggled hitting only 5 of 12.

                Sherman(28-2) and Arlington Martin(25-8) prepared for their second round clash at Richardson Berkner. Coach Danny Husband of Arlington Martin had an outstanding reputation as a master of running the match-up defense. Husband was the only coach Arlington Martin had ever had in the schools six-year history. The Warriors were making their third straight appearance in the playoffs. Husband had made previous coaching stops at Mansfield, Arlington High and Grand Prairie. “I don’t know a whale of a lot about them, I saw them maybe two or three minutes in a couple of games at the Irving Tournament.” Starting for Husband were, 6’2” Vernon Ragsdale(15.9), 6’5” David Inman(11.0), 6’5” Gary Freemon(10.0), 6’6” Jerry Freemon(10.0) and 5’8” Malcolm Frissy. Sherman countered with 6’4” Earl McKinney(19.3/8.9), 6’5” Byron Whitfield(16.2) and 6’7” Jason Burleson(15.9).

Husband commented before the game with the Bearcats on dealing with Burleson. He was real concerned about stopping the inside game of Jason Burleson. “We don’t have anybody to match-up with Burleson,” Coach Husband said. “That guy can play, he’s big and strong and hard to move out of there.” Husband continued, “they’re big, they’re physical and they’re going to be tough to beat, they have the big man in the middle and two tremendous athletes on either side.” Husband pretty much summarized Sherman in a nutshell.

Coach Al Hambrick said, “we have to stay out of foul trouble.” If Burleson or McKinney got into foul trouble Sherman would struggle.    

                At Richardson Berkner High School, the two District champions went head to head. Martin’s Vernon Ragsdale(15.3) hit a foul shot with 44 seconds remaining to give the Warriors a 53-52 win. Sherman had an opportunity to tie things as they held the ball for the final shot of the game. Down by one, the Bearcats ran the clock down to 11 seconds, and called timeout to set up their final shot attempt. Sherman ran a play they had run several times over the season with Whitfield breaking to the corner, and Pruitt diving to the block. Martin had everything covered up with no outlets. With nobody available and no timeouts remaining, Martin intercepted the ball and threw it to the other end of the court. Sherman still had time for one last possession as Byron Whitfield missed a 20-footer at the buzzer.

                Martin(25-8) ran a half-court press and a match-up zone defense, which gave Sherman(28-2) trouble on the offensive end. “Their defense did confuse us,” Hambrick said. “They played zone out front and then matched-up underneath in the paint.” Kevin Pruitt commented after the heartbreaking loss, “it was hard to run against them, they’re big, and get back on defense quickly.”

                Burleson(*) was double teamed most of the game and finished with 19 points, before fouling out with two minutes remaining in the game. “He’s impossible to block out sometimes,” Jerry Freemon said, “He’s so massive that you can’t get around him, but we watched him on film and we knew that every time he got the ball, he went to his left. That helped some.” McKinney added 13 points to the Sherman totals. Ragsdale paced Arlington Martin with 16 points. 6’6” Freemon and his brother, Gary, were good for 18 points. Neither team had much success from the line with Martin going 11 of 21 and Sherman finishing 10 of 17.

                Team Capsule: Sherman Bearcats 28-3 (14-0)

                Coach- Al Hambrick

Top Players- 6’7” Jason Burleson(17.6), 6’4” Byron Whitfield(16.2), 6’4” Earl McKinney(19.8):

                Team Strength-Physical size and strength, rebounding:

                Team Weakness-depth at guard, outside shooting:

                Style of Play-Up Tempo, low post half-court attack:

Biggest Win-FW Trimble Tech(24-10) 66-65 -Bi-District:

Worst Loss-Texas High(24-7) 69-62, Burleson did not play:

                Average Points- Pts. 73.9, Opp. 59.2, Diff. +14.7

Power Rating- 72.75      End of Season State Ranking- #22

(*) At quarterback, Jason was one of the top recruits in the nation and signed with Texas. He was signed as a quarterback, but was redshirted his freshman year. He played fullback as a sophomore, where he started four games with the Longhorns. As a junior, he played seven games as a linebacker and moved on to tight end as a senior. He signed with the Dallas Cowboys as a free agent at tight end in 1992. To my knowledge he did not make the Cowboys. While at Texas, Burleson was the strongest player on the team, bench pressing 463 pounds along with running 4.66 40-yard dash. At 6’7” 235 pounds, he was a specimen in high school as well as college. He was rated the #32 recruit in the country his senior year at Sherman by none other than Max Emfinger. At the SWC Track Championships in 1989 and 1990, Burleson placed in the shot put, javelin and decathlon. He was ranked 2nd in the nation in the decathlon his senior year at Sherman. I will tell you from a personal note, he impressed me. He was an awesome specimen and incredible athlete. Burleson also was one of the top big men in the state on the hardwood.  


                El Paso Eastwood(28-5) and Odessa Permian(21-9) were meeting for the second year in a row in the 2nd round of the state playoffs. The two teams came together this time at the Chaparral Center in Midland. Permian was attempting to win two playoff games for the first time in 18 years. The Panthers had also posted their best record in seven seasons.

                Coach Charles Pattillo discussed Eastwood saying, “Eastwood is small and quicker than last year’s team. They’re pretty much a half court team with 6’5” Bustillos(12.3) inside and they have several good outside shooters.” Pattillo continued saying, “Brett Wagner(11.8) is a good playmaker, he makes things happen. He makes them go. We know to keep him from shooting the open shot or driving the lane and passing off.” 6’2” Rick Olivas(10.5), 6’4” Jimmy Moreno(10.4) and 6’2” Tony Provencio(8.8) rounded out the starting five.

                “We’ll try to defend them like we did San Angelo Central and Monterey,” Pattillo said. “We’ll try to pack it inside and make them shoot it outside. We match-up good with their size and quickness,” Pattillo continued.

                The Troopers of Eastwood(28-5) handled Permian(21-9) pressure and advanced to regionals with a 77-69 win. 6’5” Bustillos had a big first half scoring 14 points, but went scoreless in the 2nd half due to an ankle injury. 6’4” Jimmy Moreno stepped up big in Bustillos absence, finishing with 23 points on 11 of 16 shooting and 5 of 5 from the line. Late in the contest, Brett Wagner proved reliable hitting 6 of 6 from the line with a broken index finger. Olivas got his name in the scoring column with 15 points and Wagner finished with 14 points. Eastwood was impressive as a team hitting 19 of 27 foul shots.  

                The dynamic backcourt of Wilkins and Evans carried the Permian effort with 28 and 15 points. “It’s been a good season,” Pattillo said. “I’m not disappointed in the season at all. We accomplished a lot of things.”  

                Panthers came apart late going 3 of 9 from the floor along with three costly turnovers. Evans, Watkins and Peacock all played with four fouls in the final quarter and eventually fouled out.

                Amarillo(28-3) looked like a big favorite in their second round contest against El Paso(24-8), but there were some extenuating circumstances that looked to give the Tigers the advantage. First, the last time the two teams faced one another, El Paso owned Amarillo 46-33. That was the biggest loss of the season for the Sandies during their state title run in ‘86. Second, due to the great distances between the two schools the administrators decided to flip for home and home. Third, the two schools couldn’t agree on officials. Amarillo wanted the Permian Basin refs and El Paso wanted them to come out of the Austin chapter. Coach Simpson of Amarillo lost both coin flips and was forced to travel almost seven hours on the bus to the most hostile environment possible. C.D. Jarvis Gym in El Paso was packed with 2000 screaming fans and some 200 outside unable to get into the gym. All these factors made the Tigers a challenging opponent, much more so than it looked on paper. “It’s just going to make it that much tougher,” Simpson said. “Look what happened to Andress last year. I guess we’re going to find out if we can play or not.” (El Paso Andress had lost to Amarillo big the previous season in the playoffs having to travel to Amarillo)

Coming into the Amarillo game, Coach Tony Harper of El Paso knew his team would be short-handed against the defending state champions. “They have quality guards and possess a good inside game, too. We’re about equal in quickness, but they have the inches,” Coach Tony Harper explained.

Also, Harper was notorious for running slow down basketball. Every basket would be critical. He liked to spread the court and isolate his players and go into a delay game to keep things close. Simpson said, “If we get off to a good start, they won’t be able to hold it, or they won’t be able to hold it as much. I’m sure they’ll still be pretty deliberate,” Simpson said.

The Tigers of El Paso started 6’3” Victor Molina(12.6), 6’2” John Arizmendez(15.7), 5’9” Eddie Milton, 6’1” Robb Ivy and 6’2” Fred Patterson. Molina put up 16 points against Bel Air in Bi-District and Kelly Rebe came off the bench with 16 points. Rebounding was El Paso’s major concern. Amarillo was considered one of the top rebounding teams in the state.

Coach Simpson of Amarillo commented, “I lost two starters from last year, yet this year’s team has played better in every category. That doesn’t necessarily mean we’ll win, but the confidence is a big plus.” Starters for the Sandie’s included, 6’4” Brent Capps(15.6), 6’2” Sammy Simpson(14.4), 6’1” Ashton Nowak(11.4), 6’1” Dodd Clapp and 6’5” Lance Perry(11.0/8.0).  

El Paso High(24-8) almost pulled off the major upset as Amarillo(28-3) got out of town with a 42-41 overtime win. Brant Capps of Amarillo hit a 10-footer with over 2000 fans yelling their disapproval. “We’ve played in front of big crowds before, some as big as 14,000, but never when it was all hostile,” Coach Simpson explained. “I knew when I saw El Paso in Bi-District that they had the chemistry to beat us.” Simpson said. Capps came through for the Sandie’s with 36 seconds left in the game. El Paso had two opportunities in the final 19 seconds, but failed to convert. With 25 seconds remaining the Tigers John Arizmendez went to the line shooting a one and one. Arizmendez had been a frequent visitor to the line during the game hitting 11 of 11. He missed and Amarillo’s Lance Perry came down with the rebound for the Sandie’s and was fouled immediately. Perry failed on his attempt as well and the Tigers had another opportunity. El Paso called timeout with 19 seconds left on the clock. Arizmendez got a 16-foot shot off but missed. The ball went out of bounds and El Paso retained possession. El Paso’s Eddie Milton launched a 40-footer at the buzzer that looked to be the game winner, only to hit off the back of the iron.

“We didn’t play well on the inbounds pass; we did hang on there. Evidently, the crowd hurt us quite a bit, about the only thing we did was play defense,” Coach Allen Simpson said. Amarillo was 14 of 28 from the floor with 17 turnovers. “We made a lot of stupid passes out there, just stupid,” Simpson continued. “Trying to attack El Paso’s zone.”

El Paso made a living at the foul line hitting 19 of 22 free throws. One of the key plays reflecting back on the game was a 35-foot shot by Ashton Nowak at the end of the 3rd period, to give the Sandie’s a 33-31 advantage.

Coach Tony Harper of El Paso commented after the game, “maybe I shouldn’t say this, but they’re going to have to play a lot better down the road.” Arimendez led the Tigers with 21 points. Molina struggled for the Tigers going scoreless after picking up three fouls in the first quarter. “It’s a credit to the rest of the kids that we played so well with only half of our arsenal,” Coach Tony Harper of El Paso said. Simpson concurred saying, “If Molina hadn’t been in foul trouble, I don’t think we would’ve won.”

El Paso took the lead 38-35 with 3:53 left in the contest. Coach Harper received an unfortunate technical foul after standing up to make a substitution due to the unpopular seat-belt rule. It was against the rules to get out of your seat even making substitutions. “It’s a rule that isn’t enforced in El Paso, but the officials told me before the game they would be enforcing it,” Harper said.

Ashton Nowak contributed 12 points for the Sandie’s along with Capps 13 points. Fred Patterson added 9 points and 7 rebounds for the Tigers. El Paso ended the season at 24-9.

Ft. Worth Dunbar(34-0) was very familiar with the Denton Broncos(19-12) as the two teams approached their Bi-District game. The two rivals had opened the season against one another and also met at the What-a-Burger tournament over the holidays. Dunbar came out on top in both games winning easily 49-36 and 69-51. They had also faced each other in the first round of the playoffs on three previous occasions.

Coach Maurice Evans and the Broncos were encouraged with 6’4” Mark Chambers in street clothes on the sidelines. Chambers(16.9/11.4) had broken two bones in his foot in the final District game against Ft. Worth Paschal. The talented senior was out for the remainder of the season.

“Mark will be missed,” Coach Hughes commented, “But I think it’s probably a plus that our system and the way we play, we don’t rely on a big 28-point game out of one guy.”

Over 6000 fans traveled to Daniel Meyer Coliseum on the campus of TCU to see the contest. The vast majority were Dunbar fans. 6’2” Randy Williams(14.0) replaced Chambers in the starting line-up for the Wildcats. Williams was the best 6th man in the state coming off the bench and performed well against Denton, putting up nine points. Dunbar had little trouble downing the Broncos 84-57. Denton was dominated inside on the glass losing the battle of the boards to Dunbar 47-24.

Dunbar hit 37 of 65 for 57% from the floor, while Denton could only manage 26 of 66 shooting for 39%. Derrick Daniels(11.0) led the Dunbar attack finishing with 19 points and Myron Wilson(10.0) followed with 18 points. Most of Wilson’s points were from long range. Coyle Allen(15.7) was big inside finishing with 18 points and 12 boards.

Denton looked to Heath Wagner’s 25 points as their only real bright spot during the contest. Wagner didn’t see much difference in the Dunbar attack missing Chambers. “It didn’t seem like it was a big difference. In the locker room at halftime we felt like we were beat and they just poured it on in the 2nd half. They’re the best team we’ve played.” Wagner said.

We had to play our best game to even have a chance,” Denton coach Maurice Evans said. “And we didn’t do that.”

Next up for the top ranked Wildcats was the Duncanville(32-2) Panthers in Denton at the Super Pit on the campus of North Texas State University. “They’re an outstanding team, they scare me to death,” Coach Robert Hughes commented. Dunbar’s inside game of 6’3” Coyle Allen(15.7) and 6’3” Lionel Hamilton would be matched-up against Duncanville’s strength, 6’5” Arthur Hurst(11.3) and 6’5” Marcus Crowell(12.2). Hurst had 27 points and 17 rebounds in the Panthers win over Richland in Bi-District. Ben Ratliff would prove valuable as well off the Duncanville bench standing 6’4”.

Arthur Hurst was looking forward to the challenge of facing Dunbar. “I’ve been thinking about who I’d be sticking and who’d be sticking me. I’ve thought about how our region has us and Dunbar and the other region just has Skyline. It’s tough to play the #1 team so early, but that’s all right. We think we can beat them.” Hurst didn’t play on the varsity as a sophomore and was not part of the Panthers 77-65 loss during the 1986 playoffs to Dunbar.

Coach Phil McNeely commented that he didn’t think he would change his teams game plan any without Chambers in the line-up. “We always take advantage of our posts anyway,” McNeely said.

Two of the top point guards in the state were on display in the Dunbar-Duncanville game. 6’2” Derrick Daniels of Dunbar(11.0/13.8 assists) going against 5’7” James Burkhalter(22.4/6.0 assists) of Duncanville. “He was tough last year and with another year under his belt, he’ll be even tougher,” Burkhalter said.

Ft. Worth Dunbar(34-0) came away with another tough win over Duncanville(32-2) 71-64 behind a balanced attack. Some 7500 fans showed up at the Super Pit and most were in blue and white. The Wildcats placed five players in double figures with Coyle Allen(15.0) leading the charge with 19 points and 13 rebounds. Randy Williams(14.0) put up 15 points and 8 rebounds, while Lionel Hamilton(7.0) finished with 13 points and 8 rebounds. Derrick Daniels’ dribble penetration created easy looks for the Wildcats. Daniels(11.0) still managed to finish with 14 points and 7 assists.

Duncanville scoring was limited with only two players hitting double figures. Burkhalter(22.4) finished with 24 points and Marcus Crowell(12.2) put up 15 points. Hurst(11.3) added 8 points on the evening due to foul trouble. Dunbar out rebounded Duncanville 36 to 24.

The two biggest problems for Coach McNeely was that Crowell and Hurst both were in foul trouble throughout the game. With his team ahead, Crowell went to the bench with 2:25 left in the 1st quarter. The second problem was Duncanville only played six players against the running Wildcats. “I think they got a little tired there at the end of the 2nd quarter,” Hughes said. Dunbar went on a 12-0 run and took a 38 to 29 advantage just before intermission. Crowell played only half the game because of foul difficulties.

Burkhalter proved to be the only real offensive spark for the Panthers playing the entire game. Dunbar led 55-42 midway through the 3rd quarter when they began to put on the brakes. Duncanville got as close as 66-61 with four minutes remaining but failed to close the gap. “We had our chances in the game, but couldn’t take advantage of them,” Coach McNeely said.

Team Capsule: Duncanville Panthers 32-3 (14-0)

Coach- Phil McNeely

Top Players- 5’8” James Burkhalter(22.4), 6’5” Arthur Hurst(11.3), Marcus Crowell(12.4)       

Team Strength- dribble penetration and dominating post play:

Team Weakness-lack of depth:

Style of Play-deliberate attack, penetrating offensive attack:

Biggest Win- Richardson(29-7) 70-65:

Biggest Loss- Arlington Sam Houston(21-11) 72-64:

Average Points- Ave. 68.0, Opp. 57.1, Diff. +10.9

Power Rating- 79.75     End of Season State Ranking- #13







Region I Showcase:

1980       Wichita Falls         EP Eastwood         FW Dunbar           Lubbock Monterey

1981       Midland                 EP Eastwood         FW Dunbar           Pampa

1982       Denton                   El Paso                   FW Dunbar            Pampa

1983       EP Bel Air               EP Eastwood         FW Dunbar            FW Paschal

1984       EP Riverside           EP Jefferson           FW Dunbar           FW Southwest

1985       Am. Palo Duro      Denton                   Lubbock Mont.     FW Southwest

1986       Amarillo                 EP Eastwood         FW Dunbar            S. Grand Prairie

1987       Amarillo                 EP Eastwood         FW Dunbar           Arlington Martin


Ft. Worth Dunbar(36-0), Amarillo(29-3) and El Paso Eastwood(28-5) all returned to Midland for the Region I tournament. Dunbar and Amarillo returned almost their entire line ups, while Eastwood returned only one starter. Arlington Martin(27-8) was making their first visit to regionals, but had made the playoffs three years running.

                The Warriors of Arlington Martin(27-8) were coached by Danny Husband. The Warriors were known for their size, match-up defense and slow tempo. Martin looked to 6’6” Jerry Freemon(10.6/10.0). 6’5” David Inman(11.3/6.0), Malcolm Frisby(6.5) and point guard 6’5” Gary Freemon(9.0). Martin’s best player was Vernon Ragsdale(15.3). “Our kids play well together,” Husband said. “Were not a team that’s flashy.”

                “We’re virtually an unknown,” Martin’s coach Husband said. “We’re playing some team’s out there that have big reputations, but we can match-up with them. There’s no problem there. The kids are playing with a lot of confidence and we may get some bounces.”

                Coach Hughes of Dunbar discussed Martin saying, “they’ve got good size inside and they do a good job on the boards, if you’re not careful, they’ll control the tempo on you.”

                Amarillo(29-3) returned several of their top players from their state championship team. Sammy Simpson(14.5), Ashton Nowak(11.0), 6’5” Lance Perry and 6’4” Brant Capps(19.0) were major factors in the Sandie’s attack.

                FW Dunbar(36-0) had won 53 out of their previous 54 games coming into regionals. Their only loss had been the previous season against Amarillo. As usual, Dunbar was the big favorite with their national ranking. “They may spend the first five minutes of the game laughing at how small we are,” Coach Hughes said, “but we will test their quickness.”

                El Paso Eastwood(28-5) was a traditional power with a great deal of playoff experience. 5’11” Britt Wagner(13.2/9.0 asst/5 st) was coach Bobby Lesley’s only returning starter. Rounding out the starters for the Troopers were 6’5” Randy Bustillos(13.4), 6’4” Jim Moreno(11.7), Ricky Olivas(11.6) and Tony Provencio.

                Coach Bobby Lesley discussed the game against Dunbar, “Dunbar’s got some good shooters and they’re quick.” In discussing his Eastwood team Lesley said, “there’s nothing outstanding about this team, they just hang in there, know what the score is and pulls it out in the end.”

                Neither Martin nor Amarillo were able to scout one another due to the great distances. “We’ll do what we did last year, it took the first quarter to figure out what the other team was trying to do,” Simpson said.

                “About the only thing I know is they have a reputation as a good rebounding team,” Husband said.  

                Arlington Martin(27-8) came up short against Amarillo(29-3) in the semi-finals losing 66-51 at Midland College’s Chaparral Center. Coach Husband of Martin said his team never adjusted to the physical man defense run by the Sandie’s. “They just got us mentally upset the way they were playing real physical,” Husband said. “The kids couldn’t play that way and they couldn’t adjust to the officials. I don’t think the officials beat us.

We just got frustrated and beat ourselves.” Gary Freemon of Martin said following the game, “I was getting killed and they weren’t calling anything, we just got frustrated and broke down.”

                Amarillo’s aggressive defense did not allow Martin to get the ball inside to 6’6” Jerry Freemon and 6’5” David Inman. Jerry Freemon came away with only nine points, while Inman finished with four. “Their guards just kind of bellied up to us,” Husband said. “Their defense forced us out of our offense and we didn’t score inside like we normally do.”

                Foul trouble plagued the Warriors top player, Vernon Ragsdale, who picked up three first half fouls. Ragsdale eventually fouled out and left the game with two minutes remaining.

                Amarillo struggled in the 1st half against the match-up zone defense of Martin, hitting only 8 of 27 from the floor. Amarillo’s offensive strategy in the 2nd half was to get the ball inside to their offensive force, 6’4” Brant Capps. Capps came away with 11 points in the 3rd period and pushed the Sandie’s into the lead at 45-37. “We were just trying to isolate Brant on the backside of the zone and fortunately, he hit a few of those,” Coach Allen Simpson said. Martin had been sagging their defense inside to try and control Capps. “But they had to come out on our guards when they started hitting and it opened it up for me,” Capps said.

Ashton Nowak made some key defensive plays to keep the Sandie’s in the game early. Nowak(11.4) led Amarillo with 19 points followed by Capps(18.4) with 18. “Ashton did a good job on offense and defense,” Simpson said. “The last two weeks he’s been our best player.”

                 Amarillo’s delay game frustrated Martin late as the Sandie’s ran the clock out. “The kids just weren’t mentally in the game and they did some uncharacteristic things,” Husband said. “But I’m still convinced we’re the better team. I’d play them again, anytime.” Gary Freemon paced Martin with 17 points. Martin finished the season at 26-9.


                Team Capsule: Arlington Martin Warriors 27-9 (15-3)

                Coach- Danny Husband

Top Players- 6’2” Vernon Ragsdale(15.9), 6’7” Jerry Freemon(10.6), 6’5” David Inman(11.0):

Team Strength-Over-all size, match-up zone, discipline, rebounding:

Team Weakness-Overall quickness, foot speed, depth, handling pressure:

                Style of Play-Half-court offense and defense:

                Biggest Win-Sherman(28-3) 53-52  (2nd Round):

                Worst Loss-Irving MacArthur(20-10) 76-56

                Average Points- Pts. 65.9, Opp. 54.5, Diff. +11.4

                Power Rating- 78.09            End of Season State Ranking- #19


                Ft. Worth Dunbar(36-0) had little trouble with El Paso Eastwood(28-5) in the other semi-final game winning 89-73. Myron Wilson hit seven of his first nine shots to lead Dunbar to a 31-20 second quarter lead. The Wildcats extended their lead to 48-38 at halftime. With a 63-44 advantage late in the 3rd period, Dunbar cruised home with the victory.

                Wilson led Dunbar with 23 points and Derrick Daniels finished with 13 points and 13 assists. “He’s a super player,” Coach Lesley said in discussing Daniels. “I don’t know of anybody in the state who has anyone who can stay with him.” Randy Williams(14.0) added 19 points to the Dunbar cause, while Coyle Allen(15.0) had 18 points and 7 rebounds. Lionel Hamilton(7.0) ended up with 11 rebounds and 14 points.

                Eastwood received some bad news before the action started as 6’4” Jim Moreno was declared ineligible coming into the game. With Moreno out, the inside burden fell to 6’5” Randy Bustillos. Unfortunately, Bustillos was in early foul trouble finishing the evening with 14 points and 7 rebounds. Offensively, Eastwood depended on the outside shooting of Ricky Olivas and Brett Wagner. Olivas put up 17 points and Wagner was good for 16 points.

Regional Finals

                For the second season in a row Ft. Worth Dunbar(37-0) and Amarillo(30-3) faced each other in the regional finals. Coach Allen Simpson commented about the Dunbar game saying, “they don’t have a weakness in any of their top players, they’re not undefeated for nothing. You have to be a great team to be undefeated.” Allen continued saying, “we’re not going to get into a running game with anyone.”

                With a crowd of 3500 looking on, FW Dunbar advanced to state defeating a stubborn Amarillo team 63-57. For the Wildcats, this was the game they had been wanting all season. “In the second half, we played probably as well as we can play,” Hughes said.

                After a 27-27 tie at halftime, Coach Hughes moved 6’2” Randy Williams inside to the low post. After going only 9 of 26 from the field in the first half the Wildcats needed an offensive lift. Williams posted up inside and finished with the game with 19 points hitting 6 of 8 in the 2nd half. “We definitely wanted to go to Williams, because he can play the guard, low post or the corner,” said Coach Hughes.

                “I knew Williams was a good player,” said Coach Simpson. “But they really hadn’t isolated him on the post. They did a number on us.”

                “The last thing I said before we left the dressing room was that the first four minutes of the third quarter would be the difference,” Simpson said. “After the first four minutes we were down by nine.”

                 “Last year, our seniors carried us,” Simpson said. “What we lacked this year was a little depth.” Ashton Nowak led Amarillo with 16 points and Capps followed with 14 points. Amarillo’s lack of depth showed late as Nowak went to the sidelines in foul trouble. He spent much of the 2nd half on the bench. “Ashton played a great game, but we couldn’t keep him in the game,” Simpson said. “If we could have kept him in the game, we might have had a chance.” Nowak left for good with 2:33 left in the game. “Ashton had a great game, I just hoped I could have kept him out there. He was taking it to the hole, and making things happen. Nowak is a very underrated player; the last two weeks of the season, he was our best player.” 

                Capps was only able to score 4 points in the 2nd half and was held in check by Lionel Hamilton. “He was a little afraid of them,” Simpson said. “I told him they couldn’t block his shots, but they had him worried.”  

                Hughes discussed the pressure of the state playoffs, “the pressure gets bigger with each game because, one loss will send you home. It’s like having a big elephant on your back.”

                Coach Simpson was asked about Dunbar’s chances at state, “they’re going do well down there, they have an excellent ball club, and they know what they’re going to have to do.” In discussing Derrick Daniels, Simpson continued saying, “oh my gosh, he’s an excellent player. We’ve got nobody that can come close to staying with him. I can see why he’s averaging 13 or 14 assists a game.” Simpson continued saying, “the best team won.”




Team Capsule: Amarillo Sandiers 30-4 (13-1)

Coach- Allen Simpson

Top Players- 6’4” Brant Capps(18.3/8.1), Sammy Simpson(14.4), Ashton Nowak(11.4/6.1 asst):

Team Strength- rebounding, half court man defense, strong post play, outstanding guards:

Team Weakness-depth inside, overall quickness, foot speed:

Style of Play-Strong inside game that likes to push the ball if possible:

Biggest Win- Andrews(30-4) 64-52:

Biggest Loss- Amarillo Caprock(6-22) 53-47

Average Points- Ave. 64.8, Opp. 51.8, Diff. +13.0

Power Rating- 86.50      End of Season Ranking- #6


Region II Playoffs                

Klein Oak(18-10)                                                 Dallas Skyline(33-1) #3

Richardson(25-6) #20                                         Huntsville(21-11)

Humble Kingwood(21-11)                                 Garland(23-9)

Dallas Kimball(23-7)                                            Klein Forest(26-4)

Tyler John Tyler(25-8) #18                                Texas High(24-6) #16

Killeen Ellison(24-8)                                            Killeen High(28-7)

Dallas Sunset(19-9)                                             Plano(18-11)

Dallas Spruce(13-15)                                          Highland Park(27-4) #9

                                 Top Players in Region II

6’2”        Larry Pettigrew                   22.9        Tyler John Tyler

                6’9”        Lang Meyers                         15.8        Conroe McCullough

                6’7”        Todd Willis                            18.4        Longview

                6’7”        Larry Johnson                       29.0        Dallas Skyline

                6’2”        Thomas Hocker                    18.2        Highland Park

                6’2”        Neil Derrick                           28.3        Garland

                6’3”        Robert Thoele                      15.7        Richardson

                5’8”        Louis Hicks                            26.8        Garland Lakeview

                6’0”        Calvin Smith                         27.2        South Garland

                6’4”        Terry Jefferson                     22.6        Conroe

                6’4”        James Higgins                       25.1        Dallas Samuel

                6’0”        Dominique Artis                  24.8        Dallas Roosevelt

                6’8”        Anthony Snowden              19.5        Dallas Pinkston

                6’1”        Ricky O’Neal                         23.7        Dallas Pinkston

                The landscape had really changed in Region II during the 1987 season. The top three teams in the Dallas-Ft. Worth Metro-Plex were Dallas Skyline(33-1), FW Dunbar(34-0) and Duncanville(27-2). Dunbar and Duncanville were both playing in Region I. South Oak Cliff, South Garland and Dallas Kimball were three of the strongest programs in the Dallas area during the decade, but all three struggled through the ‘87 season for various reasons. Dallas Skyline stood alone as the team to beat. With so few power teams in the race, the field was really wide open. Region II would turn out in 1987 to be the year of the upsets.  


District 9-AAAAA

                As a general rule, District 9-5A was viewed as one of the most competitive Districts in the state. The atmosphere in 9-5A changed a little entering the 1987 season. Wilmer Hutchins(23-11) had taken their outstanding program down to class 4-A. Clayton Brooks of South Garland(19-13) fame had moved on to Longview Pine Tree in East Texas, leaving his job to Garland Nichols. Nichols, as you will recall, was the longtime coach at Pampa. The Colonels talent level was much thinner than in years past.

                The Highland Park(27-4) Scots looked to be the class of the District along with Garland Lakeview(25-8) entering District. The Scots came in at 15-2 with some nice wins in pre-district; Richardson(29-7) 55-54, Dallas Jesuit(20-9) 67-54, Lubbock Monterey(24-11) 56-54, Dallas S.O.C.(13-14) 87-65, Arlington Sam Houston(21-11) 68-50, L.D. Bell(23-11) 76-58, Denton(18-13) 44-42 and FW Trimble Tech(24-10) 57-55 in double overtime. Their only two losses came against FW Southwest(18-12) 63-47 and nationally ranked Macon Southwest out of  Georgia 59-45.

                The Scots were led by one of the top guards in the area, 6’2” Thomas Hocker(18.2/8.2 assists) and 6’4” post, John Kull. Other key performers for the Scots were 6’5” Mike Whorton, 6’3” Scott Sexton, 6’1” Matt Lucas and 6’4” Chuck Fugham.

Lakeview(25-8) had an impressive run in pre-district. The Patriots handled Tyler John Tyler(22-7) 58-56 and 84-71, Bishop Lynch(25-10) 55-53, Plano(20-12) 68-60, Borger(28-5) 88-77, Lake Highlands(18-12) 69-63, Irving MacArthur(20-10) 80-56 and Texas High(24-6) 74-71. Lakeview’s three losses came at the hands of Dallas Skyline(34-2) 75-70 and 80-73 and Dallas Spruce(13-15) 62-60.

Lakeview’s head man, John Paul Fultz, looked to 5’8” Lewis Hicks(26.8) and backcourt mate 5’10” Reggie Brown(11.8 assists) to create problems for opponents. 6’2” Shannon Loya, 6’4” Ron Ateman and 6’4” Ricky Johnson rounded out the starters for the Patriots.

Garland(23-9) was strong with 6’2” Neil Derrick(28.3) leading the charge. Derrick was one of the top guards in the state as a junior. Derrick filled the nets for 47 points against arch rival Garland Lakeview during the season, while scoring 41 against Mesquite and 42 points against Greenville. The junior guard averaged 28 points playing the last five games of District with two broken fingers on his left shooting hand. Unfortunately, Derrick was suspended during the 1988 season and missed his senior campaign. He was one of the best ever to where the black and gold.

 Helping Coach Lane Norsworthy and Derrick were 6’3” Kenny Estes, 6’5” Brady Hughes and 6’3” George Williams. Williams had transferred in from Lake Highlands. The Garland Owls defeated Arlington Sam Houston(21-11) 66-53, Bishop Lynch(25-10) 74-64, Dallas Spruce(13-15) 61-44, Richardson High(29-7) 64-56. Losses came against Richardson Pearce(17-12) 80-78, Dallas Samuel(16-15) 78-71, Richardson(29-7) 64-50, Dallas Spruce(13-15) 72-71 and Dallas Madison(18-8) 74-73.

The District 9-5A race was unusual it that Highland Park(27-4) loss both games to Garland Lakeview 65-48 and 54-52, but the Scots made the playoffs, while Lakeview(25-8) finished tied for third place with South Garland(19-13). The Scots came away with an impressive 12-2 record in District.

South Garland(19-13) and Garland(23-9) proved to be Lakeview’s nemesis, as they both defeated Lakeview twice in District action. North Mesquite(14-17) gave Lakeview their 5th loss 53-24. Garland(23-9) finished a game ahead of South Garland and Lakeview to capture the second playoff spot. The Owls defeated South Garland late in the season 76-73 to take the runner-up spot. The Colonels 6’0” Calvin Smith(27.2) put up 37 in the loss.

South Garland’s key players were 6’1” Tony Smith, 5’9” Slade Young, 6’3” David Smith, 6’1” Ernest Robinson and 6’1” Wesley Grandstaff. Garland Nichols was the head man with the Colonels with Mike Traphagan* as his assistant. South Garland(19-13) played Highland Park(27-4) close both times losing by three and five points.

*Traphagan went on to coach at North Garland High School where he held down the reins for several seasons. Mike was a special person, who passed away in 2014. Garland I.S.D. was hard hit by his loss. Mike was only 56 years old.

All-District 9-5A 1st Team- 6’2” Thomas Hocker(18.2)-Highland Park, 6’4” John Hull-Highland Park, 5’8” Lewis Hicks-Garland Lakeview(26.8), 6’2” Neil Derrick(28.3)-Garland High, 6’0” Calvin Smith(27.2)-South Garland, 6’2” Tom Gibson(18.6)-North Garland; “Player of the Year” Thomas Hocker-Highland Park, “Coach of the Year”- Tom Shelton-Highland Park:

Standings 9-5A- Highland Park(27-4) 12-2, Garland(23-9) 10-4, Garland Lakeview(25-8) 9-5, South Garland(19-13) 9-5, North Garland(20-12) 8-6, North Mesquite(14-17) 6-8, Greenville(8-21) 2-12, Mesquite(6-22) 0-14:  

District 10-AAAAA

                District 10-5A underwent a face lift in 1987. Former S.O.C. Coach, Jimmy Gales, took his coaching skills to North Texas State University and was replaced by Alex Gillum. Gillum as you will recall previously coached at Dallas Carter and Dallas Lincoln. The Golden Bears(13-14) were suffering through one of their worst seasons in school history with an 8-8 mark as they entered District action. Golden Bear standouts consisted of 5’11” Lyndon Love, 6’4” Joe Davis(11.3 reb.), Kevin Gulley(18.5) and 6’4” Patrick Wyatt.

Dallas Spruce(13-15) had some really strong young talent in 6’3” Isaac Williams(12.0 reb) and 5’10” Lesley Booker(10.0 assist). Dallas Samuel(16-15) was paced by 6’4” James Higgins(25.1/11.6) and Dallas Roosevelt(8-20) was in rebuilding mode looking to Dominique Artis(24.8) to lead the way.

                Dallas Skyline(33-1) was the top team in District and ranked in the top three in the state behind Ft. Worth Dunbar(34-0) and LaPorte(34-0). Larry Johnson(29.0/19.8) was putting up numbers the likes of which had never been seen in Texas at the high school level. Coach J.D. Mayo was still calling the shots for Skyline and looked to 5’8” Burnis McFarland, 5’10” Lyle George and Derrick Wallace as key contributors for the Raider attack. McFarland later played college ball at North Texas State.

Skyline(33-1) more than proved themselves in pre-district defeating Garland Lakeview(25-8) 75-70 and 80-73, Lake Highlands(18-12) 65-60 and 69-54, Austin LBJ(25-7) 71-54, Wilmer Hutchins(23-11) 76-65, Dallas Hillcrest(24-10) 85-59, Arlington Martin(25-9) 59-51, Duncanville(32-3) 60-54 in overtime, Dallas Jesuit(20-9) 66-51 and Dallas Pinkston(21-8) 89-70.

Their only loss came to Atlanta’s B.T. Washington 61-56 in the West Plains Classic Tournament in Missouri. Atlanta B.T. Washington(27-3) won the Class AAAA Georgia state championship. Washington was paced by 6’11” All-American Elmore Spencer(20.0/19.0).

Skyline(33-1) went through District undefeated, but their average margin of victory was only 8.6 per game, if you don’t count the two Bryan Adam blowouts. Although Skyline had 6’7” Larry Johnson, they had little depth. If Johnson got into foul trouble the Raiders were in serious trouble. Skyline’s guard play was solid, but far from dominating. “Our opponents have tried a lot of different things, but it is very difficult to stop Larry,” Coach J.D. Mayo said. “We have to get good shooting from the perimeter to keep people from sinking inside. So far, someone has come through for us every game.”

Dallas Spruce(13-15) advanced to the playoffs getting past South Oak Cliff(13-14) and Dallas Samuel(16-15). Val Rhoades was at the helm for Dallas Spruce. Doug Scott was still running the show at Dallas Samuel. Just to show you how far 10-5A had fallen, a team with a losing record advanced to the playoffs. 

All-District 10-5A 1st Team-5’11” Lyndon Love-S.O.C., 5’8” Burnis McFarland-Dallas Skyline, 5’10” Lesley Booker-Dallas Spruce, 6’4” James Higgins(25.1)-Dallas Samuel, 6’2” Dominique Artis(24.8)-Dallas Roosevelt, 6’7” Larry Johnson(29.0/19.8)-Dallas Skyline, “Player of the Year”-Larry Johnson-Skyline, “Sophomore of the Year”-Sanford Wilson-Dallas Bryan Adams, “Coach of the Year”-J.D. Mayo-Dallas Skyline, Val Rhodes-Dallas Spruce:

Standings 10-5A- Dallas Skyline(33-1) 10-0, Dallas Spruce(13-15) 6-4, Dallas Samuel(16-15) 5-5, Dallas South Oak Cliff(13-14) 5-5, Dallas Roosevelt(8-20) 4-6, Dallas Bryan Adams(0-25) 0-10:

District 11-AAAAA

                Dallas Kimball(23-7) and Jimmy Tubbs looked to have another outstanding team led by 6’3” Tim Flemings and 6’3” Anthony Virgil during the coming season. The Knights were one of the top ten teams in Dallas once again, before they were completely dismantled. Everything that could go wrong went wrong for Coach Jimmy Tubbs and his assistant Chris Dyer. Three players were suspended for burglarizing the school commissary, two players were lost to grades and numerous injuries slowed the teams progress. Coach Tubbs was also dealing with being reported to the U.I.L. for alleged practice violations. By the end of the season, Virgil and Flemings were no longer playing for Kimball and the Knights were riding on the rims. Much like District 10-5A, the District was just a shadow of previous years.

                Kimball(23-7) had some impressive wins in pre-district against Dallas Spruce(13-15) 63-59, FW Paschal(24-8) 62-55, Grand Prairie(23-10) 69-53, Austin Westlake(15-17) 62-53, Wilmer Hutchins(23-11) 80-68, Dallas Madison(18-8) 79-66. Losses came against Plano(20-12) 81-60 and Bishop Lynch(25-10) 58-55.

                Kimball’s struggles opened the door for Dallas Sunset(19-9) and Dallas Pinkston(21-8). The Vikings of Pinkston(21-8) had two of the best in Dallas in Ricky O’Neal(23.7/9.2 assist) and 6’8” Anthony Snowden(19.5/16.1/4.5 assists/3.5 blocks).

                Dallas Sunset(19-9) had always played under the radar in Dallas athletics. Coach Patrick Gaines turned things around for the Bison capturing the District title with and undefeated record. Sunset ran a balanced attack led by 6’4” Rod Watson, 5’10” Ricardo Salas and 6’4” Jaime Cortez.

All-District 11-5A 1st Team-6’4” Rod Watson-Dallas Sunset, 5’10” Ricardo Salas-Dallas Sunset, 6’6” Shannon Redmon-Dallas Carter, 6’4” Jaime Cortez-Dallas Sunset, 6’7” Anthony Snowden(19.5)-Dallas Pinkston, 6’0” Ricky O’Neal(24.6)-Dallas Pinkston; “Player of the Year”- 6’4” Rod Watson-Sunset, “Sophomore of the Year”-Daylan Beamon-Dallas Kimball, “Coach of the Year”-Patrick Gaines-Dallas Sunset:

Standings 11-5A- Dallas Sunset(19-9) 10-0, Dallas Kimball(23-7) 7-3, Dallas Pinkston(21-8) 6-4, Dallas Carter(9-15) 5-5, Dallas W.T. White(2-24) 1-9, Dallas Thomas Jefferson(1-25) 1-9:

District 12-AAAAA

                Three different schools had dominated District 12-5A dating all the way back to 1976. Richardson, Plano and Lake Highlands had been the premier teams over the last eleven seasons. The trio continued their dominance during the ’87 season. Lake Highlands(18-12) had won three straight District titles on Coach Jack Clark’s watch and looked strong once again paced by 6’5” Wayne Young(11.7), 6’6” Jamal Young(11.4) and 6’3” Shane Moore(10.0). Handling the ball on the outside were 5’10” Corey Parham and 6’2” Monte McCrary.

The Wildcats had an up and down season losing to Skyline(33-1) 65-60 and 69-54, Duncanville(31-2) 65-50, Grand Prairie(23-9) 67-65, Bishop Lynch(25-10) 53-51 and Longview(25-8) 69-63. Big wins came against Dallas Pinkston(21-8) 65-47, Wilmer Hutchins(23-11) 66-60 and North Garland(20-12) 66-52.

Richardson(25-6) was also seen as a front runner paced interestingly enough by two players that had no varsity experience. 6’2” Kevin Peoples(13.7) had played in a summer league, as well as summer church league, and was ineligible for the varsity his junior year. Peoples was forced to play on the junior varsity due to the infraction. 6’3” Robert Thoele(16.0) also played on the junior varsity the previous year, so he could get more minutes and experience. Both were unknown quantities at the varsity level. Point guard, Chawn Cummings(3.1), was the only returning starter for the Eagles and 6’3” Brad Kuhne(13.2) saw substantial minutes his junior year. The fifth starter was 6’4” Wilford Johnson(8.9), who played inside. 6’2” Brad Mouser came off the bench for Coach Joe Longino. The Eagles were not considered a front runner in District but gained respect in the pre-season.

The Eagles won the Garland Coca-Cola Tournament defeating North Dallas(9-17) 68-43, Garland(23-10) 64-50, South Garland(19-13) 57-39 and North Garland(20-12) in the finals 66-56. Richardson(25-6) also came away with the Knights of Columbus Tournament at Dallas Jesuit. They opened with a 79-61 win over Dallas Sunset(19-10), defeated R.L. Turner(15-14) 55-50 in the semis and Dallas Jesuit(20-9) in the finals 65-40. Team captain, Brad Kuhne, commented that winning these two tournaments really helped the team’s confidence, as they came into District. Losses for the Eagles in pre-district at the hands of Highland Park(27-5) 55-54, Garland(23-10) 64-56 and Duncanville(31-2) 70-65.

Richardson Pearce(17-12) had a talented group during the season, but completely cratered during the second half of District, losing seven out of the final ten games. Due to internal problems, that were outside the power of Coach Walt Davis and his assistant John Parnell, the team just collapsed. Once again, I was very close to the situation due to my friendship with the Pearce brain trust and understood the implosion. Starters included 6’3” Jack Fish(14.2), 6’4” Lance Levin(17.0), 6’1” Kenny Feld(12.2) and 6’3” Dave Wilson(11.5). The Mustangs had wins over Garland(23-10) 80-78 and Grand Prairie(23-9) 61-60 in pre-district. Losses came at the hands four really strong teams, Sherman(27-2) 82-73, Bishop Lynch(25-10), Tyler Lee(26-5) 76-57 and Duncanville(31-2) 69-62.

                Plano(18-11) threw their hat in the ring with Coach Stan Hicks calling the shots. The former Grand Prairie coach was a longtime winner and turned things around quickly at Plano High. Plano was fueled by a balanced attack made up of  6’7” Doug Swain(12.0), 5’10” Todd Trowbridge(9.2), 6’3” Billy McCoy(14.1), 6’4” Greg Elmore(10.9) and 6’2” Steve Hamburg.  

                Plano(18-11) and Lake Highlands(18-12) opened District against one another with Plano taking a hard fought 38-37 victory in overtime. This was a big win for Plano over one of the top playoff contenders in 12-5A.

                In another game between first division teams, Richardson(25-6) traveled to Plano High(18-11). The two teams had totally contrasting styles. Richardson liked to run a transition game and get up and down the court, while Plano liked a very slow-paced game with little scoring. Plano liked to look inside to 6’7” Doug Swain(12.0), who at times was dominating. Richardson relied on their perimeter attack led by two of the top outside shooters in the Dallas area; 6’3” Robert Thoele(16.0) and 6’2” Brad Kuhne(13.2). The Eagles lived and died on the outside shot. 6’2” Kevin Peoples(13.2) was very slippery inside, as was 6’4” Wilford Johnson. The common thread for Richardson was the team’s ability to play defense. The Eagles had no major recruits, although Thoele(16.0) walked on at Vanderbilt and Cummings played at Howard Payne.

Swain got his 21 points, but Richardson came away with the “W” 47-35. Thoele and Peoples both finished in double figures for Coach Joe Longino. Following the win, Longino commented about trying to defend Swain, “He’s a big player. As soon as he touched the ball, he has the ability to shoot over us.”

                As Richardson(25-6) prepared to meet Lake Highlands(18-12), the Eagles stood in first place at 6-0, followed by Plano(18-11) at 5-1. Lake Highlands had fallen out of the race early at 2-4. Lake Highlands tried to revive their season on a 54-53 victory over the Eagles. Wayne Young’s turn-around jumper with three seconds left was the difference for L.H. The loss put Richardson(25-6) and Plano(18-11) in a tie for first place at the end of the first round with 6-1 marks.

                Coach Jack Clark of Lake Highlands(18-12) was very happy after the win and said, “we’ve lost two games that we could have won very easily.” The Wildcats had lost four of their first six District games. Coach Clark felt Lake Highlands tough man defense was the difference in the game.

                As the 2nd round of District opened, Lake Highlands(18-12) continued their winning streak taking down Plano(18-11) 51-41. Lake Highlands improved their record to 4-4 in District action and Plano fell to 6-2. Jamal Young paced L.H. with 12 points and 6’7” Doug Swain led Plano with 13 points. “We beat the top two teams in District, it was a big week,” Jamal Young explained.

                Richardson(25-6) took a two-game lead in District with a 59-42 win over Plano(18-11), as the two front runners battled it out for first place. Richardson now had the tie-breaker over Plano, having won both contest against the Maroon and White. If the two schools finished tied for first place, Richardson would advance to the playoffs as the top seed. 6’3” Robert Thoele(16.0) showed why he was voted the District M.V.P. finishing with 24 points on 11 of 12 shooting from the floor. Coach Longino commented, “we got a lot of extra help in covering Swain.” Swain(12.0) was held to only nine points, while McCoy(14.1) and Stringer both finished with 13 points for Plano.

                In Richardson’s 72-46 win over Richardson Berkner(10-21), the Eagles clinched the District title, their first since 1983. Plano(18-11) had the inside track for the runner-up spot in the playoffs. Plano was attempting to make the playoffs for the first time since 1982 with first-year Coach Stan Hicks.        

                Richardson(25-6) completely had a melt-down after winning District, losing their last two games to Carrollton Newman Smith(14-17) 87-80 in overtime and Lake Highlands(18-12) 62-58. After the Newman Smith loss, Coach Longino said, “we just got into a situation where somebody played real well in their own gym.” Three starters fouled out for the Eagles with four minutes left in regulation. Cummings, Peoples and Kuhne all left the game early. Thoele(16.0) again was impressive with 22 points, Peoples(13.2) came away with 21 points and Wilford Johnson(8.9) finished with 13. 5’11” David Schmidt paced the Trojans with 31 points in the upset victory.

Lake Highlands(18-12) beat Richardson(25-6) on the Eagles home court and finished 18-12 on the season. L.H. took three out of four games against the District co-champs, Richardson and Plano(18-11). Coach Clark’s crew struggled against the second division teams going 4-4. “We finally in the last four games have had everybody back healthy to play a whole game,” Clark said. “I’d say probably the biggest asset is Wayne Young being healthy and being able to play.” Wayne Young and Shane Moore missed more than half the District race, because of the flu. Corey Parham and Larry Negron also missed games due to illness. Roosevelt Griffin was out of action for a time also with an ankle injury.

Wayne Young led Lake Highlands with 18 points in the big win over Richardson. Thoele put up 20 points once again for the Eagles. Coach Longino tried to explain his teams two losses saying, “for whatever reason, the last two games we’ve had a little lull.”

Richardson’s two losses to close out the regular season had really gotten the players attention. Robert Thoele commented coming into the playoffs, “we can lose to anybody, when Richardson isn’t playing well.” Interesting that Thoele would say that, because he had taken his game to another level the second round of District averaging 22 points a game.

Plano took a 18-11 record into the playoffs with little fanfare. In one of the most competitive Districts in the Dallas area, the Wildcats only lost three games. They were flying under the radar for sure.

All-District 12-5A 1st Team- 6’3” Brad Kuhne(13.2)-Richardson, 6’3” Robert Thoele(16.0)-Richardson, 6’3” Mike Fish(14.2)-Pearce, 6’4” Steve Herndon(17.8)-Carrollton R.L. Turner, 6’6” Jamal Young(10.8)-Lake Highlands; “Most Valuable Player”- Robert Thoele-Richardson, “Sophomore of the Year”-6’4” Drew Stanley-Berkner, “Coach of the Year”-Joe Longino: 2nd Team- 6’1” Billy McCoy(14.1)-Plano, 5’10” Chawn Cummings(3.1)-Richardson, 6’2” Kevin Peoples(13.2)-Richardson, 6’4” Wilford Johnson(8.9)-Richardson, 6’4” Chad Stone(13.1)-Berkner, 5’11” Todd Trowbridge(9.4)-Plano, 6’4” Greg Elmore(10.9)-Plano: Honorable Mention-Doug Swain(12.0)-Plano, Lance Levin(17.0)-Pearce, 6’3” Mike Reckord-Pearce, Cory Parham-Lake Highlands, 6’5” Wayne Young-Lake Highlands, 6’3” Shane Moore-Lake Highlands, Mark Wetterman-Berkner:

Standings 12-5A- Richardson(25-6) 11-3, Plano(18-11) 11-3, Lake Highlands(18-12) 8-6, Plano East(16-14) 7-7, Richardson Pearce(17-12) 6-8, Carrollton Newman Smith(14-17) 6-8, Carrollton R.L.Turner(15-14) 4-10, Richardson Berkner(10-21) 3-11:


District 13-AAAAA

                The 13-5A race was going to be one of the toughest in the state in 1987. Tyler Lee(26-5) looked to be the District favorite coming in with a 16-1 mark. The Raiders only loss in the pre-season came at the hands of lowly Richardson Berkner(10-21) 64-63. Solid wins were against Palestine(21-9) 56-46, Richardson Pearce(17-12) 76-57 and John Tyler(25-9) 65-58 in overtime in the finals of the Tyler Junior College Tournament.

Coach Larry Jones was still in charge with the Raiders and looked to have another strong team paced by 6’1” Cubie Nickleberry(15.6) and 5’11” Hosea Lee(9.8). Nickleberry was a high flyer and very athletic. Lee was one of the top point guards in the District and went on to star at East Texas State University in Commerce. Lee also had a brilliant high school coaching career winning a state title with Gainesville. Joining Lee and Nickleberry in the line-up for Coach Jones were 6’7” Reggie Cobb, 6’5” Brad McFarland and 6’0” Norman Walker(13.2). Walker was said to have unlimited range on his shot by Coach Jones.

                Texas High(24-5) had their strongest team in years as they entered District with a 13-2 mark. The Tigers were described as extremely quick by their opponents and loved to apply relentless full court pressure. Size was a problem with their tallest player only 6’3”. Coach Rick Flanagan came away with some impressive wins in pre-district against state ranked Sherman(28-3) 69-62 and Arlington Martin(27-9) 63-59. The Tigers only pre-season losses were to Garland Lakeview(25-8) 74-71 and Carrollton R.L. Turner(15-14) 70-63.

                John Tyler(24-8) had an outstanding backcourt in 6’3” Derek Turner(22.0) and 6’1” Larry Pettigrew(23.3). Turner played at South Alabama following his senior season and was a key player leading his team to the NCAA tournament. He played for coach Ronnie Arrow at South Alabama. Pettigrew played for Larry Brown at Howard County Junior College, where he was all-conference. “Larry’s awfully strong for his size. He has good body control creating shots, pumping the ball, head fakes. Those mechanics are good and he can jump. You put all those together and that’s why he can score,” Coach Lawson said. Inside 6’4” Rayford Johnson(9.9) was key for Coach Billy Lawson.

Coach Lawson had totally changed John Tyler’s style of play because of a guard-oriented team. The new pressing up-tempo style would give his team a better chance to be successful. The Lions handled Dallas Pinkston(21-8) 81-73 and South Oak Cliff(13-14) 74-72 in their pre-season campaign. Losses came against some stiff competition, Grand Prairie(23-9) 71-67, Dallas Pinkston(21-8) 66-64, Garland Lakeview(25-8) 84-71 and 58-56, and Tyler Lee(26-5) 65-58.

The Longview(23-9) Lobos looked strong coming into the 1987 season with 6’7” Todd Willis leading the way for Coach LeRoy Romines. Support for Willis came from Donnie Colbert, Devin Stevens, David Wesley and Rob Bruce. The Lobos felt they were improved over the previous season, due to the outside shooting touch of David Wesley and Donnie Martin and the inside game of Todd Willis(19.7).

                Early in the season, Longview came home with the title at the Pine Tree Invitational defeating Kilgore 74-60. The Lobos had taken down Kilgore earlier in the season in the Semi-Finals at the Oil Bowl Tournament 72-57. Longview beat Whitehouse in the finals 57-45. Palestine(20-9) also fell to Longview(23-9) in pre-district 75-48 along with South Garland(19-13) 67-58.

At the Clear Creek Tournament, the Lobos took out Baytown Lee(13-17) 59-55, Pasadena Rayburn(24-9) 67-54 and Clear Creek(18-14) 55-51. Pasadena(22-12) beat Longview(23-9) in the finals 46-42. The Lobos also split with Fair Park out of Louisiana during the season. Henderson(25-8) got by Longview 68-61 early in the season.

Right before District, Longview(23-9) gained revenge over Henderson(25-8) defeating the Lions 64-63. Darwin Pauley of Henderson had put his team up 63-62 with two seconds on the clock launching a 25-footer. Longview came right back with an incredible play of their own. Longview’s Scotty McCullough threw a long in-bounds pass to Todd Willis, who caught the ball and put up a 20-footer that went off the glass at the buzzer. “We were going to set a pick for Donnie Martin, but I saw them playing tight so I broke back. McCullough hit me with a touchdown pass, right there it was baby. Touchdown,” Willis said.

Lufkin(15-16) was always going to be competitive with Coach Jesse Walker at the helm. The Panthers offense centered around 6’5” Mark Johnson(19.0) and 6’5” Joel Davis(20.0). Although Lufkin did not challenge for District, they did serve as the spoiler defeating front runners, John Tyler(24-8), Tyler Lee(26-5) and Texas High(24-5).

Marshall High(9-20) lost almost everybody from their 18-13 team the previous season. The Mavericks were definitely in rebuilding mode along with Nacogdoches(9-22).

Longview Pine Tree(8-20) was hoping Coach Clayton Brooks could change their fortunes. Brooks had been highly successful at South Garland High School over a 16-year period.

Texas High(24-5) won the first round of District going undefeated at 7-0. The Tigers defeated John Tyler(24-8) 73-66 in Texarkana behind Johnny Moss, who put up 22 points for the Tigers. Texas High(24-5) went into Longview(23-9) and defeated the Lobos 70-68 in a nail biter. Moss finished with 23 points in the win and Todd Willis paced Longview with 23 points. Tyler Lee(26-5) fell to the Tigers 72-59 to give Texas High the first round of District and a playoff spot. The Tigers climbed as high as #8 in the state rankings and captured their first playoff appearance in 24 years.

Remember, 13-5A had a little different format using halves as opposed to total District record. Texas High struggled in the 2nd round of District finishing 4-3, but that probably had to do with they had already won a playoff spot. The Tigers lost to John Tyler(24-8) 68-60, Tyler Lee(26-5) 71-69 and Lufkin(15-16) 78-75 in 2nd round action.

John Tyler(24-8) slipped up in the first round losing to Texas High(24-5) and Lufkin(15-16) 61-57. The Lions got hot following their loss to Lufkin and ran off 12 straight wins to capture their 4th District championship in the last five years. John Tyler(24-8) took down Texas High(24-5) 68-60, Lufkin(15-16) 76-68 and Longview(23-9) 69-58 in 2nd round games.

The phenomenal guard combination of 6’2” Larry Pettigrew(23.0) and  6’3” Derek Turner(21.5) carried Tyler John Tyler through-out the season. The Lions wrapped up the 2nd half of District with an impressive 76-71 win over crosstown rival Tyler Lee(26-5). Pettigrew popped 28 points for the Lions and Turner followed with 23 points. That’s 51 points from two players!

For Tyler John Tyler(24-8) it was an opportunity to win their fourth District title in five seasons. The Lions of John Tyler had graduated three-time District MVP and four-year starter, James Johnson. “This one is the most satisfying because this group wasn’t supposed to do what they did,” Coach Billy Lawson said. “Plus, we weren’t supposed to have an inside post player, but I think Rayford Johnson proved them wrong.” John Tyler and Texas High would have to settle matters in a District playoff.

Texas High(24-5) relied heavily on quickness. Starters for 5th year Coach Rick Flanagan were as follows, 5’9” John Wilson(15.9), 6’2” Johnny Moss(12.6), 5’9” Johnny Robinson(9.6), 6’3” Johnny Reeder(12.0) and 6’3” Charles Scott(11.5). The sixth man and part-time starter was 6’3” Troy Scott(5.1). Coach Flanagan commented, “we hadn’t played with intensity in the second round, because I guess we had achieved one of our goals.”

Tyler John Tyler(25-8) came into the District playoff game against Texas High(24-5) finishing 12-2 in District play. Texas High stood at 11-3. John Tyler took the top seed in the playoffs with a 74-71 win over Texas High(24-5). Pettigrew and Derek Turner were impressive once again finishing with a combined 45 points. Pettigrew put up 25 points and Turner was good for 20. Rayford Johnson added 12 points in the Lions attack. 5’9” John Wilson(15.9) scored 22 points in the losing cause for Texas High, while 6’3” Charles Scott(11.5) added 13 and Johnny Robinson(9.6) put up 11 points. John Tyler was 14 of 30 from the line while Texas High knocked down only 7 of 14. The Lions were 30 of 56 for 53% from the floor and the Tigers shot 48% on 31 of 64.

Tyler Lee(26-5) was one of the top schools in the state left out of the playoffs. The Raiders were 26-5 on the season and 10-4 in District. Point guard, Hosea Lee(11.1/7.2 assists), showed his offensive game for the Raiders putting up 27 points in Tyler Lee’s 71-69 victory over Texas High and 31 points in the Raiders win over Nacogdoches(9-22). 6’5” Brad McFarland(8.5/5.3) and 6’7” Reggie Cobb(5.5/4.1) came up big for Coach Jones inside over the course of the season.

The Lobos of Longview had a fine season going 23-9 and 8-6 in District action. Longview finished 8-0 against the pretenders and 0-6 vs. the contenders. The Lobos had trouble with turnovers through-out the season.  

13-5A All-District-6’2” Larry Pettigrew(22.9) “M.V.P.” Tyler John Tyler, Rick Flanagan-Texas High and Billy Lawson-John Tyler were named “Co-Coach of the Year.” 6’5” Joel Davis(19.3/11.5) from Lufkin was named “Sophomore of the Year.” First Team- 6’7” Todd Willis(18.4)-Longview, 6’1” Cody Winstead(17.5) Longview Pine Tree, 6’4” Mark Johnson(16.7)-Lufkin, 6’1” Cubie Nickleberry(15.5)-Tyler Lee, 5’11” Hosea Lee(11.1) Tyler Lee, 6’3” Derek Turner(21.5)-John Tyler, 6’4” Rayford Johnson(9.9)-John Tyler, 5’5” Ed Rhoades(8.5)-Nacogdoches, 5’9” John Wilson(17.1)-Texas High, 6’2” Jimmy Moss(15.8)-Texas High:

Standings 13-5A- Tyler John Tyler(24-8) 12-2, Texas High(24-5) 11-3, Tyler Lee(26-5) 10-4, Longview(23-9) 8-6, Lufkin(15-16) 8-6, Marshall(9-20) 3-11, Longview Pine Tree(8-20) 3-11, Nacogdoches(9-22) 1-13: The District playoffs were decided in halves. Texas High went 7-0 in the first half and John Tyler went 7-0 to win the second half of District.

Tyler Morning Telegram 13-AAAAA All-District - MVP 6’2” Larry Pettigrew(23.1)-Tyler John Tyler, Newcomer of the Year-6’5” Joel Davis(19.3/11.5)-Lufkin, Coach of the Year-Billy Lawson of Tyler John Tyler, Sixth Man Award-Ronnie Caldwell(5.9)-John Tyler; 1st Team- 5’9” John Wilson(16.0)-Texas High, 6’2” Larry Pettigrew(23.1)-John Tyler, 6’3” Derek Turner(20.5)-John Tyler, 6’7” Todd Willis(18.1/11.5)-Longview, 6’4” Mark Johnson(16.7/7.5)-Lufkin; 2nd Team-5’11” Hosea Lee(11.1/7.5 assist)-Tyler Lee, 5’9” Norman Walker(13.8/3.3) Tyler Lee, 6’1” 6’1” Cubie Nickelberry(15.5/6.6)-Tyler Lee, 6’5” Joel Davis(19.3/11.5)-Lufkin, 6’2” Jimmy Moss(12.6)-Texas High: Honorable Mention- Rayford Johnson(9.7/7.9)-John Tyler, Harold Green-Marshall, 6’3” Charles Scott(11.5)-Texas High, 6’3” Johnny Reeder(12.0)-Texas High, 5’9” Jimmy Robinson(9.6)-Texas High, Cody Winstead-Longview Pine Tree, Donnie Martin-Longview, Donnie Colbert-Longview:

Dallas Morning News-All-Greater Dallas- “Player of the Year”-6’7” Larry Johnson(29.0/19.8) Dallas Skyline, 1st Team- 6’7” Larry Johnson(29.0)-Dallas Skyline, 6’2” Thomas Hocker(18.2)-Highland Park, 6’2” Derrick Daniels(11.0/13.8 assists)-FW Dunbar, 6’2” Courtney Jeans(19.0/12.0)-L.D. Bell, 5’8” James Burkhalter(22.4/6.5 assists)-Duncanville; 2nd Team- 6’8” Stephen Howard(22.5/14.4) Dallas Bishop Lynch, 6’3” Neil Derrick(27.2)-Garland, 6’4” James Higgins(25.1/11.6) Dallas Samuel, 6’3” Joel Donaldson(27.0)-Wilmer Hutchins, 6’1” Calvin Smith(27.2)-South Garland: “Coach of the Year”-J.D. Mayo-Skyline, “Sophomore of the Year”-6’3” Thomas Hill-Lancaster:

Dallas Times Herald All-Metro Team- “Player of the Year”-Larry Johnson(29.0/19.0)-Dallas Skyline, “Coach of the Year” Joe Longino -Richardson, “Newcomer of the Year”-Thomas Hill-Lancaster: 1st Team- 6’7” Larry Johnson(29.0/19.0) Dallas Skyline, 6’8” Stephen Howard(22.5/14.4) Dallas Bishop Lynch, 6’3” Joel Donaldson(27.0)-Wilmer Hutchins, 6’2” Neil Derrick(28.3) Garland, 6’1” Derrick Daniels(11.0)-FW Dunbar; 2nd Team- 6’4” Mark Chambers(16.9/11.4) FW Dunbar, 6’4” James Higgins(25.1/11.6) Dallas Samuel, 6’4” Courtney Jeans(19.0/11.0) L.D. Bell, 6’1” Calvin Smith(27.1) South Garland, 6’2” Thomas Hocker(18.2/8.2 assists) Highland Park: 

The Final Dallas Morning News Ranking(Dallas-Ft. Worth area)

Class 5-A: #1 FW Dunbar(34-0), 2. Dallas Skyline(33-1), 3. Duncanville(31-2), 4. Sherman(28-1), 5. Highland Park(27-4), 6. Dallas Sunset(20-9), 7. Garland(23-9), 8. Richardson(25-6), 9. Arlington Martin(24-8), 10. FW Trimble Tech(24-9):


                This talented District numbered nine teams, as Bryan(23-11) moved out, and Georgetown(16-17) and Austin Westlake(15-17) moved up from class 4-A. Killeen High(28-7) was always going to be competitive with their talent pool. Coach Bo Burgess had two of the top players in District in 6’5” junior, Marcus Kinney and 6’11” Maurice Artis(13.0). Other key players for Coach Burgess were 6’1” Anthony McDowell and 6’3” Marvin Moore.

                In pre-district the Kangaroos played a very competitive schedule. In the Georgetown Tournament, Killeen(28-7) defeated Round Rock Westwood(15-13) 48-22, Austin Travis(19-11) 64-44 and Round Rock(22-10) 68-57. In the finals, Killeen(28-7) went down to Spring Branch Memorial(25-8) 45-34. In the San Marcos Tournament, Killeen(28-7) defeated SA Roosevelt(23-11) 46-43 and Houston Milby(16-16) 56-55 in overtime in the 3rd place game. Bryan(23-11) had defeated the Kangaroos in the semi-finals. In the San Antonio Optimist Tournament, Killeen(28-7) defeated Converse-Judson(7-23) 66-50, Lubbock Coronado(18-14) 56-53. They were beaten by Houston Stratford(22-12) in the consolation bracket 66-61. SA Jay(21-12) beat Killeen(28-7) 44-43 earlier in the tournament.

                Killeen(28-7) more than held their own against some of the top programs in the state. The Kangaroos opened District losing to rival Killeen Ellison(24-8) 61-44. Killeen turned right around and faced another District contender in Round Rock(22-10). This was a critical game for Coach Burgess, if they were going to contend for the playoffs. Killeen had Round Rock’s(22-10) number winning impressively 60-45.

Next up for Killeen(28-7) was their old rival the Temple Wildcats(19-12). This was considered a big showdown for District supremacy, although Temple had been struggling early in District with losses to Round Rock Westwood(15-13) and Round Rock(22-10). Temple had two of the top players in District with 6’3” Daniel Cansino(21.0) and 6’5” Chris Chavers. Coach Kirby Johnson had another strong playoff candidate with three returning starters and five lettermen back from a regional semi-finalist team. Other standouts for the Wildcats were 6’3” Braden Grayer and 6’3” Bryan Rhodes. Chavers went on to play at Temple JC and a year at North Texas State.

                 The two District titans battled it out with Killeen(28-7) taking a 65-63 win over Temple(19-12). 5’10” Rodney Hendricks came up with his best game of the season scoring 17 points for the Kangaroos. Cansino paced the Wildcats with 24 points. Killeen Ellison(24-8) took the early lead in District due to their win over Killeen.

                Killeen dropped their second District game against Waco(16-18) 60-59. 6’5” Milton Hamilton paced the Lions of Waco High to the upset victory with 19 points. 6’6” Mike Shores followed with 14 points and 6’6” Patrick Fairley added 17 points. The inside game of Killeen combined for 37 points for the Kangaroos. Artis put up 21 points and Kinney joined in with 16.

                In the Ellison-Killeen rematch, both teams came in with two District losses. Ellison had lost to Round Rock(22-10) 77-68 and Temple(19-12) 64-63. Leaders for the Ellison Eagles were 5’10” Jason Hooter, 6’3” Otis Moore, 6’0” Jose Pacheco and 6’3” Farleo Poyer. Coach Mark Osina felt good about his team’s chances.

                Killeen(28-7) gained revenge in a 63-52 victory over the Eagles. Kinney paced Killeen with 19 points and Hooten had 20 points for Ellison. This set the table for the Round Rock(22-10) game. The Dragons also had two losses having lost earlier to Killeen(28-7) and their upset loss to Austin Westlake(15-17) 68-63.

                Round Rock(22-10) was a newcomer to the upper echelons of the District. Coach Marv Schmitt had a nice group led by 5’10” Richie Clauson, 5’11” Adrian Holmes, 6’5” Gene Rossow and 6’2” Scott Jones.

                The Kangaroos came back after a slow first half to outscore Round Rock(22-10) 30-18 in the 2nd half and won a tight one 57-53. Again, Kinney and Artis were key factors inside finishing with 18 and 14 points apiece. Richie Clauson and Gene Rossow combined for 32 points for the Dragons.

Round Rock(22-10) collapsed late in District, as they turned right around and lost their third game in a row to Temple(19-12) 85-62. Cansino and Chavers went off for 26 and 18 points for Temple, as the Wildcats were doing their best to get back into the playoff hunt.

                Actually, Temple(19-12) was the hottest team in District in the 2nd round, winning their last eight in a row. Unfortunately, the Wildcats had already lost five District games in the first round. Killeen(28-7) won eight of the last nine District games and claimed first place with a 13-3 mark. Ellison(24-8) was right behind the Kangaroos at 12-4. Temple(19-12) and Round Rock(22-10) tied for third at 11-5.   

All-District 1st Team- “District M.V.P.”- 6’3” Daniel Cansino(21.0)-Temple, 6’11” Maurice Artis(13.0)-Killeen, 6’5” Marcus Kinney-Killeen, 6’5” Chris Chavers-Temple, 5’10” Richie Clausen-Round Rock, 6’3” Greg Johnson-Round Rock Westwood, 5’10” Jason Hooten-Killeen Ellison: 2nd Team- 6’0” Doug Peak-Georgetown, 6’6” Mike Shores-Waco, 6’3” Otis Moore-Killeen Ellison, 6’6” Patrick Fairley-Waco, 6’3” Wally Reid-Austin Westlake, 6’3” Faaleo Poyer-Killeen Ellison, 6’4” Rick Kirkpatrick-Copperas Cove: “Coach of the Year”- Bo Burgess-Killeen and Mark Osina-Killeen Ellison:

Standings 14-5A- Killeen(28-7) 13-3, Killeen Ellison(24-8) 12-4, Round Rock(22-10) 11-5, Temple(19-12) 11-5, Round Rock Westwood(15-13) 7-9, Waco High(16-18) 6-10, Georgetown(16-17) 5-11, Austin Westlake(15-17) 4-12, Copperas Cove(5-25) 3-13:


District 15-5A was a dog fight with five teams entering District with winning records. Humble Kingwood(22-11) came away with the District title paced by 6’8” Rodney Odom, 6’1” Dale Rayman(16.0/7.7) and 6’2” Lee Whitehead(10.0). Huntsville(21-11) took the runner-up spot at 10-4. The Hornets called on 6’0” Monty Billard(15.9/10.2) and Dexter Williams(11.3) during the season. Kingwood(22-11) and Huntsville(21-11) had split during the District campaign.

The District was really more about who didn’t advance to the playoffs. A&M Consolidated(22-11) lost three District games by a total of five points. Neil McNamara and Rusty King paced A&M. Humble(22-10) had two of the top underclassmen in the state in sophomores 6’2” Tedmon Brown and 6’3” Derrick Smith. Smith went on to play at the University of Houston. Brown put up 30 points against Conroe and 22 against Kingwood. These two players would have a big impact on Humble basketball over the next two seasons.

Bryan(23-11) was the District favorite early in the season, but lost the services of 5’8” Charles Lockett. At the Waco Midway tournament over the Christmas break, Lockett got into some trouble and was released from the team. Lockett ended up at South Florida Community College following graduation and had a strong freshman campaign. He returned to Bryan after the season and got to running around with the wrong group and his career was over. Former Bryan High head man, Larry Brown, said Lockett had the quickest first step of any player he had ever coached. “We would isolate him at times and he was unstoppable,” Brown explained.

Coach Bill Shaw, formerly of Somerville, took over for Brown with the Vikings in 1987. Once in District, the Vikings struggled without Lockett and finished with a losing record. Bryan had defeated San Antonio Holmes(27-5) in the Optimist tournament in December 82-75, with Charles Lockett putting up 27 points. SA Holmes(27-5) only lost one other game during the season with the Cash twins in the line-up. Bryan(23-11) advanced to the finals of the Optimist Tourney losing to Ft. Worth Paschal 68-66. Lockett was considered one of the quickest players in the state.

Conroe’s 6’4” Terry Jefferson(22.6/7.7) was named the District M.V.P. by the coaches. Conroe McCullough was led by one of the top big men in the state in 6’9” Lane Meyer(15.8/10.1).

Huntsville(21-11) went into their next to last game of the season in a must win situation against Kingwood(22-11) to stay a game ahead of Humble(22-10). The Hornets came up big with a 57-50 victory to make the playoffs.

Kingwood(22-11) had some impressive wins in pre-district defeating Alief Elsik(23-11) 53-51, Houston Bellaire(23-11) 79-65, Klein Forest(18-10) 52-45 and Pasadena Dobie(20-13) 51-40. Losses came at the hands of Dulles(21-11) 79-67, Clear Creek(18-14) 63-54 and Aldine(21-10) 58-41.

Standings: Humble Kingwood(22-11) 11-3, Huntsville(21-11) 10-4, A&M Consolidated(21-11) 9-5, Humble(22-10) 8-6, Conroe(18-14) 7-7, Bryan(23-11) 6-8, Conroe McCullough(13-17) 5-9, New Caney(10-18) 0-14:

All-District: 1st Team- 6’4” Terry Jefferson(22.6/7.7)-Conroe, 6’3” Derrick Smith(Soph)-Humble, 6’3” Cody Blake-A&M, 6’1” Dale Rayman(16.0/7.7)-Humble Kingwood, 5’9” Scott McGee-Bryan, 6’2” Tedmon Brown(Soph)-Humble, 6’0” Monty Billard(15.9/10.2)-Huntsville, 6’9” Lane Meyer(15.8/10.1)-Conroe McCullough: MVP-Terry Jefferson, “Coach of The Year”-Jack Aldridge-Kingwood: 2nd Team- Chris Newman(12.1)-Conroe, Dexter Williams(11.3)-Huntsville, Lee Whitehead(10.0)-Kingwood, Scott Hazzard-New Caney, Neil McNamara-A&M, Rodney McFadden-Conroe, Brad Kopetsky-Bryan, Rusty King-A&M:


                Klein Oak(26-4) took the 16-5A title with two wins over rival Klein Forest(18-10) to finish 15-1. Klein Oak’s only loss in District came against Klein(16-13) 59-58. Klein Oak(26-4) was paced by the inside game of 6’6” Tim McDermott, 6’4” Rusty Hruby(13.1) and 6’3” Jim Reilly. In pre-district, Klein Oak(26-4) got past Aldine MacArthur(21-11) 58-56, Stratford(22-12) 65-53 and Conroe(18-14) 71-56. Klein Oak(26-4) also had a big early season win over Alief Hastings(32-3). Klein Oak(26-4) losses included Langham Creek(15-18) 62-57, Aldine(21-10) 61-59 and Dulles(21-10) 81-64. Rick Penny of Klein Oak was named Coach of the Year.

                Klein Forest(18-10) was led by District MVP, 6’4” Jimmy Hardwick(20.1). The Eagles finished 13-3 in District and advanced to the playoffs.    

Standings: Klein Oak(26-4) 15-1, Klein Forest(18-10) 13-3, Cypress-Fairbanks(15-14) 11-5, Klein(16-13) 10-6, Langham Creek(15-18) 6-10, Spring(9-20) 6-10, Spring Westfield(8-22) 6-10, Jersey Village(7-20) 4-12, Cypress-Creek(3-25) 1-15:

All-District 1st Team-6’4” Jimmy Hardwick(20.1)-Klein Forest, 6’6” Jeff Rowan(16.8)-Cypress-Fairbanks, 6’6” Tim McDermott-Klein Oak, 6’0” Wade Bailey(16.2)-Klein, 6’4” Rusty Hruby(13.1)-Klein Oak, 6’2” Kevin Williams(17.6)-Spring, 5’10” Ali Thompson-Klein Forest, 6’4” Paul Vermillion(14.3)-Spring, 5’11” James Glass-Spring Westfield, 6’3” Jim Reilly-Klein Oak, 6’2” Dwayne Grisbee-Langham Creek, 6’2” James Johnson-Langham Creek, 6’3” Mike Young-Jersey Village, 6’2” Mike Fitzgerald-Cypress-Fairbanks, 5’11” Greg Laird-Klein: MVP-Jimmie Hardwick-Klein Forest, “Coach of the Year”-Rick Penny- Klein Oak.




T.R. Sullivan of the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram picks:

                Teams to Beat-Dallas Skyline(32-1):           

                Teams to Watch-Richardson(25-6), Klein Oak(26-4) and Highland Park(27-4):

                Everybody was chasing Dallas Skyline(33-1) and Larry Johnson in the region II playoffs in 1987. The other teams in the region were not viewed by most to be a challenge for the Dallas crew. Most felt it would take a major upset to side track Dallas Skyline(33-1).

Was Larry Johnson(29.0/19.8) the greatest high school talent ever produced by the city of Dallas up to 1987? Sammy Hervey(37.6), Ira Terrell(30.6), Charles McMillan(24.0), David Burns(22.0), Dewayne Scales(20.0), Alton Lister(24.0), Cullen Mayfield(20.0), Carl Wright(25.0), Micheal Williams(30.9) and Rodney Samuel(22.0) were some of the names that come to mind when having that conversation.

As the playoffs opened the Highland Park Scots(27-4) looked to have an easy time facing Dallas Spruce(13-15). Highland Park were the champions in District 9-5A. After years of watching the playoffs the Scots hand finally made the big dance for the first time since 1973. Coach Tom Shelton counted on John Kull(13.2) and Thomas Hocker(17.7/8.2 assists) to propel the Scots throughout the season. District 9-5A was a little down during the 1987 season and Highland Park took advantage claiming the title. In Bi-District, the Scots faced Dallas Spruce(13-15), led by coach Val Rhodes. Lesley Booker(12.0/10 assists) and 6’6” Kelvin Chalmers were the leaders at Spruce along with 6’3” Isaac Williams.  The Highland Park-Spruce game was played at Moody Coliseum on the S.M.U. Campus.

                Although it was not a major upset, it was a surprise, as Dallas Spruce(13-15) came away with a 61-58 victory over the Scots. Spruce outscored Highland Park 14-2 in the 2nd quarter, which put the Scots battling from behind most of the evening. Lesley Booker and Chalmers were the leaders for the Spruce cause finishing with 16 points apiece. Hocker and Hull added 26 points to the Scots cause.

                Two of the more unlikely playoff candidates were Dallas Sunset(19-9) and Plano High(18-11). Neither team struck fear in the hearts of their opponents. Plano’s Coach Stan Hicks had been a regular in the playoffs after his years with Grand Prairie, but for the most part, Sunset and Plano were surprise entries in the state playoffs. For Plano, the drought had been five years and double-digit years for the Bison of Sunset. The Bison looked to Ricardo Salas and Jaime Cortes to lead the way. Plano lived and died on their inside game made up of 6’6” Doug Swain(13.0).

                Plano had built up a very comfortable lead entering the 4th quarter at 47-31, when Sunset mounted their half-court attack. Sunset went on an 11-2 run led by Roderick Watson. The Wildcats were having fits with the Sunset’s half-court trap and the Wildcats lead got down to 49-42. Plano held on winning 61-57 from the foul line. “We were having a lot of trouble breaking past the first wave of the defense,” Coach Hicks said. Plano placed five players in double figures led by Swain’s 16 points. Roderick Watson led the Bison with 14 points. It was Plano’s first playoff victory since 1980, the year they played for the state title.

                John Tyler(24-8) knew coming into the contest against Killeen Ellison(24-8) they had lost to the 14-5A representative three out of the previous five seasons. John Tyler lost to Killeen in 1983, Bryan in ’84 and ’85. Coach Lawson avoided the obvious saying, “we’re going to approach it like we’re playing in 13-5A district ball.”

                Standouts for the Lions included 6’2” Larry Pettigrew(23.1/7.7), 6’2” Derek Turner(20.6/5.3), 6’3” Rayford Johnson(9.7/7.9), 6’2” Steve Mims(3.4/3.5), and either 5’7” Rod Marshall(1.4/4 assists) or 5’11” Mike Roberson(1.1). Coach Lawson was confident that the game would be up and down. “We’d like to be a running game because our strength is there,” Lawson said. “We’ve come too far to change what we do. It always comes down to rebounding, defense and not making mistakes.”

                Ellison(24-8) came in with losses against Killeen(28-7) 63-52, Temple(19-12) 64-63 and 64-62, Round Rock(22-10) 77-68, FW Dunbar(34-0) 84-60, Spring Branch Memorial(25-8) 63-47, San Antonio MacArthur(19-14) 58-53 and San Antonio Roosevelt(23-11) 67-45. In District, Ellison had dropped Killeen(28-7) 61-44 in the team’s first meeting. Ellison24-8) was well tested for their bi-district contest.

Starters for Ellison were 5’11” Jason Hooten(15.1/7.7 assists), 5’6” Linroy Costley(8.9), 6’1” Jose Pacheco(10.0/3.7), 6’3” Will Strickland(4.8/3.2) and 6’3” Otis Moore(13.6/6.5). Ellison had opened in 1978 and making their 2nd playoff appearance under 2nd year coach Mark Osina. “I’m sure both teams will run,” Osina said.     

Tyler John Tyler(25-8) was on a 12-game winning streak coming into the Killeen Ellison(24-8) game. The two teams met at Waco’s McLennan CC. The Lions had to feel good with their outstanding backcourt of 6’2” Larry Pettigrew(22.9/7.5) and Derek Turner(21.5). It was tough to call anybody the best in the state, but they were definitely in the conversation.

                Killeen Ellison(24-8) escaped with an exciting 64-63 win over Tyler John Tyler(25-8) in Bi-District. Pettigrew scored 28 points on 11 of 19 shooting and 6 of 9 from behind the stripe, and Turner connected on 17 points. Ellison was paced by 6’3” Otis Moore with 16 points. The Lions of John Tyler finished the season at 25-9. “This group was one of the best I’ve ever had as far as putting team before self,” Coach Billy Lawson commented. “We just didn’t play well enough to win,” said Lawson.

Team Capsule: Tyler John Tyler(25-9) 12-2

                                Coach- Billy Lawson

Top Players- 6’2” Larry Pettigrew(23.1), 6’3” Derek Turner(20.5), 6’3” Rayford Johnson:

Team Strength-quickness, full-court pressure, strong guard play, outside shooting:

                                Team Weakness-limited inside, rebounding, size:

                                Style of Play-fast break, pressing:

                                Biggest Win-Texas High(24-7) 74-71 District playoff:

                                Worst Loss-Garland Lakeview(25-8) 84-71

                                Average Points- Pts. 71.3, Opp. 61.3, Diff. +10.0

                                Power Rating- 84.46      State Ranking- #10

                Texas High(24-7) didn’t have any better luck against Killeen(29-7), losing 67-54. Maurice Artis finished with 11 points and McDowell added 16 points for the victorious Kangaroos. 5’9” John Wilson(17.1) came away with 16 points for Texas High.

                Humble Kingwood(22-11) showed playoff experience would not be needed to defeat Klein Forest(18-11) 45-43 in Bi-District. Dale Rayman(16.0) paced Kingwood with 18 points in the win, while Klein Forest only placed two players in double figures in the loss. The game was played at Oak Ridge.

                Klein Oak(26-4) was fortunate defeating Huntsville(21-11) 61-56 to advance. Klein Oak slowed Huntsville down in the 3rd quarter with their zone defense, limiting the Hornets to only six points. Tim McDermott paced Klein Oak with 13 points and Rusty Hruby(13.1) added 11 points. Marty Billard(15.) was  19/12 for Huntsville.

                As Dallas Kimball(23-7) approached  the playoffs they were nothing like the teams that had advanced to regionals four years running. Crippled by grades, dismissals and injuries, the Knights limped into the playoffs. Richardson(25-6) was a team that looked like they needed some redirection as well, as they entered the playoffs having lost two games in a row.

Richardson’s Robert Thoele(16.0) paced the Eagles to a comfortable first round win 78-51 over the Knights of Kimball, scoring 23 points from long range. 6’2” Kevin Peoples(13.4) put up 18 points in the Eagles winning effort. 6’4” Wilford Johnson had one of his best games of the season with 15 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists and 1 steal. Kimball placed Virgil King with 11 points, Alex Fisher added 10 points and John Scott came in with 10 points.

                At S.M.U.’s Moody Coliseum, Richardson(25-6) took control of Kimball(23-7) outscoring the Knights 44-19 in the 2nd half. Chawn Cummings got into early foul trouble for the Eagles and was replaced by 6th man, 6’3” Brad Mouser. Kuhne moved over to the point replacing Cummings.

Although 6’4” Wilford Johnson was not a team captain, he was default team leader, as he commented after the Kimball game, “we just have to play well as a team, that is the key for our success. We may have gotten away from that a little when we lost. Maybe this game will go a long way in restoring us as a team.”

                Johnson got Coach Longino’s attention earlier in the season when he overheard a Longino conversation. Coach was having a conversation that indicated that he really didn’t want to face the Dunbar’s and Skyline’s of the world. Johnson and Longino, along with several team leaders, were called into a meeting to discuss the situation. Wilford conveyed that he wanted to face “Big Larry” or anybody else. “Were not afraid of anybody,” Wilford told Coach Longino. “We want you to believe in us as much as we believe in ourselves.”

“Coach began to tear-up and let us know that he thought we just might get our chance,” Kuhne said.  

                Neil Derrick will never get the acclaim he probably deserves, but he was one of my personal favorites during this period. As he prepared to meet Larry Johnson in Bi-District, I knew the sparks would be flying. Garland High(21-9) was led by Coach Lane Norsworthy and Dallas Skyline(33-1) was directed by J.D. Mayo. Both coaches showed tremendous respect for the other team’s super-stars. “He scares me to death, he can score from anywhere,” Coach Mayo commented about Derrick. Coach Norsworthy discussed L.J. saying, “He’s a man still playing in high school, he’s the most complete player I’ve ever seen.” Norsworthy continued saying, “I don’t know if we can guard him or not, I’d like to hold him to 20 or less. We’re just going to try to put some pressure on the ball and see how we match up with them.”

                Moody Coliseum was the site of the historic game and you know I was in attendance. Two of the state’s most prolific scorers in the state. 6’7” Johnson came in with a 29.0 average and 6’2” Derrick was putting up 28.3 a game. Derrick had played the previous five games with two broken fingers on his shooting hand.(Left)

                Jonathan Feigen of the Dallas Times Herald ran a great interview prior to the Garland-Skyline game including the interview with John Paul Fultz.

                Standouts for the Owls of Garland(21-9) were 6’3” Kenny Estes, 6’5 Brady Hughes, 6’3” George Williams and Derrick. “I’m really excited about seeing those two go head to head,” said Lakeview head man John Paul Fultz(*). Lakeview had faced Skyline and Garland High twice. “I’ll be glad to pay for that one. In 21 years coaching in the Dallas area, Larry Johnson is the best power player I’ve ever seen. And I think athletically, Neil is as good as Larry. I think next year he’ll be the highest-scoring player we’ve ever had in the Metro-Plex.” Ditto that statement from yours truly. Fultz continued saying, “right now, Larry and Neil are head and shoulders above everyone in this area.”

                Johnson became fairly widely known for his unselfish style of play. Against Dallas Jesuit, Johnson didn’t take a shot, instead passing to his teammates due to the double and triple-teams. “It’s amazing how all the publicity and attention has never gone to his head,” Fultz said. “He’s a great player,” Derrick said. “He’s the reason Skyline’s so good.”

                “Larry scores all game long while Neil is more explosive,” Fultz said. “Larry is always there, always contributing. Neil kind of goes along, then gets a feeling and scores 10 points in two minutes.”

“Everybody in school is making a big deal about this game. I can’t go anywhere without someone talking about it,” Johnson said. “I know for a fact we’ll be playing like it’s our last game.”

                “You can’t hold him to 10 or 15 points,” L.J. said. “He’s going to shoot and he’s going to score.” Against arch rival Lakeview, Derrick put up 47 points. Neil’s best friend played for Lakeview, Louis Hicks.

                 Skyline was far from a one man show with Burnis McFarland, Derrick Wallace and Lyle George showing their talents. For the Owls they looked to point guard Chris Johnson to take some of the pressure off Derrick.

(*) Few remember the remarkable basketball career of Mr. Fultz at Dallas Samuel and the University of Texas. 6’8” Fultz and 6’6” Ken Norman were the center pieces of Samuel’s outstanding team in 1961. Both players went on to play on conference championship teams at Texas and Texas A&M. Fultz was a TEXAS LEGEND.

                The Historic game didn’t disappoint, as Skyline came away with a 96-83 victory over the Owls. L.J. was unbelievable finishing with 38 points and 21 rebounds. Derrick produced 42 points with the hand injury. I remember well him driving the lane and hanging in the air forever, putting up off balance acrobatic shots. It was truly a thing of beauty. When Derrick got it going, he was one of the most explosive scorers I’d ever witnessed.

                Coach Mayo wanted to get the ball inside and was successful. “We didn’t want the guards taking 25-foot shots, we wanted to get into #33,” Mayo explained. “Once we got it to him, he took over, he was incredible.”

                Skyline took an early lead and was up at halftime 43-37. Chris Johnson came away with 16 points for the Owls and Lyle George helped the Raiders cause with 18 points.        

                As the state playoffs progressed it looked as if Plano(19-11) had gotten a pretty sweet draw facing Dallas Sunset(19-9) and Dallas Spruce(14-15). In previous years most schools never wanted to face the Dallas schools in the playoffs, but that was not the case in 1987. The Wildcats of Plano won a double overtime game against Spruce 55-51 to advance to regionals. Carrollton R.L. Turner was the site of the second-round contest. The Wildcat’s Todd Trowbridge hit two late free throws to cement the win. Swain again led the Wildcats with 19 points and Booker sparked Spruce with 16 points.   

Humble Kingwood(23-11) ended Killeen Ellison’s(25-8) playoff hopes 45-41. 6’8” Rodney Odom and 6’1” Dale Rayman(16.0) led Kingwood to victory with 12 and 11 points. Jason Hooten finished with 15 points to lead Ellison.

Richardson(26-6) and Dallas Skyline(34-1) played at Loos Field house in 2nd round action. Coach Longino was considered an unbelievable motivator by his players and his motivation skills would be put to the test as Richardson approached the Dallas Skyline Raiders(34-1). Skyline was listed at #3 in the state polls behind Dunbar(34-0) and LaPorte(34-0). “Our strength has been our ability to shoot the ball well from the outside,” Coach Longino said.

                Coming into the game it was reported that Larry had the flu and a temperature of 102 degrees. The Richardson players said they had watched Skyline in Bi-District action against Garland and that Johnson talked a lot of trash. “He not only dominated people physically, but also psychologically, like no other player I had ever witnessed,” Kuhne said. “We knew we couldn’t be intimidated.”

Richardson opened in a collapsing 2-3 zone in an attempt to somehow contain L.J. The Eagles did a great job slowing Johnson, but the refs played a big role calling Johnson’s third and fourth fouls in the 3rd quarter. At the 1:35 mark of the 3rd period, Johnson had four fouls. Because of the foul situation, L.J. had to sit for long stretches in the 2nd half. The Eagles entered the 4th quarter up by ten 50-40. Derrick Wallace sparked a Skyline 13-2 comeback in the final frame, pulling the Raiders within one point at 60-59 with 1:09 remaining. Johnson ended up guarding Thoele in an attempt to slow the 6’3” senior down. Thoele(16.0) came through once again in so many ways with four key foul shots in the final minute and finished the game with 21 points and 9 rebounds. Kevin Peoples(13.4) proved effective as well with 15 points and 7 rebounds and hit 3 of 4 from the line in the final 14 seconds. Richardson had pulled off the miracle with a 68-59 upset. The Eagles hit eight of ten from the line in the final 54 seconds of the game. Johnson, never one to make excuses, said following the heartbreaking loss, “they just outplayed us.” Never a mention of the flu or his fever. Unreal maturity for a high school player.

                For Richardson the win was a dream come true against one of the best players in Texas High School basketball history. It was called one of the biggest upsets of the decade by many. In a series, Skyline would have the advantage, but in a one game playoff, anything can happen. Very seldom do I ever refer to the Power Ratings, but there was only four points separating the two teams. Skyline finished at 89.62 and Richardson came away at 85.73. That means if the two teams faced one another on a neutral court, Skyline would have only been a four-point favorite. Another surprising stat was Skyline(75.3-60.0) average margin of victory was +15.3, while Richardson(66.2-51.3) +14.9. A difference of .4 of a point. Both teams played very challenging schedules. Looking back and reflecting, I would have to say, Skyline was a little overrated and Richardson was underrated.

The key factor in looking at the historic game was Richardson’s ability to shoot from the outside. Thoele and Kuhne combined for 37 points against Skyline, all from long range. Also, Skyline’s lack of interior depth hurt a great deal when Johnson sat out for several minutes. And last, but not least, was the interior defense Eagles possessed in 6’2” Kevin Peoples and 6’4” Wilford Johnson. These two young men had played together for six years and tenacious on the defensive end. Both players could elevate.

                Richardson’s locker room after the game was a total celebration. “Within the team, we knew we could play with them,” point guard Chawn Cummings said. “Although the fans were kind of doubting us, we still felt strong within the team,” Cummings continued. Cummings later went on to become the head basketball for the Eagles for two seasons.

“We were taking a back seat the whole week,” Thoele said. “We just wanted to get a little recognition, because we can play with the best.”

Larry Johnson was a TEXAS LEGEND finishing his career with 29 points and 14 rebounds in less than three quarters. McFarland came away with 12 points for Coach Mayo. To this day, L.J. still remains one of the best to ever play in the Lone Star state.

Killeen(28-7) got by Klein Oak(27-4) 37-36 on 6’11” Maurice Artis’ 19 points at G. Rollie White Coliseum in College Station. That was over half of the Kangaroos offensive out-put in the game. Artis added four rebounds and five blocks to his dominating evening. The Kangaroos had been comfortably ahead 31-24 entering the final quarter, when they went ice cold at the foul line. Killeen finished 1 of 8 from the stripe and left town with a one-point win. Rusty Hruby paced Klein Oak with 10 points and 7 rebounds.




Team Capsule: Dallas Skyline Raiders 34-2 (10-0)

                Coach- J.D. Mayo

Top Players- 6’7” Larry Johnson(29.0/19.8), 5’9”Burnis McFarland, 5’10” Lyle George:

Team Strength-Johnson dominated inside, solid outside shooting, unselfish:

Team Weakness-very little depth, overall size, ability to defend:

Style of Play-liked to push the ball, in the half court look to Johnson:

                Biggest Win-Duncanville(32-3) 60-54 OT

                Worst Loss-Richardson(29-7) 68-59  (2nd Round)

                Average Points- Pts. 75.0, Opp. 59.0, Diff. +16.0

                Power Rating- 89.62      End of Season State Ranking- #4


Region II Showcase:

1980       Cypress-Creek        Plano                      Dallas Roosevelt   Grand Prairie

1981       Killeen                    Wilmer Hutchins  Dallas Roosevelt  Longview

1982       North Mesquite    Bryan                      Dallas Carter         Tyler Lee

1983       Killeen                    Bryan                     Dallas Kimball       Richardson

1984       Conroe                   Bryan                     Dallas Kimball       Dallas Carter

1985       Conroe                   Bryan                      Dallas Kimball       S.O.C.

1986       Lufkin                     Temple                   Dallas Kimball      S.O.C.

1987       Killeen                    Plano                      Kingwood              Richardson



                Richardson(27-6) came into regionals on an emotional high having beaten Dallas Skyline(33-1). The Eagles would be unable to relax because of Killeen’s(29-7) two strong inside players, 6’11” Maurice Artis and 6’6” Marcus Kinney. “They’re big,” Longino said. “They play slow, real slow and deliberate.” Killeen(29-7) had defeated Texas High(24-7) in Bi-District, so they were able to handle high pressure defenses. Artis had trouble getting up and down the court, but once in position, he was going to be a difference maker. 6’3” Anthony McDowell was Killeen’s best outside threat. Robert Thoele and Brad Kuhne would need to have strong games for the Eagles to advance.

                Thoele(16.0) once again proved reliable scoring 16 points in the 3rd period against Killeen’s zone defense. The results of which were a 68-53 Eagle victory. Most of Thoele’s points came from deep in the corner. “If one guy’s on, these guys are smart enough to give it to him until he’s not on anymore,” Coach Longino said. “I thought defensively we did a great job and we shot the ball well again, which has kind of been our ace in the hole for us,” Longino continued. Thoele finished the evening with 29 points, his playoff high. Kevin Peoples(13.4) was good for 13 points; Wilford Johnson came away with 10 points and 7 rebounds. The Eagles had things well under control moving into the 4th up 53-40. Marcus Kennedy paced Killeen with 20 points, Artis put up 13 points and McDonald was good for 11. Richardson had a big advantage at the line going 18 of 24 and Killeen was able to hit 11 of 21.

                Plano(20-11) and Humble Kingwood(24-11) rambled into regionals with few expectations having far exceeded their wildest dreams. 6’7” Doug Swain(12.0), 6’3” Billy McCoy(14.1), Todd Trowbridge(9.2), 6’2” Steve Hamburg and 6’4” Greg Elmore(10.9) made up the Wildcats balanced attack. Kingwood countered with 6’1” Dale Rayman(16.1), 6’2” Lee Whitehead(10.0) and 6’8” sophomore, Rodney Odom. The game was expected to be like watching paint dry, as both teams walked the ball up the court with their mammoth size.

                Unfortunately, for Coach Stan Hicks, Plano’s(20-11) Cinderella season had come to an end. Humble Kingwood(23-11) defeated the Wildcats 47-38. Things were going well for Plano, when suddenly the wheels came off. 6’7” Doug Swain was hit with 3 technical fouls in the last four minutes of the contest, two of which were for not raising his hand on a personal foul. Swains third T came when he slapped the floor after receiving the 2nd technical. Plano was ahead 31-29 at the time. Kingwood’s Lee Whitehead finished with 19 points on 11 of 11 from the free throw line. McCoy knocked down 10 points for Wildcats.

Regional Finals

                The regional finals featured Humble Kingwood’s(24-11) slow-down game against the up tempo Eagles of Richardson(28-6). The Mustangs extended their 2-3 zone out to cover Thoele(16.0) and Kuhne(13.4). This left 6’8” Rodney Odom patrolling the middle. Offensively, Odom was having little trouble against Richardson’s man to man defense. Midway through the 3rd period, Coach Longino of Richardson made an adjustment. Longino went to a half court zone and put Wilford Johnson on Odom man to man. The defense worked, as Odom only scored two points the rest of the game and Richardson advanced to state 65-61 winners.

Wilford Johnson hit two foul shots late, which proved to be big along with 8 of 9 for the game. 6’2” Kevin Peoples got into early foul trouble trying to contain Odom. Peoples had a nice offensive game finishing with 15 points and 9 of 10 from the stripe. Thoele produced 27 points from long range, that proved to be the difference. “I don’t think we would have won regionals had it not been for Thoele’s shooting,” Brad Kuhne said. Rayman put up 16 points in the Mustangs loss and Odom was high man with 20 points.

It was a rather unusual year at the region II with size being the order of the day. 6’8” Rodney Odom of Kingwood, 6’11” Maurice Artis and 6’5” Marcus Kinney of Killeen and 6’7” Doug Swain from Plano. Richardson, the team with very little size, advanced to state with outstanding shooting from their guards. 

Region III Playoffs                               

Alief Hastings(32-2) #8                                      Houston Sam Houston(26-6) #12

Houston Westbury(25-7)                                  Houston Sterling(15-11)

Houston Stratford(22-12)                                 Houston Yates(23-7) #11

Houston Lee(26-7) #19                                      Houston Washington(17-11)

Beaumont Central(22-6) #4                              LaPorte(34-0) #2

Baytown Sterling(18-12)                                   Beaumont Westbrook(29-7)

Houston Smiley(20-13)                                      Clear Lake(24-9)

Pasadena Rayburn(24-9)                                   Aldine MacArthur(21-11)

Top Players in Region III

                6’6”        Williams Gooden                 15.8        LaPorte

                6’1”        Charles McCovery               19.8        LaPorte

                6’10”      Bobby Holkan                       16.0        Clear Lake

                6’6”        Darryl Johnson                     16.0        Houston Yates

                6’0”        Elmer Bennett                     30.3        Houston Bellaire

                6’4”        Daimon Sweet                     19.8        Beaumont Central

                6’0”        Chris Walker                         20.3        Houston Milby

                6’1”        Ronnie Ellison                       19.6        Alief Hastings

                6’2”        Darrell Williams                   20.2        Houston Sam Houston

                6’5”        Ron Chovance                      20.5        Spring Branch Memorial

                Region III was very competitive once again after somewhat of a down season in 1986. LaPorte(34-0) was ranked #2 in the T.A.B.C. rankings and #22 in the country according to U.S.A Today. Everybody was chasing the Bulldogs. Alief Hastings(32-2) was loaded for a strong playoff run and Beaumont Central(22-6) and Houston Yates(23-7) were very talented as well. The problem with the brackets is if everything went according to plan, Central would face LaPorte in the 2nd round and Yates would have to play the Bulldogs in the regional semi-finals. The Bulldogs would have to face #4 Beaumont Central, #11 Yates and #8 Hastings in consecutive games. They were the three top rated teams in the region. Tough Road! I know some coaches say it doesn’t matter, but the tougher the road, the more chances to be upset, especially in a single elimination tournament.


                Alief Hastings(32-2) was one of the big stories during the 1987 season and one of the top teams in the state. The Bears lost 6’7” Rodrick Brown and 6’1” Jamison Johnson from their 1986 squad and were expected to be weaker.

After an early season loss to Klein Oak(27-4) in the first round of the Kingwood Tournament, Hastings proceeded to win 28 games in a row. “Klein Oak was so well coached in was difficult to press them,” Coach Sherley said. Rick Penny was the head man at Klein Oak at the time. In talking with Coach Sherley, he conveyed how he made an improvement on his transition game from the ’86 season into the ’87 campaign. “We had lost to Klein Oak the year before and one of the reasons was their sideline fast break. They would get the ball up court so quick that we couldn’t get our press set-up. During the off season I sat down with Coach Rick Penny of Klein Oak. We implemented the sideline break, which really improved our ability to get up the court faster.” To make matters even worse for Hastings opponents, throwing the ball inbounds was a future Rice University baseball pitcher, Tony Spears. “Spears could throw the ball to mid court, which really gave us the advantage moving the ball up the court quickly,” Coach Sherley said.

Coach Sherley ran four different presses that he acquired coaching with Ronnie Arrow at Pasadena High. Hastings ran a diamond press, full-court man, run and jump and a 1-2-2 three quarter court press. “We ran the 1-2-2 press after a missed basket, it really gave teams fits because you were forced to be patient when attacking it,” Sherley explained. “Most of the basketball I learned was coaching with Coach Arrow at Pasadena High for one year. Arrow had been and graduate assistant with Archie Porter at Sam Houston State.” Porter had previously won state while at Dallas Thomas Jefferson back in 1962.

The Bears took down Houston Westbury(25-8) 62-44, Aldine(21-10) 75-71, Conroe(18-14) 92-66, Pasadena(22-12) 55-54, Corpus Christi King(20-11) 86-51, San Antonio Sam Houston(24-9) 80-65, Corpus Christi Moody(23-10) 56-52, Houston Sam Houston(27-7) 75-73, Houston Yates(25-8) 85-83, Willowridge(21-10) 70-58 and Clear Creek(18-14) 70-65. Once District opened up, Hastings continued the winning finishing 15-1.

                Coach Rick Sherley had a talented backcourt in 6’2” Preston Ivory(16.3/6.0) and 6’2” Ronnie Ellison(19.6/5.0). 6’3” Tony Spears(12.0/5.0) and 5’10” Chad Higginbotham(8.0) were also key contributors to the Bears attack. Hastings pressing style enabled the Bears to play a wide-open style. “We press the whole game, every chance we get,” Coach Sherley said. “We’ve played some people with big men, but they couldn’t break our press, I’m amazed that nobody has been able to take advantage of our lack of size,”

Hastings was a senior dominated team with 14 on the roster. Although the Bears had no shot blocker’s, they discouraged dribble penetration by taking over 110 charges on the season as a team. Ivory and Ellison both attended U.T.S.A., Spears played baseball at Rice and Kyle Smith played at Hamilton College and is presently the head man at Washington State University.     

                The District favorites were Spring Branch Memorial(25-8) and Alief Hastings(32-2). Other teams competing for a playoff spot were Houston Stratford(23-13) and Alief Elsik(23-11).

Hastings and the Mustangs of Memorial split during District. The Bears defeated Memorial 38-36 in the first meeting by holding 6’5” Ron Chovanec(20.5) to only 14 points. The Mustangs gave Hastings their only District loss in the rematch 58-56. Years later Rick Sherley commented, “Don Coleman of Memorial was one of the best coaches I‘ve ever known.”

Memorial was highly respected in the state polls, but slipped up in District losing both games to Stratford(23-13) 50-40 and 64-55. The Mustangs also loss to Spring Woods(17-17) 46-41 and Alief Elsik(23-11) 57-51, which knocked them from the playoff race.

Spring Branch Memorial(25-8) had the type team that could make you look bad if you failed to prepare for a tough half-court game. In pre-district the Mustangs were impressive with wins over Pasadena Dobie(20-13) 58-31, Killeen Ellison(24-8) 63-47, Killeen(28-7) 45-34, Houston Westbury(25-7) 49-47 and Humble(22-10) 61-60. Memorial lost to Houston Lee(26-7) 53-50, Springs Woods(17-17) 53-50 and Willowridge(19-9) 72-66 coming into district. Kent Griffith and Don Childress were critical to the Mustangs success over the season.

                Houston Stratford(22-12) snuck in and took the other playoff spot behind 6’0” Tom Gerhardt(14.0), 6’5” Jason Klein(13.2/10.2) and 6’2” David Klingler(13.5/7.6) with a 12-4 record. Once again Stratford’s wins over Memorial put them in the driver’s seat.    

Standings: Alief Hastings(32-2) 15-1, Stratford(22-12) 12-4, Spring Branch Memorial(25-8) 11-5, Alief Elsik(23-11) 10-6, Spring Woods(17-17) 8-8, Mayde Creek(14-18) 5-11, Katy(12-18) 5-11, Northbrook(8-22) 4-12, Katy Taylor(7-23) 2-14:

All-District 1st Team- 6’2” Ronnie Ellison(19.6)-Alief Hastings, 6’5” Ron Chovanec(20.5)-SB Memorial, 6’2” Preston Ivory(16.3)-Alief Hastings, 6’0” Tom Gerhardt(14.0)-Stratford, 6’5” Jason Klein(13.2/10.2)-Stratford, 6’2” David Klingler(13.5/7.6)-Stratford, 7’0” Matt Wenstrom(19.0/11.1)-Mayde Creek(sophomore), 6’2” Tim Shumaker(14.6)-Alief Elsik; 2nd Team-Kent Griffith-Memorial, 6’3” Tony Spears-Hastings, 5’11” Chad Higginbotham-Hastings, Don Childress-Memorial, Corey Jackson-Alief Elsik(Sophomore), Joe Lewis-Katy, Chris Bryant(12.8)-Spring Woods(Sophomore): MVP-6’2” Ronnie Ellison(19.8)-Hastings:


                Houston Lee(26-7) came away with the District title over Houston Westbury(25-7) and Houston Bellaire(23-11). The Generals of Lee looked to 6’2” David McHayles(12.4), 6’2” Dale McHayles(14.6), 6’3” Jarrod Harrell and 6’3” Walter Felder(12.2/7.1) and finished District at 11-1. Lee was coached by Mike Fergus, who implemented a pre-season running program and weight training to turn things around for the Generals. Fergus had been with Coach Gene Iba at Houston Baptist prior to taking over at Lee.

                Houston Lee defeated District rival Houston Westbury(25-7) 58-56 and 62-50 to capture the 18-5A title. Lee split with Bellaire(23-11) for their only blemish in District 68-63. Pre-season wins came against Spring Branch Memorial(25-8) 53-50, Houston Smiley(18-13) 46-44 and 60-59, Willowridge(19-9) 64-59, San Antonio Madison(19-14) 52-36. Lee loss to Aldine MacArthur(21-11) in four overtimes 63-61.

                Houston Westbury(25-7) took down Houston Bellaire(23-11) twice 64-52 and 57-51 to finish second and advanced to the playoffs. Key players for Westbury were 6’4” Winn Shepard(14.3), 6’2” Larry White(14.7) and 6’2” Jams Nelson(11.2). Bellaire was paced by the most prolific scorer in the state in junior guard, 6’0” Elmer Bennett(30.3). Bennett put up 37 in a losing effort against Westbury and 35 in the win over Houston Lee.

Standings: Houston Lee(26-7) 11-1, Houston Westbury(25-7) 10-2, Houston Bellaire(23-11) 8-4, Houston Worthing(13-12) 6-6, Houston Madison(11-17) 4-8, Houston Sharpstown(10-20) 2-10, Houston Lamar(12-15) 1-11:

All-District 1st Team- 6’0” Elmer Bennett(30.3)-Bellaire, 6’3” Walter Felder(12.1/7.1)-Houston Lee, 6’2” Dale McHayle(14.6)-Houston Lee, 6’4” Scott Harrison(19.0)-Sharpstown, 6’4” Winn Shepard(14.3)-Houston Westbury; 6’2” Larry White(14.7)-Westbury, 6’2” Tarrard Bessard-Houston Worthing, 6’2” Dotson Bradley(15.1)-Houston Lamar, 6’2” James Nelson(11.2)-Westbury, 6’3” Jarrod Harrell-Houston Lee, 6’6 Michael Brown-Houston Madison: 2nd Team- Michael Hubbard-Houston Bellaire, Calvin Rice-Houston Madison, David McHayle(12.4)-Houston Lee, Darrell Carroll(13.3)-Houston Lamar, Kellon Soloman-Houston Worthing, David McCarty(14.3)-Sharpstown: MVP-Elmer Bennett(30.3)-Bellaire, “Coach of the Year”-Mike Fergus-Houston Lee:


                The Houston Sam Houston(26-6) Tigers pretty much dominated the District after advancing to the finals of the Jaycees Tournament. The Tigers went 9-1 in District defeating Houston Kashmere(15-12) 71-62 and 66-64. Sam Houston split with Houston Washington(17-11), who captured the other playoff spot.

In a twisted turn of events, the Rams of Houston Kashmere defeated Washington in both conference games, only to lose twice to Houston Waltrip(16-18) 82-81 and 95-84. Kashmere missed the playoffs for one of the few times during the decade.

                6’2” Darrell Williams(20.0/8.1) led Sam Houston and was named District MVP. 5’9” Marlan Hooper(10.0), Reginald Harris, Jody Arthur and 6’11” Gerry Holmes were keepers for the Tigers.

Standings: Houston Sam Houston(26-6) 9-1, Houston Washington(17-11) 7-3, Houston Kashmere(15-12) 6-4, Houston Waltrip(16-18) 6-4, Houston Davis(11-15) 2-8, Houston Reagan(4-19) 0-10:

All-District 1st Team- 6’7” Reginald Slater-Kashmere, 6’3” Raynard Thomas-Houston Waltrip, 6’0” Hulon Loudd-Houston Washington(Sophomore), 6’4” John Small(20.4)-Houston Davis, 6’2” Darrell Williams(20.0/8.1)-Houston Sam Houston, 6’2” Rodney Hampton-Kashmere, 6’4” Kenneth Nolan-Washington, 6’4” Antuan Morris-Houston Davis(Sophomore), 5’9” Marlan Hooper(10.0)-Houston Sam Houston, 5’9” Randy Taylor-Houston Waltrip: 2nd Team-Reginald Harris-Sam Houston, Eddie McGill-Houston Waltrip, Eddie Williams-Washington, Jody Arthur-Houston Sam Houston, Andre Smith-Houston Davis: MVP-6’2” Darrell Williams(20.2)-Sam Houston, “Coach of the Year”-Larry Pitre-Sam Houston:


                District 20-5A is usually one of the strongest Districts in the state as a general rule. The 1987 season saw Houston Yates(23-7) dominate the conference with a physically imposing team. 6’6” Daryl Johnson and 6’4” Rodney Diggs were outstanding for the Lions new coach, Walter Johnson. Others standouts for Yates included 5’11” Terry Gee and Tyrene Greer. Johnson had a stellar career at the University of San Francisco, while Diggs signed with the University of Houston.

                The Lions were reading their press clippings early in the season and dropped several games according to Coach Walter Johnson. Losses included LaPorte(34-0) 79-70, Clear Lake(24-9) 70-64, Houston Worthing(13-12) 71-67, Elsik(23-11) 67-65 and Alief Hastings(32-2) 85-83. After a slow start, Yates captured the Jaycees Tournament defeating Houston Worthing(13-12) 99-68, Houston Westbury(25-8) 74-72, Houston Milby(16-16) 104-89 and Houston Sam Houston(27-7) in the finals 66-61.

Yates(23-7) ran through District undefeated with the exception of their loss to Houston Milby(16-16). Coach Boyce Honea of the Buffaloes knew going into the game against Yates his team would need to keep Yates off the offensive glass and handle the Lions press. In Milby’s earlier loss in the Jaycee Tournament, the Buffaloes had turned the ball over 28 times.

According to Coach Honea, there were two big keys to his team’s 67-66 victory over Yates(23-7). Milby’s(16-16) ability to control the tempo and they never trailed. 5’11” Chris Walker(20.3) had a monster game finishing with 28 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists, 4 steals and 2 charges. Walker also was outstanding against the Yates full court pressure. Sam Hines, another junior for Coach Honea, put up 17 points. Coach Honea and the Buffaloes were elated following the upset win.  

In the rematch between the two rivals, Yates(23-7) and Milby(16-16) entered the 4th quarter all tied up at 43 apiece. The difference for Milby this time was five missed free throws down the stretch, giving Yates the 63-54 win.

                Houston Sterling(15-11) took down Houston Milby(16-16) 53-49 and 68-57 to take the 2nd playoff spot in the playoffs. 6’5” Myron Milton and 6’5” Patrick Webbs were the leaders for Sterling.

Standings: Houston Yates(23-7) 9-1, Houston Sterling(15-11) 7-3, Houston Milby(16-16) 6-4, Houston Jones(16-13) 4-6, Houston Wheatley(13-14) 3-7, Houston Austin(9-20) 1-9:

All-District 1st Team- 6’4” Rodney Diggs-Yates, 5’11” Terry Gee-Yates, 6’8” Calvin Horton(16.0/10.0)-Houston Davis, 6’1” Patrick Lewis(14.0)-Houston Davis, 6’5” Kanavis McGee(17.7/14.8)-Houston Wheatley, 6’5” Myron Milton-Houston Sterling, 6’1” Chris Walker(20.3)-Houston Milby, 6’0” Alfred Watson(15.1)-Wheatley(Sophomore), 6’5” Patrick Webb-Houston Sterling, 6’5” Alfred Williams(14.8/8.0)-Houston Jones, 6’6” Darryl Johnson-Yates: 2nd Team-Keith Feldman-Milby, R. Gabriel-Houston Jones, Tyrene Greer -Yates, Mark Guillory-Sterling, Sam Hines(11.7)-Milby: MVP Darryl Johnson-Yates, “Coach of the Year”- Walter Johnson-Yates:


                Houston Smiley(18-13) and Aldine MacArthur(21-11) had a dog fight in District 21-5A. Smiley beat out Aldine MacArthur(21-11) 60-58 in overtime to capture the top seed in District. The two teams tied for District and were forced into a District playoff at Forest Brook high school. Delvin Thomas of Smiley hit a baseline jumper with one second remaining to give Smiley the win. MacArthur lost the game from the foul line according to Coach Walt Kaser of the Generals. “Free throws lost if for us.” MacArthur hit 10 of 22 while Smiley hit 8 of 14 from the line. Smiley’s Deon Samuels sent the game into overtime with a big bucket. MacArthur struggled against Smiley’s full-court pressure.

                Houston Smiley(18-13) played a warm-up game against Beaumont Central(24-5) and came away with an impressive 69-66 win. Central was thought to be one of the top ten teams in the state. Deon Samuels led the charge in the big win over Central with 17 points followed by Tahaun Ford’s 14 points.

Standings: Houston Smiley(18-13) 9-2, Houston MacArthur(21-11) 8-3, Aldine(21-10) 7-3, Aldine Eisenhower(12-15) 5-5, Forest Brook(5-22) 1-9, Aldine Nimitz(5-21) 1-9:

All-District 1st Team- 6’3” Tahaun Ford(13.5)-Houston Smiley, 6’5” Edgar Powers-Aldine MacArthur, 6’4” Steve Sides-Aldine, 6’1” Ronnie Burton-Aldine, 6’1” Clyde Chapron- Aldine Nimitz, 6’2” Greg Elmore- Aldine Eisenhower: 2nd Team-Henry Elliott-Eisenhower, Kelvin Welch-MacArthur, 6’8” Roy Howard-Smiley, Robert Sanders-Forest Brook, Deon Samuels-Houston Smiley:

                                Final Houston Post Rankings

  1. LaPorte 32-0
  2. Bay City 26-4
  3. Houston Kinkaid 31-0
  4. Alief Hastings 30-2
  5. Houston Yates 21-7
  6. Sam Houston 24-6
  7. Brazoswood 22-6
  8. Klein Oak 25-4
  9. Houston Lee 25-7
  10. Clear Lake 24-9


                The 22-5A had a new look in the 1986-87 season with Beaumont French and Beaumont Pollard merging into Beaumont Central(22-5). West Orange Stark moved down to class 4-A, and of course Pt. Arthur Lincoln had been in class 4-A since 1983. The District was very top heavy with Beaumont Central(22-5), Beaumont Westbrook(28-7) and Nederland(22-9) battling for the two playoff spots. The District overall was nowhere near what it had once been.

                Beaumont Westbrook(28-7) received a crushing blow in mid-January when they lost three starters to grades in no-pass, no-play.

                Beaumont Central(22-5) and Pt. Arthur Lincoln(26-5) met four times over the course of the season in one of the strongest rivalries in the state, a new one at that. Beaumont Central took Pollard’s place as Lincoln’s big rival.

In the finals of the Nederland Tournament, Beaumont Central(22-5) defeated PA Lincoln(26-5) 74-69. Two of the top juniors in the state were on display in 6’8” Bryan Sallier of PA Lincoln and 6’4” Daimon Sweet of Beaumont Central. Sweet managed 27 points and Sallier finished with 17 points. “We thought their guard play was suspicious, because of how they played at Nederland,” Coach James White of Central said. The Jaguars lived and died by the pressing game because of Lincoln’s superiority inside.

The Bumblebees and Jaguars faced off in two match games that were home and home. Lincoln gained revenge 46-44 on Central’s home court. In the return game at the Beehive in Pt. Arthur it was all Bumblebees, as PA Lincoln won easily 89-74.

In the finals of the Yellowjacket Classic in Pt. Arthur, PA Lincoln(26-5) took the finals 72-65 over Central(22-5). Coach James Gamble’s team held a 3-1 advantage over Beaumont Central(22-5) at the end of pre-district. The challenging games against Port Arthur Lincoln prepared Central for the rigors of league action, as the Jaguars went unbeaten in District.  

                The first challenge for Beaumont Central(22-5) in District action came against Nederland(22-9). Central traveled to Nederland and came away with a 68-58 win. 5’10” Columbus Wise(11.2) and 6’4” Daimon Sweet(19.8) combined for 52 in the Jaguar victory. The combo put up 52 of Central’s 68 points. Central took to the foul line late to close out the game. “We were in the game all the way, and we had our chances to win, we just made some unforced turnovers and could have shot a better free throw percentage,” Coach Weaver of Nederland said.

                Sweet(19.8) showed why he was the District M.V.P. finishing with 28 points and hit 8 of 10 from the foul line. 5’10” Columbus Wise(11.2) was impressive with 24 points, 20 of which came in the 2nd half. For Nederland, Brian English(12.3) and Brent Richard ended up with 13 points apiece and Brian Hefner(14.8) added 12 points.   

                Beaumont Central(22-5) and Beaumont Westbrook(28-7) went at it in one of the early season showdowns. An estimated crowd of 6000 showed up at Montagne Center on the campus of Lamar University to see the contest. Both teams came in undefeated in District action at the time. “We battled last year,” Coach Breithaupt said. “Combining the schools creates even a bigger rivalry.” The Bruins of Westbrook were trying not to put too much emphasis on the big game. Westbrook had a late season collapse the previous season after their big overtime win over Beaumont Pollard. Westbrook fell to Nederland and West Orange Stark following the big win and missed the playoffs.

Beaumont Westbrook(28-7) led at intermission 31-29, but were outscored 24-14 in the 3rd quarter after numerous turnovers. Entering the 4th quarter, Central led 53-45 and hung onto win 71-58. 6’5” Talbert Avery(21.0) of Westbrook was unavailable in the 2nd and 3rd quarters due to foul problems. Avery was the Bruins leader in scoring and rebounding. “They used their quickness real well in the 2nd half, and it bothered us.” Coach Breithaupt said. “One stretch, they took it from us four times in a row, and they just took over the game.”

                Daimon Sweet(19.8) led the Jaguars once again with 27 points, while Ronald Jackson finished with 8 assists. Alton Burrell(14.9) came away with 13 points for Westbrook. In talking to Coach Breithaupt years later about Sweet, he raved about his talent. “He was such a phenomenal player, one of the best in Texas, he could play inside or outside and would just take over late in games,” Breithaupt said.

                Nederland(22-9) traveled to Beaumont Central(22-5) and attempted to up seed the Jaguars. This time Nederland wanted to contain Sweet(19.8) and Wise(11.2). The Bulldogs were successful holding Sweet to nine points and Wise finished with an anemic 8 points. As you will recall the tandem had combined for 52 points in the team’s first contest. With such a defensive display you would think Nederland won the game, but that was not the case, as Central won again 65-56. 6’3” Kenneth Hockless(13.6) came up big for the Jaguars with 20 points and Ronald Jackson added 14 points. Nederland was paced by Brian Hefner’s(14.9) 23 points.  

                In the last game of the regular season, Beaumont Central(22-5) and Beaumont Westbrook(28-7) put it on the line again at the Montagne Center in front of an estimated 5000 on-lookers. The Jaguars had already wrapped up the District title, but Westbrook was playing for a playoff spot. A loss by the Bruins meant that they would have to play Nederland a third time in a District playoff.

Daimon Sweet, the talented 6’4” junior, paced Central to the District throne room with a 76-68 win over Westbrook. The gifted junior put up 22 points and 6 rebounds in the Jaguars win.

                The Jaguars jumped out to a commanding lead against Westbrook and were up by 18 points in the 3rd quarter. The Bruins of Westbrook had a lot of trouble with Central’s 1-3-1 zone defense. The Bruins also committed 23 turnovers in the game. “Central intimidated us in the 1st half,” Breithaupt said. “We couldn’t get into any rhythm and we missed to many free throws.” 

                The Jaguars let Westbrook back into the contest committing 25 turnovers along with 28 fouls. “We started making mental errors and did some stupid things,” Coach White said. “We made some unintelligent fouls and the momentum switched.”

                With the score 68-62 with 1:58 remaining on the clock, Sweet assumed control for Central with two assists and two foul shots and finished off Westbrook. Daimon Sweet commented after the big win, “I came out ready to play, somebody needed to spark the team.” Coach James White of Central commented on Sweet’s outstanding play, “Daimon’s that kind of kid, when he gets on a roll, there’s no telling what he’s going to do.”  

                At 22-5, Central finished up ranked #6 in the T.A.B.C. rankings. Westbrook now would face Nederland(22-9) in a one game playoff. Both teams ended up with 7-3 records in District.  

                The District playoff game between Nederland(22-9) and Beaumont Westbrook(28-7) was played at the Montagne Center. Nederland’s key players were point guard 6’0” Brian English(12.3), 6’1” Brian Hefner(14.5) and 6’3” Mark Stoeckel(8.0) and were coached by Jim Weaver. Nederland was labeled as a team of overachievers.

Beaumont Westbrook looked to 6’5” Talbert Avery(18.5), Michael Dennings and 6’4” Alton Burrell(14.9). Charles Breithaupt was in charge of the Bruins.

                Breithaupt said prior to the game, “the thing that makes them so tough is that they all shoot the ball so well, they are excellent at moving the ball around and getting it in position where they can shoot it.”

                Coach Weaver discussed Westbrook, “going into our first game with Westbrook, we had our doubts, but we came away from that first game disappointed that we didn’t win.” In the two team’s previous meetings Westbrook took the first game 65-56 and Nederland won the re-match 54-46.

                Beaumont Westbrook(28-7) came up with their best performance of the season advancing to the playoffs with an 85-50 win over the Bulldogs of Nederland(22-9). At the Montagne Center some 6000 fans were in attendance to watch the demolition. The Bulldogs had the crowd advantage, but that was about the only advantage they held over the Bruins.

                “This is the best we’ve played since Christmas,” Coach Charles Breithaupt said. “This is the way we’ve been playing in practice for the last two weeks. We played Westbrook basketball tonight.”

                The Bruins press destroyed Nederland. Michael Denning, Cecil Redmon, Marvin Thomas and Brad Bellard all made contributions to the Westbrook press. Inside for Coach Breithaupt were 6’5” Talbert Avery, 6’4” Alton Burrell, David Vaughn and Eric Petry. Westbrook shot a sizzling 61 % from the floor on 36 of 59. The Bruins shot 28 lay-ups following steals and tip-ins. Westbrook also won the rebound battle 32-16. Nederland was just overmatched against Westbrook.  

                “This was a totally different ball club that we played tonight,” Nederland Coach Jim Weaver said. “It wasn’t the same club we saw during the regular season this year.” After the loss Brian English of Nederland commented, “Their press killed us, they played a great ball game all the way around.

                Beaumont Central(22-5) went into the playoffs on a downer losing to Houston Smiley(18-13) 69-66 in a warm-up game. Deon Samuel was the leader for Smiley with 17 points followed by Tahaun Ford with 14.  

Pt. Arthur Jefferson’s longtime coach, Willie Williams, resigned following the season after nine years under his belt with the Jackets.

22-5A Standings: Beaumont Central(22-5) 10-0, Beaumont Westbrook(28-7) 7-3, Nederland(22-9) 7-3, PA Thomas Jefferson(11-16) 3-7, Port Neches-Groves(8-19) 3-7, Vidor(1-26) 0-10:

All-District PA News, 1st Team- 6’4” Daimon Sweet(19.8)-Beaumont Central(MVP), 6’5” Dennis Mouton(20.4)-Pt. Arthur Thomas Jefferson, 6’5” Talbert Avery(18.5)-Beaumont Westbrook, 6’0” Brian English(12.3)-Nederland, 6’1” Brian Heffner(14.8)-Nederland: 2nd Team- 6’3” Kenneth Hockless(13.6)-Beaumont Central, 6’4” Alton Burrell(14.9)-Beaumont Westbrook, 5’10” Columbus Wise(11.2)-Central, 6’3” Mark Stueckel(8.0)-Nederland: “Coach of the Year”-Jim Weaver-Nederland.




                Pasadena Rayburn(24-9) took the 23-5A title behind the play of Gabe Ramirez(12.9) and Brad Stiles(7.7). Rayburn finished District with a 12-2 mark, their only losses coming at the hands of Baytown Sterling(18-12) 48-36 and Pasadena(22-12) 51-50. All of this success came despite the loss of their leading scorer and rebounder, Spencer Cook, who missed the final 10 games due to a knee injury. Coach Gary Miksch led Rayburn to their first playoff in 18 years in his 3rd season with the Texans. 

                Baytown Sterling(18-12) captured the runner-up spot at 10-4. Coach Woody Walker led Baytown Sterling into the playoffs. Team leaders included Mark Harris(15.2) and Terrance Erwin(12.2). Sterling split with Rayburn(24-9), Pasadena Dobie(20-13), Deer Park(18-15) and Pasadena(22-12) in District play.

23-5A Standings- Pasadena Rayburn(24-9) 12-2, Baytown Sterling(18-12) 10-4, Pasadena Dobie(20-13) 9-5, Deer Park(18-15) 7-7, Pasadena(22-12) 6-8, Galena Park Northshore(17-16) 6-8, Baytown Lee(13-17) 4-10, South Houston(11-21) 3-11:

All-District Baytown Sun, 1st Team- Gabe Ramirez(12.8/5.1 asst/4.1 st)-Pasadena Rayburn, Mark Harris(15.2)-Baytown Sterling, Paul Erickson(15.7/6.4)-Pasadena Dobie, Frank Garcia(15.9)-Pasadena, Robert Schima(16.1/7.4)-Deer Park: 2nd Team- Terrance Erwin(12.2/5.2)-Baytown Sterling, Jeff Wylie(14.6/6.4)-Pasadena, Justin Caldwell(12.2/5.9)-Galena Park North Shore, Pat Haggerty(16.0)-Baytown Lee, Brad Stiles(7.7/5.2 Asst)-Pasadena Rayburn: “Coach of the Year”-Gary Miksch-Pasadena Rayburn, M.V.P. Gabe Ramirez-Pasadena Rayburn.


                The LaPorte Bulldogs returned 13 lettermen from a 30-6 regional semi-finals team. LaPorte starting lineup was made-up of 5’7” Freddie Harris, 6’1” Charles McCovery(19.8), 6’3” Tommy Washington(11.5), 6’1” Keith Hearon and 6’6” William Gooden(15.8/7.3). Gooden and McCovery would go on to be named All-State, while Washington was named 1st team All-District along with Gooden and McCovery. Hearon and Harris were named 2nd team All-District.

LaPorte(34-0) showed their metal early in the season with a 79-70 win over Houston Yates(23-7). LaPorte jumped on the Lions early taking a 23-10 lead at the end of one and 41-32 at halftime. The Bulldogs continued leading going into the final period up 61-49. Charles McCovery was outstanding finishing with 29 points. Darryl Washington led Yates with 24 points and Rodney Diggs added 12 points.

                Against Deer Park(18-15), in another early season match-up, the Bulldogs were forced to cancel practice during the week with six players out with the flu. LaPorte(34-0) still managed to claim the win over Deer Park(18-15) 66-55. 6’6” William Gooden finished with 19 points and McCovery added 17 points.

                At the 13th annual Lee College Classic in late November the Bulldogs went through the competition defeating Galena Park North Shore(17-16) 73-43, Beaumont Westbrook(28-7) 85-82 in overtime and Clear Creek(18-14) in the finals 77-72. In the overtime win over Westbrook, the Bulldogs had been down by 17 points to the Bruins. 6’6” William Gooden knocked down two foul shots in overtime to give LaPorte the win. McCovery led the charge for LaPorte with 28 points, Gooden followed with 21 and Tommy Washington put up 12 points. Point guard, Freddie Harris, kicked in 12 points for the Bulldogs and Keith Hearon came away with 10 points. This would be indicative of LaPorte all season, winning close competitive games night after night. The Bulldogs had talent but won several games on their ability to play as a team.

                Against Clear Creek(18-14) in the finals, McCovery had one of his best games of the season finishing with 34 points. “Smokey” McCovery hit four free throws down the stretch to secure the win for the Bulldogs along with a key steal. “We snuck up on some people last year,” LaPorte Coach Tom Holland said. “We were picked 5th in District and we won it.” The Bulldogs weren’t going to surprise anybody during the ’87 campaign after being named the state’s top ranked team in pre-season polls. Coach Holland was in his 6th season at LaPorte. Coach Holland indicated all his players were looking at junior college because of grades.  

                In LaPorte’s 73-43 win over Galena Park North Shore(17-16), Coach Randy Weisinger of North Shore, pulled his team off the court. Weisinger said fans were yelling crude things at his players underneath their offensive basket. Weisinger was very angry at a fan who was repeatedly badgering his players. The officials took no action and security just talked to the fan.

                The Young Men’s Basketball League Tournament(YMBL) in Beaumont had one of the toughest tournament fields in the state. Beaumont Central(22-5), Beaumont Westbrook(28-7), Lafayette out of Louisiana, Pt. Arthur Lincoln(26-5) and of course LaPorte(34-0). The Bulldogs buried Vidor 89-35 in the first round and were up 52-17 at halftime. Legendary Pt. Arthur Lincoln coach, James Gamble, commented coming into the game against LaPorte saying, “they’re supposed to be awesome.” Gamble had been unable to see the Bulldogs in person.

Coach Charles Breithaupt of Beaumont Westbrook(28-7) had seen LaPorte up close losing in overtime earlier in the season. Breithaupt commented, “with their quickness and ability, they have the ability to erase any deficit quickly. This is the strongest the tournament has been in a long time,” Breithaupt continued.

                Pt. Neches Groves(8-19) pulled a big upset early in tourney action defeating Lafayette 40-39. Beaumont Central(22-5) downed Pt. Arthur Jefferson(11-16) 52-50, and LaPorte(34-0) advanced beating Pt. Arthur Lincoln(26-5) 61-55. Gooden and McCovery combined for 39 points against PA Lincoln. The Bumblebees had lost previously to Lafayette earlier in the season.

In the finals, LaPorte(34-0) took down Beaumont Central(22-5) 58-54 with Gooden finishing with 21 points. LaPorte beat Beaumont Westbrook(28-7) 65-58 in the semi-finals. If there was any question about LaPorte being for real this tournament answered any questions. Beating PA Lincoln(26-5), Westbrook(28-7) and Beaumont Central(22-5) was an incredible feat in back to back to back games. At this point as a fan, you began to think about the possibilities of LaPorte, Ft. Worth Dunbar and Dallas Skyline at the state tournament. This would be one of the best fields ever.  

                LaPorte continued their impressive run defeating Baytown Sterling(18-12) 85-73 at home. Coach Woody Walker of Sterling commented, “Smokey torched us again, he was hot and he had that shooters roll.”

                In the LaPorte Classic, the Bulldogs opened with an impressive win over Friendswood(13-16) 93-54. McCovery led the way with 17 points. Pasadena(22-12) defeated Baytown Lee(13-17) in overtime 49-48 in other first round games. The Bulldogs took down Pasadena(22-12) 74-62 in the semi-finals, while Pasadena Rayburn(24-9) advanced to the finals beating Dickinson(18-16) 94-59. LaPorte defeated Rayburn(24-9) in the finals 64-63. McCovery finished with 19 points and Gooden came away with 16 points.

                LaPorte handled Houston Milby(16-16) easily at home 79-48 in a match game. At the Summit in Houston, the former home of the Houston Rockets, LaPorte defeated Baytown Lee(13-17) 89-41.

                District 24-5A came down to three teams, LaPorte(34-0), Clear Lake(25-9) and Clear Creek(18-14). Clear Lake(25-9) wasn’t going to concede anything to LaPorte in District action and although they were a little weaker, the Falcons were always competitive.

The first District match-up between the top contenders took place at LaPorte(34-0) between the Bulldogs and the Falcons of Clear Lake(25-9). With the legendary Bill Krueger on the bench, Clear Lake was going to be tough. LaPorte trailed by 8 points halfway through the 3rd period and looked to be in serious trouble. The Bulldogs rallied in the 4th quarter outscoring Clear Lake 17-9, and came away with a 51-48 win. McCovery was impressive as always with 28 points, followed by 12 from Tommy Washington. “Clear Lake did a good job of breaking our press especially in the first half and the press is a big part of our game,” Coach Tom Holland said. “It’s always a good feeling when you beat Clear Lake,” Holland continued. “They are the premier team in this district, at least as long as Bill Krueger is there. Lake led at half 31-24.

LaPorte(34-0) took no prisoners as they marched through District taking Clear Creek(18-14) out at home 87-69. Gooden put up 17 points, McCovery led the way with 20 points and Freddie Harris kicked in 19 points. The Bulldogs moved to 5-0 in District with a 104-86 thumping of LaMarque(9-19). Gooden showed his talent with 32 points, 11 boards, while McCovery was close behind with 29 points 8 steals, 5 assists and 5 rebounds. Tommy Washington added 14 points to the Bulldogs cause. LaPorte broke the 100 barrier once again defeating Pearland(11-19). The Bulldogs pulled away with a 100-77 victory led by Gooden’s 25 points and McCovery chipped in 22 points.

As LaPorte(34-0) was ravaging their District opponents, Clear Lake(25-9) took care of business defeating arch rival Clear Creek(18-14) both times to capture a playoff spot. The Falcons defeated the Wildcats 63-55 at Clear Creek and handled the Wildcats on their home court 67-54. The Falcons finished 10-2 in District action after losing their second match-up against LaPorte at home. The Bulldogs defeated Lake 59-56 in what appeared to be a close contest, but LaPorte was up 44-24 at one point.

Coach Holland of LaPorte said following the game, “I felt we could take it to them, but this is Clear Lake, they have that tradition going for them. They aren’t going to let anybody bury them. We got too comfortable with the lead.”

Bobby Holkan led Clear Lake with 18 points and Troy Valentino came away with 16 points in the loss. Gooden was impressive finishing with 26 points, while McCovery was held to single digits.

24-5A Standings-LaPorte(34-0) 12-0, Clear Lake(25-9) 10-2, Clear Creek(18-14) 8-4, Galveston Ball(13-18) 4-8, LaMarque(9-19) 3-9, Texas City(6-23) 2-10, Pearland(11-19) 2-10:

All-District 1st Team- 6’1” Charles McCovery(20.0)(MVP)-LaPorte, 6’6” William Gooden(16.0)-LaPorte, 6’3” Tommy Washington(11.5)-LaPorte, 6’10” Bobby Holkan-Clear Lake, 6’2” Troy Valentino-Clear Lake, Japannah Kellogg-Galveston Ball, Wilbert Hooker-LaMarque, Mark Ellison-Texas City, Wade Mangum-Pearland, Kyle Roher-Clear Creek: 2nd Team- 6’0” Keith Hearon-LaPorte, 5’7” Fred Harris-LaPorte, 6’4” Richard Allison-LaPorte:

All-Greater Houston by the Houston Post: 1st Team-7’0” Johnny Pittman(21.0/16.4), Terry; 6’5” Ron Chovance(20.5), Spring Branch Memorial; 6’3” LaBradford Smith(26.0/9.8), Bay City; 6’1” Charles McCovery(19.6/5.0/4.5 asst), 6’0” Elmer Bennett(30.3/4.0/7 assist), Houston Bellaire-Junior; 2nd Team- 6’6” William Gooden(16.0), LaPorte; 6’3” Walter Felder, Houston Lee; 6’2” Ronnie Ellision(19.8), Alief Hastings; 5’11” Chris Walker(20.3), Houston Milby-Junior; 3rd Team- 6’10” Bobby Holkan, Clear Lake; 6’5” Joe Randon, Terry-Junior; 6’3” Jeff Wylie, Pasadena; 6’4” Terry Jefferson(22.6/7.7), Conroe; 5’9” Gabe Ramirez(12.8/5.1 asst/4.1 st), Pasadena Sam Rayburn: Player of the Year-LaBradford Smith, “Co-Coaches of the Year”- Rick Sherley- Hastings and Tom Holland-LaPorte:



T.R. Sullivan of the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram picks:

                Teams to Beat-LaPorte(34-0), Alief Hastings(32-2):     

                Teams to Watch-Houston Yates(26-7), Sam Houston(27-6), Beaumont Central(24-6):

                Everybody seemed to be chasing LaPorte(34-0) in region III, but the Bulldogs were far from a sure thing. The path too Austin would be treacherous with every team you face elevating their game. Alief Hastings(32-2) looked to have the best shot at upsetting the Bulldogs. T.R. Sullivan’s picks looked to be dead on once again. 

Clear Lake(24-9) opened the playoffs representing 24-5A by defeating a solid Pasadena Sam Rayburn(21-9) team 73-48. Remember, Rayburn had lost to the LaPorte Bulldogs by one point in the finals of the LaPorte Classic. 6’10” Bobby Holkan finished with a game high 22 points and Gabe Ramirez led Rayburn with 18 points.

                Houston Smiley(20-13) took on Beaumont Westbrook(29-7) at Forest Brook High School in the 2nd game of a doubleheader. With the score tied at 60, the Eagles of Houston Smiley held the ball for the last shot. The Eagles ran the clock down to two seconds when 6’8” Roy Howard missed a lay-up that could have won the game in regulation.

                During the overtime period, Howard made his presence felt with a tip-in late to put Smiley ahead 66-64. Westbrook had an opportunity to tie the score when Harvey Bobbs went to the line shooting one and one. Bobbs connected on the first attempt, but missed the second. Howard ended any hopes the Bruins had of coming back with his slam dunk, making the final read 68-65 in favor of Houston Smiley.

                6’5” Talbert Avery(18.5) finished with 23 points for Westbrook in the loss and was impressive from the line hitting 13 of 16. As a team, the Bruins struggled from the stripe hitting only 17 of 32. 6’4” Alton Burrell(14.9) had a nice game kicking in with 20 points for Coach Charles Breithaupt. Smiley had a more balanced attack with Howard knocking down 17 points and Delvin Thomas ended the game with 12 points.

                Beaumont Central(24-6) put their state ranking on the line against Aldine MacArthur(21-11) in Bi-District. The Generals of MacArthur led at halftime 34-26 and at the end of the third quarter 48-44. In the final period, Central made their comeback behind the talents of 6’1” Columbus Wise(11.2) and 6’3” Kenneth Hockless(13.6). The tandem fired up 12 points apiece and advanced the Jaguars into the second round with a 68-67 victory. For the Beaumont schools to struggle in the playoffs was unusual, and an indicator of how far District 22-5A had fallen.

                Aldine MacArthur(21-11) led 61-58 with 2:48 remaining when Central(24-6) tied the score with a Hockless foul shot and a steal and layup by Wise. MacArthur would still not be denied, as they had a 67-64 lead with 29 seconds remaining. Things looked very promising for the Generals.

Hockless again came up big for the Jaguars hitting a layup to move his team within one point. With the clock winding down, Central’s Ronald Jackson became the hero of the day. Jackson knocked down the winning basket from 15-feet away with three seconds remaining. “I was looking for anybody to pass to when I penetrated, but they filled the passing lanes,” Jackson said.

                Daimon Sweet(19.8) led the scoring parade with 22 points for the Jaguars followed by Wise(11.2) with 18 points and Hockless(13.6) with 15. Edgar Powers at 6’5”, had an outstanding game leading the Generals with 33 points. MacArthur finished the season at 21-12.

                Houston Stratford(22-12) defeated Houston Lee(26-7) in Bi-District action behind the outstanding inside game of 6’2” David Klingler(13.5). The future University of Houston quarterback great put up 16 points, along with 12 rebounds. Stratford advanced with a 69-60 victory. Joining Klingler for the Spartans was Jason Klein with 20 points, Mike Obringer finished with 17 points and Tom Gerhardt added 12. Houston Lee was led by 6’3” Walter Felder’s(12.1) 20 points and Dave Moltayle managed 15 points.  

                Houston Yates(23-7) dominated Houston Washington(17-11) advancing with a 105-70 victory. Terry Gee and Warren Briggs both put up 19 points for the Lions, followed by Wilford Ford’s 17 points and Rodney Diggs came away with 11 points. Houston Washington was led by Kenneth Nolan with 19 points.

                Alief Hastings(32-2) had little trouble disposing of Houston Westbury(25-7) in Bi-District 69-51. Hastings knocked down 23 of 25 free throws. Coach Rick Sherley of Hastings felt his crews experience was the difference. Preston Ivory finished with 21 points for Hastings and Ronnie Ellison put up 17 points. Westbury was fueled by Winn Shepard and James Nelson, both of whom finished with 14 points. Westbury ended their season at 25-8.

                Ronnie Ellison of Hastings explained that the Bears were on a mission, “we’re on a mission to not lose,” Ellison said. “We want to go to Austin, we had a long, hard summer of working out and playing and we ran through track season for conditioning and ran drill after drill. We feel we’ve given too much to let down.”  

                Houston Sam Houston(27-6) had a convincing win over Houston Sterling(15-11) 66-50 to advance to the 2nd round. The Sam Houston zone gave Sterling trouble as they attempted to score from the outside. 6’2” Darrell Williams(20.2) finished with a game high 30 points and Terry Wilson added 16 points for the victorious Tigers. Sterling looked to 6’5” Patrick Webb who put up 13 points and 6’5” Myron Milton with 10.

                The Clear Lake(26-9) Falcons continued to advance defeating Houston Smiley(21-13) 52-49 in the 2nd round action. Eric Scanlin came through for Coach Krueger with 23 points and hit two free throws with 19 seconds left that nailed down the victory.

                LaPorte(34-0) opened the playoffs defeating Baytown Sterling(18-12) 89-63 at Deer Park High School. Coming into the game, Coach Holland of LaPorte commented about his teams undefeated record. “I knew we were going to have a good team, but I expected to lose a few games, especially in the beginning of the season. We played a lot of tough teams early.”

LaPorte had beaten Baytown Sterling earlier in the season 85-73. Coach Woody Walker said, “They’ve got a great team, just too many hosses, if we would have played a perfect game, I don’t know if we could have beaten them.”

McCovery(19.7) led the way with 25 points, 10 rebounds and 7 assists and Gooden(16.0) and Hearon(8.0) came away with 19 and 16 points. Mark Harris(15.2) was high point man for Baytown Sterling with 22 points.

                In second round action, LaPorte(35-0) took down an outstanding Beaumont Central(23-6) team 94-85 behind William Gooden’s 26 points and McCovery’s 22. With the win the Bulldogs advanced to regionals for the second year in a row. 6’3” Tommy Washington(11.5) chipped in 16 points for the Bulldog’s victory. For Central, 6’5” Daimon Sweet(19.8) finished with 20 points in the loss and Columbus Wise(11.2) put up 13 points, along with 6’3” Kenneth Hockless(13.6), who added 11 points. The two teams had met earlier in the finals of the YMBL tournament in Beaumont. The Bulldogs proved too much in that game as well winning 58-54.

                Alief Hastings(33-2) advanced to regionals with a 61-50 victory over a tough Houston Sam Houston(28-6) team. The Bears placed four players in double digits to capture the big win. Ronnie Ellison(19.6) put up 15 points, Terry Spears(10.0) followed with 14 points and Preston Ivory(16.3) and Chad Higginbotham added 10 and 11 points. For the Sam Houston Tigers, Terry Wilson and Terry Arthur were leaders with 14 points apiece and Reginald Harris added 10.


Team Capsule: Beaumont Central Jaguars 23-7  (10-0)

                Coach- James White

Top Players- 6’4” Daimon Sweet(19.8), 5’11” Columbus Wise(11.2), Kenneth Hockless(13.6):

Team Strength-Speed, quickness, athleticism, finishing, running the court:

                Team Weakness-interior depth, limited size:

                Style of Play-aggressive full-court pressure, transition game:

                Biggest Win-Pt. Arthur Lincoln(26-5) 74-69

                Worst Loss-Houston Smiley(21-14) 69-66

                Average Points- Pts. 72.2, Opp. 62.0, Diff. +10.2

                Power Rating- 88.32          End of Season State Ranking- #9


                Houston Yates(26-7) played scrappy Houston Stratford(23-13) and got away with a 72-66 win. The 2nd round game was played at Hofheinz Pavilion on the campus of the University of Houston. Yates seemed to have the advantage in size, speed and quickness. All those factors were neutralized in the first half as the Lions began to get into serious foul trouble. As a result, Yates opened the 2nd half in a zone defense. This enabled Stratford to compete on their own terms because of their limited depth.

                “That zone was good and bad,” Coach Bob Latham of Stratford said. “It kept them out of foul trouble, that was bad, but it was good because it allowed us to rest for the final push.”

                With two minutes remaining, the Lions looked to have things under control with an eleven-point margin. The Spartans continued their push and got within four points at 70-66. Coach Walter Johnson of Yates was relieved following the win saying, “teams like that are the kind we’ve been having trouble with, when teams slow it down, we play in spurts. It’s our Achilles heel. We just want to win, we don’t care if we’re supposed to do this or that, as long as we win.”

                Yates came away with four players in double figures with Rodney Diggs leading the charge with 16 points, followed by Daryl Johnson with 14. Terry Gee and Tyrone Greer added 12 points apiece for the Lions. Jason Klein(13.2) was impressive for Stratford finishing with 29 points. Klein kept his team in the contest early. Guard play came from Tom Gerhardt(14.0) and Mike Obringer. They combined for 25 points for the Spartans.

                An incredible statistic when you look at the chart below, Houston Yates had only made two appearances in regionals from 1980 to 1987. The ’87 appearance was their second. All the monster teams the Lions had during the decade and this was only their 2nd appearance? The Lions were upset by Kashmere in 1980 and 1982 in the first round, in 1985 they were eliminated by unbeaten Houston Madison, and in 1986 they won District, but were forced to forfeit the games due to an ineligible player.









Region III Showcase:

1980       H. Madison           PA Lincoln             H. Kashmere         Clear Lake

1981       H. Madison           PA Lincoln             H. Washington     Clear Lake

1982       Aldine                     S.B. Memorial       H. Kashmere          Galveston Ball

1983       W. Orange-Stark  H. Yates                 Bea. Westbrook    H. Wheatley

1984       H. Sam Houston   S.B. Memorial       Bea. Westbrook    Clear Lake

1985       H. Madison           S.B. Memorial       Bea. Westbrook    Beaumont Pollard

1986       LaPorte                  H. Wheatley          H. Kashmere          Clear Lake

1987       LaPorte                  H. Yates                  Alief Hastings        Clear Lake


                LaPorte(36-0) had a rematch against Houston Yates(26-7) in the semi-finals at regionals. The two teams had opened the season against one another with the Bulldogs winning 79-70. Hofheinz Pavilion was the familiar site for the Houston regional with an enormous crowd of 9500 on hand. LaPorte came away with one of their best efforts of the season eliminating the Lions 95-86. Tommy Washington had a season high game with 30 points and McCovery added 23 points. In a physical contest, Coach Holland was fearful his crew might come up short against the powerful Yates squad. Three players from LaPorte fouled out and two from Yates. The game was plagued by 56 fouls. Paul McCovery of LaPorte was ejected from the game after taking a swing at a Yates player. “It was a war,” Coach Tom Holland said. “We knew Yates would be tough. They are so big. It was like playing the Houston Oilers.”

6’4” Rodney Diggs and Terry Gee combined for 40 points for Yates followed by Tyrone Greer with 17 points and Daryl Johnson finished with 13 points. 6’4” Richard Allison saved the day for LaPorte coming off the bench with 10 big points and 6 rebounds in only 11 minutes of play. Gooden played well for the Mustangs finishing with 13 points and 14 rebounds.

Yates took their last lead at 55-54 with 4:32 remaining in the 3rd period. LaPorte continued to force turnovers and get to the foul line and were able to take a nine-point lead with 4:50 left in the game. The Bulldogs won the game at the foul line hitting 33 out 43 attempts. Yates finished with 30 turnovers and only hit 18 of 33 from the line.

Team Capsule: Houston Yates 25-8 (9-1)

                Coach- Walter Johnson

Top Players- 6’6” Darryl Johnson, 6’4” Rodney Diggs, 5’11” Terry Gee, Tyrene Greer:

Team Strength-incredible physical size inside, rebounding, ability to run the court, bench:

Team Weakness-turnovers, foul trouble, foul shooting, defending full-court:

Style of Play-liked to push the ball and force turnovers, full court press:

                Biggest Win-Houston Sam Houston(27-7) 66-61

                Worst Loss-Houston Worthing(13-12) 71-67

                Average Points- Pts. 83.2, Opp. 73.6, Diff. +9.6

                Power Rating- 81.12          End of Season State Ranking- #12


                Clear Lake(27-9) came up short against a talented Alief Hastings(34-2) crew. Hastings advanced to the regional finals with a 64-58 win over the Falcons. Ronnie Ellison(19.8) showed why he was one of the top guards in the state finishing the game with 29 points for Hastings. Preston Ivory(16.3) followed with 14 points. Clear Lake was fueled by 6’10” Bobby Holkan’s(16.0) 23 points. Hastings took control early leading 30-13. Clear Lake closed the gap to 52-48 with 4:35 remaining in the game. The Falcons could get no closer. “Our presses really confused them,” Sherley said.

Regional Finals

                The two top teams in region III met in the finals. LaPorte(37-0) advanced to state with a hard fought 59-56 victory over Alief Hastings(35-2). For LaPorte, it was especially sweet, as they had been eliminated the previous season by Houston Wheatley in the regional finals. Wheatley was later found to be playing an ineligible player(Eddie Cumbo) and was forced to forfeit the regional title as well as the district title.

                Over 4000 fans showed up at Hofheinz Pavilion to see the two titans go at it. “I was afraid to press them,” LaPorte coach Tom Holland said. “This wasn’t our style of game. We want to press and run.” With the two talented teams going at it, both became somewhat deliberate attempting to control the ball. Behind Ronnie Ellison’s outstanding outside shooting, the Bears took and early 27-17 lead with less than five minutes remaining in the 1st half. LaPorte proceeded to go on a 13-2 run to close the half, and led 30-29 at intermission.

                McCovery(19.8) commented after the game, “In the first half our legs weren’t with us,” referring to the late-night game against the physical Yates squad. McCovery played all 32 minutes against Hastings.

                The big three carried the Bulldogs on the day. McCovery(19.8) finished with 26 points, 8 assists and 7 rebounds, Gooden(15.8) scored 18 points with 11 rebounds, and Washington(11.5) added 10 points.

Hastings was led by 6’2” Preston Ivory(16.3) with 24 points and 6’2” Ronnie Ellison(19.6) with 14 points. The Bears also looked to 6’3” Tony Spears(10.0), 6’0” Kyle Smith and 6’0” Chad Higginbotham. Hastings closed the season with an impressive 35-3 record.  

                Years later Coach Sherley reflected on the loss to LaPorte. He was so impressed by LaPorte’s ability to adapt to their opponent. “McCovery was so strong with the ball, he was hard to press, and Gooden was a force inside,” Coach Sherley said. “They had guys on the bench that would start for a lot of teams, they didn’t have a lot of weaknesses.” 














Team Capsule: Alief Hastings Bears 35-3 (15-1)

                Coach- Rick Sherley

Top Players- 6’1” Ronnie Ellison(19.6), 6’2” Preston Ivory(16.3), 6’3” Tony Spears(10.0):

Team Strength-Speed, quickness, athleticism, depth, outside shooting, fundamentals, charges:

                Team Weakness-very little size and rebounding:

                Style of Play-aggressive full-court press, transition game:

                Biggest Win-Houston Yates(25-8) 85-83

                Worst Loss-Spring Branch Memorial(25-8) 58-56

                Average Points- Pts. 68.5, Opp. 56.8, Diff. +11.7

                Power Rating- 88.81                 End of Season State Ranking- #5


                Houston Kinkaid(33-0) was the top private school in the state in 1987. Kinkaid played in the Southwest Preparation conference, made up of teams from Texas and Oklahoma. The conference was very soft with little competition. Kinkaid finished the season undefeated with wins over Houston Lee(26-7), Houston Bellaire(23-11) twice and Terry(23-8). 6’1” Marvin Williams, 6’9” Thomas Helland and Cameron Greenwood were named 1st Team all-conference. Mark Crosswell was named honorable mention. Williams was the team’s leading scorer and had never played organized basketball till he entered high school. Coach Neiswender was a New Jersey native, who compiled an impressive 117-48 five-year record at Kinkaid. 6’9” Thomas Helland signed with Davidson University.


Region IV Playoffs                              

Corpus Christi Moody(23-9)                              Victoria(27-5) #17

Brazoswood(26-7) #10                                      Willowridge(20-9)

Austin L.B.J.(25-7)                                              Austin Lanier(17-12)

SA Highlands(23-10)                                            SA Sam Houston(24-8)

SA Churchill(26-5) #14                                       SA East Central(31-3) #15

SA Holmes(26-5) #13                                         Brownsville Hanna(28-3)

Weslaco (30-1)                                                     McAllen Memorial(20-12)

Laredo Nixon(23-10)                                          SA Clark(24-7)






Top Players in Region IV

6’5”        David Willie                          21.0        Austin Crockett

6’1”        Adrian Wright                      17.1        SA Holmes

6’3”        Dennis Lindsey                     21.4        Brazoswood

6’1”        Arthur Massey                      25.1        SA Roosevelt

6’3”        Gabriel Valdez                      22.1        Weslaco

7’1”        Johnny Pittman                   19.6        Terry

6’8”        Thomas Gipson                    19.0        Seguin

5’9”        Tony Terrell                          15.9        SA East Central

6’2”        Stanley Coleman                 21.1        SA East Central

6’5”        Kerry Cash                             15.0        SA Holmes

6’5”        Keith Cash                             11.2        SA Holmes

6’1”        Mike Houlihan                      18.5        SA Clark

6’4”        Tim Small                              18.0        SA Churchill

6’6”        Leland McCall                       17.5        Austin L.B.J.

6’2”        James Smith                         20.4        SA East Central

6’4”        James Bailey                         17.4        Willowridge

6’6”        Mike Janecka                        16.9        Victoria


Region IV had some real strong teams entering the 1987 playoff hunt. Five schools finished in the state’s final Top 20 rankings. Brazoswood(26-7), San Antonio Holmes(25-5), San Antonio Churchill(26-5), San Antonio East Central(31-3) and Victoria(27-5) were all ranked. And that is not to say they were the only real solid contenders. Austin L.B.J.(25-7) had played a very competitive schedule and Weslaco(30-1) had one of the top records in the state. San Antonio Highlands(23-10) and San Antonio Clark(24-7), also couldn’t be overlooked as well. Even with upsets, a tough representative would come out of region IV. There were too many strong teams.   


                District 25-5A had some real talent and some strong teams. Willowridge(19-9), Terry(23-8) and Brazoswood(25-7) were the contenders for the two playoff spots.

                Brazoswood(25-7) took the District title with a 12-2 mark. Both losses for the Bucs came at the hands of Terry(23-8). The Bucs had Willowridge’s number defeating them both times 77-70 and 82-70. Terry turned right around and loss both games to Willowridge 83-70 and 89-87. Strange District race! Dulles(21-11) was the spoiler for Terry knocking them into a playoff with Willowridge 67-57. Willowridge’s third loss was against Alvin(13-18) 83-59.        

In a District playoff for the runner-up spot for the state playoffs, Willowridge(19-9) defeated Terry(23-8) 64-61. Both teams finished in a tie for 2nd place with 11-3 records. James Bailey(17.4) paced Willowridge with 17 points while Trevor Lemon added 14 points. Joe Randon(17.7) was good for 22 points in a losing effort for Terry, followed by All-American, 7’1” Johnny Pittman(20.4) with 16 points.

                 Brazoswood had the District MVP in 6’3” Dennis Lindsey(21.4) and 6’5” Russell Miller, while Terry had All-American 7’0” Johnny Pittman(21.0/16.9) and 6’6” Joseph Randon. Willowridge looked to 6’5” James Bailey, Tony Dunn and Red Minor.

                Brazoswood(25-7) lost to Pasadena Sam Rayburn(24-9) 64-62, Cypress-Creek(3-25) 64-58, Alvin(13-18) 60-55 and Aldine MacArthur(21-11) 62-61 in pre-district. It was very hard to understand how Brazoswood was state ranked. The Bucs hadn’t taken that many scalps to be ranked #10 in the state.

Standings: Brazoswood(25-7) 12-2, Terry(23-8) 11-3, Willowridge(19-9) 11-3, Alvin(13-18) 7-7, Dulles(21-11) 7-7, Angleton(14-18) 5-9, Clements(9-22) 3-11, Lamar Consolidated(2-23) 0-14:

All-District 1st Team- 6’3” Dennis Lindsey(21.4)-Brazoswood, 7’0” Johnny Pittman(21.0/16.9)-Terry, 6’5” James Bailey(17.4)-Willowridge, 6’6” Joseph Randon(17.7)-Terry, 6’5” Russell Miller-Brazoswood, 6’2” Tony Eastland-Alvin: 2nd Team- Tully French-Angleton, Lavallus Gordon-Dulles, Spurlin Greer-Dulles, Red Minor-Willowridge, Tony Dunn-Willowridge, Eddie Grosso-Clements: MVP-Dennis Lindsey-Brazoswood, “Coach of the Year”- Bob Cook-Brazoswood, “Soph of the Year” Scott Fontenot-Clements:


                Victoria was viewed by most as the District favorite with 6’6” Darrell Janecka(16.9) returning. Coach Mike Smith felt encouraged about the coming season with a great deal of depth on hand. “We’ve got a lot of people that can play this year. Our key is to keep putting pressure on all the time.” Joining Janecka for the Stingarees were 6’6” Mark Foster, 6’7” Steve Fransworth, 5’11” Jeff Bauknigh, 6’3” Duwayne Upton and Chase Billman. Victoria was on a three-year drought as far as the playoffs were concerned. The coaches in the District felt Victoria was the team to beat in 26-5A.

                The Stingarees opened the season with an impressive win over Austin Lanier(17-12) 94-69. Next was the Mission Thanksgiving Classic for Coach Smith’s crew.  The Stingarees defeated San Antonio Fox Tech(24-8) 71-69 in the finals. At the Victoria Classic the Stingarees lost to state ranked Bay City(28-4) 82-76. Coach Smith was very upset with the officiating in Victoria’s 85-84 loss at El Campo(12-17). “It was the worst I’ve seen in my career and I’ve had a long career,” Smith said.

Probably the biggest win of the season for Victoria came against Bay City 70-65 in late December. “The difference was our defense,” Coach Smith said. “We played a triangle and two and anytime LaBradford or Billy caught the ball in shooting territory we had two men on them,” Smith said.

                At the M.L. Rice Holiday Tournament in Waco, Victoria dropped two games to Huntsville(21-11) 102-81 and Carthage(22-9) 84-82. Coach Smith felt his team was not playing with enough emotion.

Victoria came into their first District showdown contest against Corpus Christi Moody(23-9) at 17-4 and 5-0. Moody stood at 14-6 and 4-0. Moody had really turned things around during the ’87 campaign. “We’ve been putting this team together slowly,” Trojan coach Steve Gonzales said. “I took some sophomores off the junior varsity and put them on the varsity last year. We learned a lot last year.” 5’7” Steve Torres proved to be a valuable asset as he transferred over from Tuloso-Midway. Torres teamed up with 5’6” Steve Roberts(14.4) to form one of the top backcourts in District. 6’6” 215 pound Ed Caldwell(14.4) was an inside force for CC Moody. The game was played at Victoria and the Stingarees had little trouble winning 86-66.

                Next up for Victoria was Corpus Christi King(20-11) in another key District game. The Stingarees defeated the Mustangs 77-72 to take a firm grip on the 26-5A race. Coach Mike Smith commented about how his current team compared to his 1976 state finals crew. “This team reminds me of the ‘76 team in a lot of ways, there is no abundance of great players, but there was a lot of good players.”

                Victoria’s only District setback came at the hands of Corpus Christi Carroll(18-14) 79-77. The Stingarees got past Moody(23-9) for a second time 66-63 in Corpus Christi.

A big distraction during District was dealing with the eligibility of 6’3” Duwayne Upton(14.8). Upton was one of Victoria’s top players, but there were questions that he should be attended Victoria Stroman. It was said Upton actually lived in the Stroman attendance zone. Upton had been attending Victoria since his freshman year, but changed addresses into the Stroman attendance area. Upton should have gotten a transfer. There was no recruiting or such involved. After Victoria strummed Stroman, several of the parents were upset because Upton put up 24 points. The Stroman principal failed to file a protest with the District 26-5A committee.

What I find interesting is that the grievance wasn’t really brought to anyone’s attention till February 15, a week before Victoria was about the wrap up the District title. It was not as if Upton had just moved. He had lived in the Stroman attendance area before the season. There has got to be a date in each sports season that beyond this point a grievance can’t be filed. Once you have seen the outcome of the season, “it’s too late.” It seems like a no brainer to me. You leave it up to a lot of disgruntled parents, and all hell is going to break-out. 

                Victoria(27-5) wrapped up their first District title since 1982 with an impressive 15-1 mark. Corpus Christi Moody(23-9) captured the runner-up finishing 13-3. The Stingarees ended the season with some nice numbers averaging 81.7 points per game and allowing 68.2 points for a +13.4 difference.  

Standings 26-5A-Victoria(27-5) 15-1, Corpus Christi Moody(23-9) 13-3,  C.C. King(20-11) 12-4, C.C. Carroll(18-14) 11-5, C.C. Miller(16-16) 7-9, C.C. Ray(10-21) 6-10, Victoria Sroman(7-20) 3-12, Alice(10-20) 3-11, Kingsville(4-22) 1-15:

All-District 1st team-6’4” Mike Glover(15.8) C.C. Ray, 6’3” Reggie Barnett-C.C. Miller, 6’2” Barry Brin(20.1) C.C. King, 5’7” Steve Torres-C.C. Moody, 6’0” David Vera(16.9)-Alice; 2nd Team- 6’3” Duwayne Upton(14.8)-Victoria, 6’6” Ed Caldwell(16.3)-C.C. Moody, 6’4” Derrick Sanders(16.6)-C.C. Carroll, 5’10” Sean Dunson-C.C. Carroll, 5’6” Steve Roberts(14.4)-C.C. Moody, 6’2” Clint Underbrink(13.7)-Kingsville, 6’1” Clint Nicholas-Victoria Stroman: “M.V.P.”-Darrell Janecka(16.9)-Victoria, “Coach of the Year”-Steve Gonzales -C.C. Moody, “Sophomore of the Year”-Andre McGee(16.3)-C.C. King:


                The 27-5A was one of the largest Districts in the state, and the race went right down to the last week of the season, with Austin L.B.J.(25-7) taking the title at 14-2. L.B.J. was paced by 6’6” 227 pound, Leeland McCall(17.5/15.0) on the inside. McCall was one of those rare athletes that was offered a football scholarship from Lamar University and a basketball scholarship from Southwest Texas State in San Marcos. McCall’s supporting cast was made up of Derrick Green(13.5), Ralph Carrington(11.1) and Demetrius Ross(9.4). Coach Mike McShane was at the controls for L.B.J. in his third season.

The Jaguars first District loss came early against Austin Crockett(11-17) 72-63. 6’5” David Willie fueled the upset by Crockett with 30 points. Willie was considered the top player in Austin during the season and was named District 27-5A M.V.P. When he got it going, he was tough. Willie went on to star at Rice University.

                L.B.J. split with Austin Lanier(17-12) in District, winning the first game 65-45 and losing the re-match 53-51. Austin Lanier’s big win was led by 6’2” Junior Kenney and 6’4” Albert Burditt. The tandem finished with 21 and 14 points. 6’6” Leeland McCall was the leader for L.B.J. with 18 points. Lanier’s win put the District race in a tie, with both L.B.J. and Lanier supporting 7-2 marks.

Austin Travis(19-11) got into the 27-5A picture with a big upset win over Austin Lanier(17-12) 49-45. Ronnie Wilson and Chris Pinnelli were the team leaders for Travis. Coach B.J. Wolf of Travis was emotional following the big win, “in all my years of coaching, this group of guys I have this year is the very best I’ve ever coached, they practice hard, and they listen to everything I say. They hung together and showed a lot of character tonight.”

                In a battle for 1st place, Austin L.B.J.(25-7) took down Austin Travis(19-11) 60-58 in overtime. Both teams came into the contest with two losses. Spencer Ward hit a layup with six seconds remaining in overtime to put the Jaguars in possession of first place. Ronny Wilson of Travis had a chance to win the game at the end of regulation, but came up short at the foul line.

“Travis is a super basketball team, and I didn’t want to play two overtimes with them,” Coach Mike McShane of L.B.J. said following the big win. Austin Travis fell into a tie with Austin Lanier at 10-3 for the 2nd playoff spot.

                It looked as if Austin Travis(19-11) and Austin Lanier(17-12) would be forced to have a playoff game for the runner-up spot, but that was avoided when Austin Reagan(16-14) upset Austin Travis(19-11) 58-57. The loss put Austin L.B.J. and Austin Lanier into the state playoffs. 

                In a rather unusual situation, Austin L.B.J.(25-7) and Austin Lanier(17-12) decided to play a warm-up game against one another to prepare for the playoffs. Warm-up games are common, but not against District rivals. L.B.J. easily defeated Austin Lanier 95-79 at the Burger Center. Derrick Greene(13.5) was the leader for the Jaguars with 19 points and Ralph Carrington chipped in 18 points. 6’3” Junior Kenney(15.0) put up 26 points for Austin Lanier(17-12) and 6’3” Albert Burditt(15.0) followed with 19. Burditt was only a freshman.  

Standings 27-5A- Austin LBJ(25-7) 14-2, Austin Lanier(17-12) 13-3, Austin Travis(19-11) 12-4, Austin Reagan(16-14) 9-7, Austin Johnston(13-15) 7-9, Austin High(13-15) 7-9, Austin Crockett(11-17) 7-9, Austin Anderson(7-23) 3-13, Austin McCallum(2-23) 0-16:

All-District- 1st Team- 6’5” David Willie(21.0)-Austin Crockett, 6’6” Leeland McCall(17.5/15.0)- Austin L.B.J., 5’10” Charles Dubra-Austin High, 6’3” Junior Kenney(15.0)-Austin Lanier, 6’4” Albert Burditt(15.0)-Austin Lanier(Freshman) 2nd Team-Ronnie Wilson -Austin Travis, Derrick Greene(13.5)-Austin L.B.J., Rodney Lomax-Austin Reagan, Richard Paxton-Austin Reagan, Demetrius Ross(9.4)-Austin L.B.J., Ralph Carrington(11.1)-Austin L.B.J., Darrell Slaughter-Austin Johnston: 3rd Team-Reggie Holley-Austin McCallum, Michael Hill-Austin Anderson, Andre Walker-Austin Travis, Steve Swope-Austin Lanier, Mike Walker-Austin Crockett, Andre Manning-Austin Crockett, Anthony Barnett-Austin Johnston, Chris Pinnelli-Austin Travis, Mark Brown-Austin High: “Coach of the Year” Ernie Azios-Austin Lanier, “Player of the Year” David Willie-Austin Crockett, “Newcomer of the Year” Albert Burditt-Austin Lanier:

All-Centex team-Austin American-Stateman- 6’5” David Willie(21.0)-Austin Crockett, 6’6” Leeland McCall(17.5/15.0)- Austin L.B.J., 5’10” Charles Dubra-Austin High, 6’3” Junior Kenney(15.0)-Austin Lanier, 6’4” Albert Burditt(15.0)-Austin Lanier(Freshman), 6’8” Thomas Gipson(19.0/11.0)-Seguin, 6’3” Daniel Cansino-Temple, 5’10” Richie Clausen-Round Rock, 6’4” Tony Watson-Pflugerville(Soph), 6’0” Jimmy Small-Leander, 6’2” Darin Duecker-Fredericksburg- 6’3” Lance Leiferman-Smithville, 6’2” Phillip Lenox(29.0)-Liberty Hill:


Coach Harry Miller of Seguin pretty much summarized 28-5A saying, “The District is the strongest it’s ever been, because of the addition of East Central.” In the District, East Central(30-3), San Antonio Churchill(26-4), San Antonio MacArthur(19-11), San Antonio Roosevelt(23-11) and San Antonio Madison(19-14) were all competing for two playoff spots. District 28-5A had four schools ranked in the city’s top ten according to the San Antonio Light.

The Hornets of East Central(30-3) looked to have their best team yet under the guidance of Coach Stan Bonewitz. The Hornets had been transformed from one of the worse programs in San Antonio to one of the top teams in the state by Bonewitz.

Coach Bonewitz explained how he came up with his full court pressure the entire game, taking no prisoners. The “Rowdy Bunch” was made up of five players off the bench that would come in and press aggressively for two or three minutes each quarter. After a period of time the “Rowdy Bunch” became very popular and Bonewitz decided to use the press for the entire game. Thus, East Central became   the highest scoring team in the state with their up-tempo style.  

At East Central(30-3), the senior class of 1987 went 26-1 as freshman and were 20-12 on the varsity as sophomores and 29-3 as juniors. The program had been turned around by the talented group. They had left their imprint on East Central High School. Their four-year record stood at 107-19.

The Hornets opened up the season taking on four of the top teams in the Alamo city. San Antonio Jay(21-12), San Antonio MacArthur(19-11), San Antonio Churchill(26-4) and San Antonio Madison(19-14) were all in the Northeast Tournament in San Antonio. The Hornets were impressive defeating SA Jay(21-12) 86-63, SA MacArthur(19-11) 79-76 and SA Churchill(26-4) 94-83. In the finals the Hornets stumbled and were beaten by SA Madison(19-14) 89-86. Jim Harmon put up 35 points in the upset victory and Vladimir McCrary(15.0) added 20 points to the Madison cause. East Central led at halftime 47-39, but were outscored 50-39 in the 2nd half. James Smith(20.4) paced the Hornets with 24 points.

At the Seguin Tournament, SA East Central defeated an outstanding SA Alamo Heights(28-4) team in the finals 85-82. Alamo Heights was considered one of the top 4-A teams in the state. Stanley Coleman(21.2) and Tony Terrell(15.0) combined for 51 points in the East Central win.

Coach Bonewitz put East Central in the South San Antonio Tournament to close out the tournament season. The tournament was not real challenging for the Hornets, as they won their first three games by 44, 49 and 83 points. That’s an average margin of 58 points a game. In the finals, East Central rattled the cage of a solid South San(20-12) team 87-79. Between the two tournaments, the Hornets defeated San Antonio Highlands(23-10) 101-81. Stanley Coleman(21.2) went off for 41 points for the Hornets. Highlands had led at halftime by one. The Hornets were very explosive.

San Antonio East Central played one of the most challenging schedules in not only San Antonio, but the entire state. East Central led the entire state in scoring averaging 95.9 and margin of victory at +25.7. These were impressive numbers against such tough competition. The Hornets opened District with a 94-82 victory over SA MacArthur(19-11). The Brahmas were considered one of the pre-district favorites returning all five starters from their ‘86 squad, plus the addition of an undefeated junior varsity.

San Antonio East Central(30-3) came together with San Antonio Holmes(27-5) in a match-game right before the new year. SA East Central(30-3) represented District 28-5A and Holmes(27-5) came out of 30-5A. The two teams were generally considered two of the top three teams in San Antonio along with SA Churchill(26-4). Holmes record was very deceiving because early in the season the Huskies were playing without the services of the Cash twins. Without the twins, Holmes lost three of their first five games. Since the addition of the Cash brothers, only Bryan(23-11) had beaten Holmes, and that was in the semi-finals of the Optimist Tournament.

SA Holmes(27-5) led late in the game 85-84 over the Hornets when Darryl Eddington(10.9) on SA East Central(30-3) came up with two critical steals. With less than 16 seconds left, James Smith scored on a lay-up for the Hornets and Eddington knocked down two foul shots. SA East Central(30-3) came away with an exciting 88-85 victory over SA Holmes. The Hornets moved to 18-1 on the season and the top ranked team in San Antonio. Kerry Cash finished with a career high 30 points for the Huskies and Keith Cash ended up with 10 points in the loss. 6’0” Adrian Wright(17.1) kicked in 26 points for SA Holmes. East Central looked to James Smith(20.4) for 24 points and Eddington and Stanley Coleman(21.2) ended up with 18 apiece.

San Antonio Churchill(26-4) had another outstanding club coached by Bobby Murphy. The Chargers opened District against SA Madison(19-14) with a win  57-45. Churchill moved to 9-2 on the season with their only losses coming against East Central(30-3) and SA Jay(21-12). The loss to East Central(30-3) came in the semi-finals of the Northeast Tournament 94-83. Churchill went down to SA Jay(21-12) in the semi-finals of the Northside Tournament 76-64. The Chargers had impressive wins over SA Clark(25-7) 54-47, SA Sam Houston(24-8) 77-64, SA Jay(21-12) 62-52, South San(20-12) 72-65, SA Roosevelt(23-11) 75-50 and SA MacArthur(19-11) 63-62.

The first District clash between the titans, SA East Central(30-3) and SA Churchill(26-4), came in early January. Both teams entered the contest at 5-0 in District. The Hornets had won an earlier meeting between the two teams. “It was a shock,” Coach Murphy said. “It was like getting out of the shower and jumping into an ice-cold pool of water.” Since that loss the Chargers were on a nine-game winning streak. Coach Bobby Murphy was considered one of the top coaches in the state over his six seasons with the Chargers. He had an impressive 220-71 mark over that period.

Leaders for the Churchill were 6’4” Tim Small(18.0/9.4), 6’3” Bill Oglesby(14.0/6.2) and 6-4 John Friesenhahn(12.2/8.9). SA East Central countered with a much smaller unit led by 6’3” Richard Jones. East Central came in with a 17-game winning streak.  

Churchill came away with an impressive 89-78 win over the Hornets. Tim Small(18.0) had his best game of the season finishing with 38 points. Stanley Coleman(21.2) put up 24 points for East Central, followed by Richard Jones and Tony Terrell’s 18 points apiece.  

San Antonio Roosevelt(23-11) had the top player in San Antonio in 6’2” Arthur Massey(25.3/8.3/5.9 assists). Massey was arguably the top guard in the state outside of LaBradford Smith of Bay City. Massey went on to have an outstanding career at San Diego State. Joining Massey with the Rough Riders was 6’5” Alton Glasco(23.5/9.5). Together these two were the highest scoring tandem in the state. The Rough Riders were always competitive and dangerous with Massey and Glasco in the line-up.

East Central(30-3) dropped their second loss in District to SA Roosevelt(23-11) 86-79 at the Blossom Athletic Center. Although Roosevelt came in with an unimpressive District mark at 7-5, the Rough Riders showed their ability in the big upset win. Massey(25.3) scored 13 of his game high 25 points in the critical 4th quarter, as Roosevelt outscored East Central 25-17. “We had to slow them down,” Roosevelt Coach Jim Whatley said. Roosevelt had lost earlier to the Hornets 103-91. “We had to stop Coleman(21.2) and Terrell(15.0) from penetrating, which we did. When we did that, they had to go to their guys inside. I don’t think they can score enough points inside.” With the loss, East Central dropped to 9-2 in District, two games behind SA Churchill.

SA Churchill(26-4) moved to 7-0 with a 71-65 win over SA Roosevelt(23-11) on Tim Small’s 26 points and Bill Oglesby’s 20 points on the inside. “We had a three-point lead with three minutes left and we were going to the spread,” Murphy said. “We were still going to look inside for the back door.” Alton Glasco(23.5) hit 28 points for Roosevelt and Massey(25.3) added 24.

SA Churchill(26-4) came into the SA MacArthur(19-11) game undefeated in District and two games up on East Central(30-3). SA MacArthur at 8-4, looked to be out of contention with another loss. In a major surprise the Brahmas took down SA Churchill(26-4) 67-53 behind the offensive output of Chip Morgan and Matt Hankinson. Morgan finished with 17 points and Matt Hankinson ended up with 14 points. Small(18.0) paced Churchill with 17 points. MacArthur sank 25 of 29 free throws to claim victory. The Brahmas outscored Churchill 28-11 in the final quarter after trailing by three at the end of three. Churchill connected on 11 of 15 from behind the line.

Following the lost to SA MacArthur(19-11), the Chargers began to struggle. They were fortunate to get by Seguin in overtime 48-43. SA Churchill(26-4) only managed to hit 12 of 28 from the foul line and only 34% from the floor. In Churchill’s defense, they had already clinched a playoff spot.

This set-up the rematch with SA East Central(30-3) for the District title. The Hornet’s gym only had seating for 600 fans, so school official’s set-up a pair of 9x12-foot screens in the school’s field house, so they could show the game to 1000 more fans.

“I feel like if we don’t turn the ball over too much, we should beat them,” Coach Murphy said. “We haven’t played well in the last two or three ballgames,” Murphy continued. “Our free-throw shooting has been terrible.” Tony Terrell(15.0) had emerged as one of the top performers in San Antonio over the season. He would need to be controlled if Churchill had any real hopes of winning.

SA East Central(30-3) forced 31 turnovers in the Hornets 103-79 shellacking of SA Churchill(26-4). The win put the two teams in a tie for first place in District 28-5A. The Hornets were on fire in their own gym shooting 64% from the floor in the 2nd half.

Stanley Coleman(21.2) scored 29 points and was nine of eleven in the second half. Tony Terrell(15.0) contributed 25 points, Darryl Eddington(10.9) kicked in 18 points and James Smith(20.4) put up 17 points. Murphy was upset about the 100-point output by East Central. “I think that’s the first time ever, to tell you the truth,” Murphy said. “In fact, I think that’s the worst I’ve ever been beaten.” Murphy was upset with the Hornets still pressing late in the game. “They’re going to press the whole game. They’ve done it all year. We’re just going to have to take our medicine. We shouldn’t have gotten ourselves into that position,” Murphy said.

Tim Small of Churchill, who hit 38 points in the two teams last meeting, was out two days during the week with the flu, which really limited the Chargers attack.

SA East Central(30-3) and SA Churchill(26-4) locked horns for their 4th time with the District title on the line. Both teams finished with a 14-2 record in this tough District. The game was played at the Alamo Stadium gym. “If they shoot the ball like the last time, they’ll be tough to beat,” Coach Murphy said. “They’re so difficult to defend in the half court, because of their shooting range. But primarily their scoring comes from their press.” Murphy continued.

“Playing in this District, almost every game you’ve got to constantly be on maximum level,” Bonewitz said. The Hornets scoring was well spread out between 6’2” Stanley Coleman(21.2), 5’9” Tony Terrell(15.2), Darryl Eddington(10.9), 6’2” James Smith(19.9) and 6’3” Richard Jones(11.1).

SA East Central(30-3) showed their strength defeating Churchill(26-4) for the third time in four meetings 83-74. The Hornets jumped out to an early lead 24-12 in the first quarter. Churchill turned right around and went on a 14-2 run to tie things up a 30 apiece. East Central opened a nine-point spread in the 4th quarter and Churchill could never recover. Three players for the Chargers fouled out in the final minute of the game. Churchill had some opportunities at the foul line, but failed to take advantage. “We had more fouls than a pressing team and we didn’t hit our free throws at the end,” Murphy said.

Terrell again was instrumental in the Hornets win finishing with 20 points, Coleman joined in with 19, Eddington claimed 18 points, as did James Smith. Tim Small was high man for Churchill with 22 points.

Standings 28-5A- SA Churchill(26-4) 14-2, SA East Central(30-3) 14-2, SA MacArthur(19-11) 12-4, SA Roosevelt(23-11) 10-6, SA Madison(19-14) 8-8, Seguin(14-18) 6-10, San Marcos(17-13) 5-11, SA Lee(12-18) 3-13, Converse Judson(7-23) 0-16:

All-District 1st team- 6’8” Thomas Gipson(19.0/11.0)-Seguin, 6’1” Arthur Massey(25.1)-SA Roosevelt, 6’2” Stanley Coleman(21.2)-SA East Central, 5’9” Tony Terrell(15.9)-SA East Central, 6’4” Tim Small(18.6)-SA Churchill; “Player of the Year”- Arthur Massey -SA Roosevelt.

Members of the SA Light All-Area Team- 1st Team- 6’1” Arthur Massey(25.1)-SA Roosevelt, 6’2” Stanley Coleman(20.9)-SA East Central, 6’4” Tim Small(18.6)-SA Churchill: 2nd Team-5’9” Tony Terrell(15.9)-SA East Central, 6’1” James Smith(20.4)-SA East Central6’5” Vladimir McCrary(15.0)-SA Madison; Honorable Mention-Joey Pierce-SA Churchill, Bill Oglesby(14.0/6.2)-SA Churchill, Rick Achberger(16.5)-SA MacArthur, Mike Steger-SA Madison, Trip Puhl-SA MacArthur, Jim Harman-SA Madison, Richard Jones(11.1)-SA East Central, John Friesenhahn(8.9 reb)-SA Churchill, Alton Glasco(23.5/9.5)-SA Roosevelt, Matt Hankinson-SA MacArthur, Chris Morgan-SA MacArthur:

Top Ten by the San Antonio Light: 1. SA East Central(30-3), 2. SA Holmes(27-5), 3. SA Churchill(26-4, 4. SA Clark(25-7), 5. SA Alamo Heights(28-4), 6. SA Highlands(23-10), 7. SA Sam Houston(24-8), 8. SA MacArthur(19-11), 9. SA Fox Tech(24-8), 10. SA Roosevelt(23-11):




                It’s hard to believe, but District 29-5A may have been deeper than 28-5A.

SA Sam Houston(24-8). SA Highlands(23-10), SA Fox Tech(24-8), SA Edison(19-13) and South San(20-12) all had formidable teams during the ’87 campaign.

                The District went right down to the wire among the top three schools, SA Sam Houston(24-8), SA Highlands(23-10) and SA Fox Tech(24-8). SA Sam Houston(24-8) took the early lead in District defeating SA Fox Tech(24-8) 72-55 and SA Highlands(23-10) 69-63. The Cherokees looked like they would run away with District until they fell to Fox Tech(24-8) 54-40 in the 2nd round action. In the last game of the regular season, SA Highlands(23-10) forced a District playoff defeating Sam Houston(24-8) 84-67, behind 6’6” Morris Farr’s 20 points and Raymond Gonzalez finished with 15 points.

                In the Owls of SA Highlands(23-10) win over SA Sam Houston(24-8), the game was really never in doubt. The Owls came out blazing using a 1-2-2 press that forced 11 first quarter turnovers for Sam Houston. Highlands continued to build on the lead and were up 54-32 at halftime. The Owls shot 20 of 29 from the floor in the first half and 14 of 18 on free shots. Highlands went to their spread offense late and the Cherokees could get no closer than 16 points. 6’3” Keith Horne(16.4) led Sam Houston with 22 points followed by Ronald Bethany with 18 points.

                The rivalry between SA Sam Houston(24-8) and SA Highlands(23-10) was one of the strongest anywhere in the state. The two schools were in such close proximity to one another and Sam Houston’s coach, Wayne Dickey, had attended Highlands and played for Coach Zemmerzehl.  

SA Highlands(23-10) and SA Sam Houston(24-8) both finished District at 14-2. The Owls really looked to be gaining strength late in the season with two wins over SA Fox Tech(24-8) 59-53 in overtime and 64-51. SA Highlands slipped up late against SA Wheatley(14-17) 67-60, which cost them the District title.  

                SA Fox Tech(24-8) looked to be in the thick of things, but their three losses left them out in the cold at 13-3. Although SA Edison(19-13) and South San(20-12) had nice season records, they were not in contention for the playoffs.

                SA Sam Houston(24-8) and SA Highlands(23-10) prepared for their third meeting of the season. At stake, was the top spot in the playoffs. SA Highlands(23-10) jumped out to an early lead and held on for a 70-66 victory.

                “We started off with the intensity we had,” Highlands coach John Kemmerzehl said. “But I think we got a little complacent.” Chris Evans came up big for the Owls hitting 25 points, mostly from the outside. 6’6” Morris Farr was active finishing with 16 points for Highlands. Late in the game, the Owls began turning the ball over against the Sam Houston press. To compound problems, Highlands could only manage to hit 3 of 10 foul shots over the last two minutes of the game. Keith Horne led Sam Houston with 26 points, which included two slam dunks. Horne was one of the top dunkers in the state.

                In the last game of the regular season, 6’3” Gary Durbon(28.3) of South San, broke the city single game scoring record with 56 points. Durbon finished as the city’s top scorer at 28.3, as South San closed the season with an 85-75 win over SA Lanier(8-19). “I just got hot,” said Durbon. The senior guard committed to U.T.S.A. and averaged 31.3 per game following an early season injury.

Standings 29-5A- SA Sam Houston(24-8) 14-2, SA Highlands(23-10) 14-2, SA Fox Tech(24-8) 13-3, SA Edison(19-13) 8-8, South San(20-12) 7-9, SA Wheatley(14-17) 7-9, SA Jefferson(6-22) 4-12, SA Lanier(8-19) 3-12, SA Burbank(2-24) 1-15:

Members of the SA Light All-Area Team- 1st Team-6’3” Gary Durbon(28.3)-South SA, 6’5” Roger Willis(18.2)-SA Fox Tech; 2nd Team-6’3” Keith Horne(16.4)-SA Sam Houston; Honorable Mention-Ronald Bethany-SA Sam Houston; Robert Villela-SA Edison, Keith Hullaby-SA Wheatley, Carlton Wilson-SA Edison, Raymond Gonzales-SA Highlands, Morris Farr-SA Highlands:


                San Antonio Holmes(27-5) started off the season with a 2-3 record playing without the Cash Twins. Kerry and Keith were still on the gridiron playing football. The twins were considered two of the top receivers in the state. The Huskies football team had made a deep run in the playoffs. Upon their arrival on the court, Coach Bobby Jaklich and his troops became a force in San Antonio roundball. At the Northside Tournament in San Antonio, the Huskies won the title defeating SA MacArthur(19-11) 65-56 in the semis and SA Jay(21-12) in the finals 65-52.

                In the San Antonio ISD Tournament, SA Holmes(27-5) came away once again with 1st place defeating Austin Reagan(16-14) 65-59, SA Wheatley(14-17) 60-37, SA Sam Houston(24-8) 56-53 and SA Highlands(23-10) 55-53.

In the Optimist Tournament, SA Holmes(27-5) lost to Bryan(23-11) in the 2nd round 82-75. In the first round of the tournament the Huskies defeated Clear Lake(24-9) 57-56. In a non-district match game, SA Holmes(27-5) got a shot at the top-rated team in San Antonio, East Central(30-3). The Huskies suffered their second loss of the season with the Cash twins in the line-up 63-59.

                SA Holmes(27-5) ran the table in District finishing 16-0. The Huskies defeated SA Clark(25-7) in both games 78-58 and 51-43. SA Jay(21-12) took third place and fell to the Huskies both times 64-56 and 65-52. As Holmes prepared for the playoffs, they had faced one of the toughest schedules you could imagine and were 25-2 with the twins in the line-up.

                San Antonio Clark(25-7) came away with 2nd place with an impressive 14-2 mark in District. Clark eliminated SA Jay(21-12) 56-54 and 65-56 in their two match-ups. 6’1” Mike Houlihan(17.9) and Chad Heller were the leaders for SA Clark(25-7).

                San Antonio Jay(21-12) grabbed the 3rd position in District after impressive wins over Killeen(28-7), SA Churchill(26-4) and Houston Kashmere(15-12) in pre-district. The Mustangs went to the finals of the Northside tournament and semi-finals at the Optimist Tournament in San Antonio. This spoke well of the talent in District 30-5A.  

                SA Holmes(27-5) and SA Clark(25-7) entered the second to last game of the regular season having both clinched playoff spots. The Cougars of Clark(25-7) were 13-1 coming into the contest, and Holmes was unbeaten at 14-0. Holmes(27-5) showed no let up, as they once again survived an early run by Clark and pulled away late 66-55. Early in the 4th quarter, Holmes went on a 15-0 run sparked by Adrian Wright. Wright scored 19 of his total 23 points in the 2nd half on 5 of 7 from the floor and 9 for 9 from the line. The Huskies took a 41-29 lead on Wright’s four-point play after an intentional foul. On the defensive end of the court, Wright also made his presence felt holding Clark’s leading scorer, Mike Houlihan, to 1 of 11 from the field.

                SA Holmes dominated the glass with the Cash twins inside. Kerry Cash came away with 22 points and three dunks, while Keith Cash added 12 points. Coach Danny Murphy was pleased with his team’s improvement, “we handled their full-court pressure a lot better than the first game.” Clark had lost in the two team’s earlier meeting 78-58. “They do a tremendous job of pressing you on the half-court, and not enabling you to get into your offense. It’s just extreme pressure,” Coach Murphy said.

                Coach Jaklich of Holmes discussed his defense saying, “you’ve got to get in their face. I think that intensity is what won it for us in the 3rd quarter.” 

Standings 30-5A- SA Holmes(27-5) 16-0, SA Clark(25-7) 14-2, SA Jay(21-12) 11-5, SA Marshall(16-17) 9-7, SA Taft(13-18) 8-8, SA McCollum(13-19) 6-10, Eagles Pass(9-23) 4-12, Harlandale(4-25) 3-13), Del Rio(3-22) 1-15:

Members of the SA Light All-Area Team- 1st Team- 6’1” Adrian Wright(17.1)-SA Holmes; 2nd Team- 6’1” Mike Houlihan(17.9)-SA Clark; Honorable Mention- Mike Laderer(22.6)-SA Taft; Reggie Pierce-SA Jay, Jim Fletcher-SA Jay; 6’5” Keith Cash(11.2)-SA Holmes, Kerry Cash(15.0/7.4)-SA Holmes, Chad Heller-SA Clark:


                McAllen Memorial(20-10) and Laredo Nixon(22-10) went right down to the last game of the District campaign to decide matters in 31-5A. McAllen Memorial stood at 10-3 and faced their rival McAllen High(15-13), to wrap-up the regular season. McAllen High came in at 6-7 in District and didn’t really look to pose a threat. But as we well know, in rivalry games, anything can happen.

Laredo Nixon(22-10) and Laredo Martin(21-8) both entered their last game with identical 9-4 records. The winner looked as if they would take the District runner-up spot into the state playoffs.

Laredo Nixon(22-10) took care of matters and defeated Laredo Martin(21-8) 77-74 to finish at 10-4. The loss eliminated Martin from the playoffs. Ricky Chapa(16.6) put up 20 points for Nixon along with Ricky Rendon(16.1) scoring 24 points.

McAllen High(15-13) pulled a big upset defeating McAllen Memorial(20-10) 44-35 to throw the District race into a tie between McAllen Memorial(20-10) and Laredo Nixon(22-10). McAllen High gained revenge of sorts having scored only 13 points in their earlier loss to Memorial.

This set-up the District title game between McAllen Memorial(20-11) and Laredo Nixon(22-10), who both stood at 10-4 in District. Memorial had won the first game 56-54 and Nixon returned the favor 77-65 in the re-match. Jimmy Cisneros(13.3) paced Memorial with 28 points in the Memorial victory, but only managed 8 in the 2nd game. Ricky Rendon(16.1) put up 30 points for Nixon in the win over Memorial. Coach Mo Molina of McAllen Memorial felt the Mustangs would have to control the tempo to have a chance against Nixon.

McAllen Memorial(20-11) Mustangs starters were 6’3” Jimmy Cisneros(13.2), Cesar Arenas(10.8), 6’8” Bill Hargus(8.6), 6’4” Richard Geery(9.2), point guard 5-9 Ito Alvardo(6.4) and coming off the bench was 6’1” Hector Silva(6.5).

                 Laredo Nixon(22-10) claimed the District title with an easy 86-57 victory over the Mustangs. Rendon(16.1) put up 18 points and was joined by Ricky Chapa’s 28 points. “Our two Ricky’s shot the ball well, but they’ve been doing that all year,” praised Coach Bill Groogan of Nixon. “I think our pressure bothered them in the 2nd half. Memorial fell apart in the 4th quarter being outscored 33-10 by Nixon. Jimmy Cisneros(13.3) put up 17 points in a losing cause. Richard Geery(9.2) added 12 points for the Mustangs. Coach Mo Molina of Memorial said, “they have a hot-shooting ball-club and they got hot again.” McAllen Memorial had 20 turnovers against Nixon and 17 in their loss to McAllen High. Nixon knocked down 26 of 36 free throws, while Memorial could only manage 11 of 14.

Standings- Laredo Nixon(22-10) 10-4, McAllen Memorial(20-11) 10-4,Laredo Martin(21-8) 9-5, Mission(17-12) 9-5, Laredo United(20-12) 8-6, Edinburg(18-13) 8-6, McAllen(15-13) 7-7, Rio Grande City(8-16) 0-14:

All-District 1st Team-5’11” Jimmy Cisneros(13.3)-McAllen Memorial, 5’9” Ito Alvarado-McAllen Memorial, 6’4” Richard Geery(9.2)-McAllen Memorial, 6’2” Devon Dooley(17.1)-Mission, Ricky Rendon(16.1)-Laredo Nixon, Victor Trevino-Laredo Martin, Ricky Valles(15.4)-Laredo Martin, Lamar Strong-Edinburg, Carolos Gonzalez-Mission, Eddie Carrillo-Edinburg: “MVP” -6’3” Ricky Chapa(16.6)-Laredo Nixon, “Sophomore of the Year”-5’8” Natie Valdez, “Coach of the Year”-Bill Groogan -Laredo Nixon and Erasmo “Mo” Molina-McAllen Memorial.


                Every year the teams from the Valley have to battle the rest of the state’s perception of their schools. Inflated records, and failure in the playoffs, were two common perceptions. A perfect indication of the lack of respect state wide was the fact that Weslaco was 30-1 and couldn’t break into the state’s Top 20 rankings. To be honest, it really goes deeper than that. Distance is one of the major factors limiting the Valley teams, both in scheduling and exposure.

Whether you agreed or not, that is what Weslaco(30-1) was battling after an impressive regular season. True, the Panthers did not venture outside the valley for the most part, but they dominated the area.

                The Weslaco attack centered around the outstanding talents of 6’2” Gabriel Valdez(22.1). Valdez was said to be one of the best to ever come out of the Valley. Supporting Gabriel was 6’2” Glenn McAlpin(19.1), which gave the Panthers a great one-two offensive punch. Other starters for Weslaco were 5’10” Juan Balderrama, 5’11” Joe Rodriguez and 6’6” sophomore Billy Pemelton. 6’1” Jason Murphy was key for Coach Greg Kiger coming off the bench. Weslaco was making their first playoff appearance since the days of 6’11” Tommy Barker. Barker was a standout for Weslaco back in the early 1970s and was generally considered the most talented player to ever come out of the Valley.

                Weslaco had several solid wins in pre-season. The Panthers defeated Raymondville(22-9) 83-51 in the finals of the Raymondville Tournament. The Panthers captured the Edcouch-Elsa Tournament by beating Edcouch-Elsa(19-12) 76-54. The Panthers completely leveled a tough Laredo United (20-12) team 93-53. Others solid wins came against Mission(17-12) 52-44 and Edcouca-Elsa(19-12) 67-52.

                Coach Kevin Wall of Pan American University called Valdez, “probably the best high school prospect I’ve seen in the Valley. Valdez is probably the best guard prospect to come out of the Valley since Chuy Guerra from Roma in 1972. I never saw Chuy play, so I can’t compare.”

Brownsville Hanna(26-3) had a tandem as well with 6’2” Michael Rudd(18.9) and 6’4” James Kostohryz(16.9). Brownsville Hanna also relied on Mingo Ramos, Jay Brown and Marco Cantu. In the Harlingen What-A-Burger Tournament, Brownsville Hanna(26-3) broke Harlingen’s(20-11) 46-game home winning streak 61-37. Brownsville Hanna(26-3) had lost earlier in the season to Corpus Christi Carroll(18-14) 58-51.

                In the first meeting between Brownsville Hanna(26-3) and Weslaco(30-1), Hanna managed to come away with a 62-57 victory. Both teams were undefeated in District and Weslaco stood at 21-0 coming in and Hanna was at 20-1. At one point, Hanna(26-3) led 54-38 with 7:51 left in the game. Domingo Ramos led the Hanna charge with 15 points and Michael Rudd(18.9) came in with 14 points and 8 assists. Gabriel Valdez(22.1) could only manage 13 points for Weslaco.

In the re-match, the Panthers snuck away with a tight win over Hanna 50-49. Valdez made a critical steal with 23 seconds remaining in the contest and hit a layup, to give his team a 50-49 win. As the Panthers(30-1) were attempting to run the clock out, they turned the ball over. Hanna(26-3) had new life and one more chance. Carlos Garza of Hanna hit Mingo Ramos, who missed a 15-footer at the buzzer.

                Late in the game, Weslaco(30-1) had went to four corners in an effort to get Hanna(26-3) out of their 2-3 zone defense. “Valdez made some big time plays for us,” Coach Kiger of Weslaco said.

                Both Weslaco(30-1) and Brownsville Hanna(26-3) had to deal with Harlingen(20-11) to get out of District. Weslaco(30-1) defeated Harlingen(20-11) 71-52 and 52-49 to capture District. Hanna(26-3) got by Harlingen(20-11) in their first meeting 53-42, but were knocked from the title hunt losing to Harlingen(20-11) second time round 68-57. This accounted for Harlingen’s three District setbacks.

Standings- Weslaco(30-1) 13-1, Brownsville Hanna(26-3) 12-2, Harlingen(20-11) 11-3, Pharr-San Juan-Alamo(17-15) 7-7, Brownsville Porter(17-13) 6-8, Donna(11-19) 4-10, Brownsville Pace(16-14) 3-11, San Benito(1-18) 0-14:

All-District 1st Team- 6’2” Gabriel Valdez(22.1) Weslaco, 6’2” Michael Rudd(18.9)-Brownsville Hanna, 6’4” James Kostohryz(16.9)-Brownsville Hanna, 6’2” Glenn McAlpin(19.1)-Weslaco, Bill Bowling(11.1)-Harlingen: 2nd Team-Mingo Ramos-Brownsville Hanna, Michael French(16.8)-Donna, Arnold Gonzaldez-PSJA, Constancio Balboa-Brownsville Porter; 3rd Team- Abel Vasquez-PSJA, David Villarreal-Harlingen, Joey Pena(16.8)-Donna, Jay Brown-Harlingen, Marco Cantu-Harlingen: “MVP” Gabriel Valdez-Weslaco, “Coach of the Year”-Greg Kiger-Weslaco, Don Denson-Brownsville Hanna, “Sophomore of the Year”-6’6” Billy Pemelton(11.7)-Weslaco:



T.R. Sullivan of the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram picks:

                Teams to Beat-San Antonio East Central(31-3), San Antonio Holmes(27-5):   

                Teams to Watch-SA Churchill(26-5), Weslaco(30-1), Brownsville Hanna(28-2):

                Sullivan once again seems to be locked in on the favorites in region IV with SA East Central(31-3) and SA Holmes(27-5) favored to advance. As for the teams to watch, I question Weslaco(30-1) and Hanna(28-2) ability to advance to state against such a loaded field. Both teams had impressive seasons, but they both rarely played outside the valley.

                Brazoswood(25-7) opened the state playoffs with a 72-70 win over Corpus Christi Moody(23-9). With the score all tied up at 32 apiece at intermission, the Buccaneers went to work in the 2nd half and opened up a 12-point margin. Dennis Lindsey(21.4) put up 15 points for the Bucs and 6’5” Russell Miller added 14 points. CC Moody(23-9) was led 5’7” Steve Torrez with 14 points and 6’6” Edward Caldwell(16.3) with 17 points.

San Antonio Holmes(27-5) met San Antonio Sam Houston(24-9) at Alamo Stadium Gym in their Bi-District contest. SA Sam Houston(24-9) came into the game having lost three of their previous five games and two in a row. Before the late season collapse, the Cherokees had a 12-game winning streak. The two teams played previously in December with SA Holmes(27-5) defeating SA Sam Houston(24-9) 56-53. “We’ve got to run,” Sam Houston coach Wayne Dickey said. “If we slow the ball down, we just don’t have the physical people.” The Cherokees were making their 5th playoff appearance over a 12-year period.

SA Holmes(27-5) on the other hand, liked a more deliberate attack with one of the top defensive teams in San Antonio allowing only 52.9 per-game. SA Holmes(27-5) had won their first District title in 10 years the previous season, and had been eliminated in the 1st round against SA Churchill. The Huskies had very limited playoff experience. SA Holmes(27-5) looked to 6’1” Adrian Wright(16.9), 6’5” Kerry Cash(15.0) and 6’5” Keith Cash(11.2) to lead their state playoff hopes.

The Huskies continued their winning ways with a 67-60 win over San Antonio Sam Houston(24-9) in Bi-District. In the victory the Huskies had shown their Achilles Heel. SA Holmes(27-5) only managed to hit 19 of 35 attempts from the foul line. To make matters worse, the Cash twins missed 12 out of 16 attempts. This would definitely be a problem in a close playoff game. Adrian Wright(17.1) was the primary offensive weapon for the Huskies. He pumped in 22 points.

Brownsville Hanna(28-2) prepared to meet Laredo Nixon(23-10) at Mission High School in Bi-District. Hanna(28-3) advanced with a 71-66 win over Nixon(23-10) behind the scoring output of 6’4” James Kostohryz’s(16.9) 27 points on 11 of 16 field goals and 5 of 5 from the line.

San Antonio Highlands(23-9) seemed to have a lot of momentum as they came into their playoff game against San Antonio Clark(25-7). Highlands also had the playoff experience over SA Clark. Highlands was making their 3rd playoff appearance in a row and 9th overall in Coach Kemmerzehl 17-year coaching career. The SA Highlands Owls were also on a nine-game winning streak.

SA Clark(25-7) on the other hand, was making their first playoff appearance since 1980. The Cougars had won 13 of their last 15 games and 21 of their previous 24 games. Coach Danny Murphy of SA Clark said, “We’re just excited to be in the playoffs.” The Cougars looked to Houlihan(18.5), while Highlands would count on the inside game of 6’6” Morris Farr(15.6) and Raymond Gonzalez(14.9).

Highlands and Clark teed it up at the Blossom Athletic Center. Clark(25-7) defeated a stubborn San Antonio Highlands(23-9) team 61-57 to advance against Brownsville Hanna(29-2).

Brownsville Hanna(29-2) came into the 2nd round game against San Antonio Clark(26-7) with their first playoff win in 13 years. The game was played at Tuloso-Midway, close to Corpus Christi. Hanna had impressive numbers averaging 75.5 and allowing 50.6 points for a +24.9 margin. One of the top marks in the state. Many felt that their competition could have been suspect. 6’2” Mike Rudd(18.1) was critical at point guard for Hanna and 6’4” James Kostohryz(17.0/10.0) provided a strong inside game.

Coach Danny Murphy of San Antonio Clark(26-7) assessed his opponent saying, “All five of their players seem to be good shooters and ball handlers.” Hanna’s weakness against Clark would be their lack of depth and the size inside. Clark counted on 6’6” Chad Heller(12.0/8.0), 6’5” Matt Ward(8.0), 6’4” Loren Lasley(7.5) and 6’1 Mike Houlihan(18.5) for their offensive output.  

                The difference in the two teams proved to be exactly like Coach Murphy had said prior to the game, depth and inside strength. “Coming into the game that’s what we tried to capitalize on,” Coach Murphy said. “We knew if we could get it into somewhat of a half-court game, we didn’t think they could stop us because of our height advantage. Every time we got into our post on the block, they didn’t stop us,” Murphy continued. “The other thing we noticed is that they were six-deep at the most. That’s why, when they cut it to 16, we didn’t call timeout. We kept pushing it up the floor.”

                SA Clark(26-7) was led by the inside game of Matt Ward, Chad Heller and Loren Lasley and came away with a 70-56 win over Brownsville Hanna. Ward(8.0) came away with 21 points and 14 rebounds, Heller(12.0) kicked in 10 points and Lasley hit 15 points. Mike Houlihan(18.5) threw in 14 points from the outside for Coach Murphy.

Hanna, as usual, had James Kosterhyz(17.0) leading the way with 20 points, Rudd(18.1) was good for 15 points and Mingo Ramos scored 12 points. Clark was in total control at halftime up 41-21 and 55-32 at the end of the 3rd. Hanna spent much of the 2nd half trying to make the final score respectable. Clark out rebounded Hanna 33-19, as well as placing four players in double figures. Clark shot 30 of 54 from the floor for 55%, while Hanna could only manage 24 out of 65 shooting for 37%. Brownsville Hanna finished the season with an impressive 29-3 record.

                San Antonio Churchill(26-5) and Austin L.B.J.(25-7) had to wait two hours and twenty minutes for the officials to arrive in their Bi-District game. The game was part of a double-header at Strahan Gym in San Marcos. 6’4” John Friesenhahn(12.1) was back in action for Churchill after missing the East Central game.  

Churchill’s inside strength proved too strong, as 6’4” Bill Oglesby(14.0) and 6’4” Tim Small(18.0) combined for 55 points in the Charger’s 87-65 win over L.B.J. Together they combined for 21 of 35 from the field for 60% shooting. “We were just trying to get the ball inside to get their big guy in foul trouble,” Oglesby said. The big guy Oglesby was referring to was 6’6” Leeland McCall(17.5/15.0). McCall picked up his 4th foul with 2:09 remaining in the 4th quarter and finished the evening with only 10 points. Derrick Greene led L.B.J. with 12 points. The attendance was impressive with 4,621 fans.

I was kind of concerned when we were out there warming up and those guys were over there dunking and everything,” Coach Bobby Murphy said. “McCall was tearing down the backboard. For some reason, the guys weren’t intimidated at all.”

You never know what effect those things have, but my boys were ready to play at 4:30,” LBJ coach, Mike McShane said. “We were slow starting and simply could not catch up,” McShane said. “Churchill has a fine club. They are well disciplined and stay with their game.”

                San Antonio East Central(31-3) and Austin Lanier(17-12) weren’t even sure they were going to get to play at one point, because of the delay with the Churchill game. The Hornets of East Central came out blazing and defeated the over-matched Vikings of Austin Lanier 102-88. East Central’s 6’2” James Smith(20.4) had a strong game finishing with 32 points on the inside. Smith was 9 of 10 in the first half and finished the game with 14 of 17 from the floor. Smith continually split Lanier’s two inside players for easy baskets.

                6’4” Junior Kenney(16.0) and Albert Burditt(16.0) did their best to keep Lanier close. Kennedy came away with 45 points on 21 of 26 from the field. His scoring is somewhat deceiving because 32 of those points came in the 2nd half. East Central was up by 18 at halftime. 6’4” Burditt(16.0), one of the top freshmen in the state, was in foul trouble and ended up with 15 points.

                The Vikings did manage to get as close as six points in the 2nd half. Tony Terrell(15.0) of East Central was impressive once again finishing with 21 points and hit 14 of 14 from the line.

                “East Central is a good team, and they put pressure on us all night,” Lanier coach Ernie Azios said. “We wanted to keep the tempo fast-that is our game. But it is also East Central’s game, and they had the game tonight.”  

Victoria(27-5) prepared for their Bi-District game against Willowridge(20-9) with a since of pride that had been missing in the program. In a one game situation, Coach Mike Smith of Victoria was one of the best in the business. The Stingarees had dominated District action, but at times had struggled during the season. Losses included Bay City(31-5) 82-76, Carthage(22-9) 84-82, Huntsville(22-11) 102-81 and El Campo(12-17) 85-84 showed their vulnerability.

 Willowridge(20-9) was definitely going to be a challenge. The Stingarees biggest wins were over Bay City(31-5) 70-65 and San Antonio Fox Tech(24-8) 71-69.

                Coach Smith commented on facing the Eagles, “Willowridge is very talented, they’ll probably be the most talented team we’ve played so far. They’re comparable to CC Moody(23-9) in terms of style of press.” Smith continued saying, “they’re no better than Bay City or a lot of other teams we’ve played, but they’re plenty good.”

                Willowridge(20-9) offense centered around 6’5” James Bailey(17.0), who signed with Fresno State. An indicator of Bailey’s talents was winning the MVP award at the Jay Parker summer basketball camp in Houston. “Bailey is our leader, but we’ve got some other competitors too,” Willowridge Coach, Virel Kalinowski said. Willowridge had advanced to the big dance with a 64-61 win over Terry(23-8) in a District playoff game for the runner-up spot.

                Coach Kalinowski’s keys to the game coming in were as follows: (1) we must stop Janecka; (2) we have got to break their press; Coach Smith felt like the difference would be Victoria’s depth. The Stingarees were known to play 13 kids during their pressing and aggressive attack. “Our bench is better than theirs, they have eight or nine players that can play, but they usually go most of the way with their first five or six,” Smith said.

                Victoria(27-5) was very disappointed, as their season ended much too early losing to Willowridge(20-9) 87-67. The score was surprising, because many felt the Stingarees were the favorite coming into the game. Coach Smith blamed himself for the defeat saying, “it was really my fault. We should have found some teams to play with their style. This was the only team all year that pressed us. If we would have played a few teams like that earlier, it would have made all the differences.”

                Another factor to figure in was Victoria’s long layoff prior to the game. The Stingarees hadn’t played a game in ten days. After the game, Coach Kalinowski commented, “we pressure everybody we play, we don’t keep any secrets, we like the up-tempo game.” Victoria was forced into 21 turnovers.

                Willowridge led at halftime 39-34 after trailing early. In the first three minutes of the 2nd half the Eagles extended their lead to 49-36. Willowridge had a nice balanced attack with Kevin Atmos finishing with 15 points, Rod Minor and 6’5” James Bailey(17.0) both added 14 points for the Eagles. Victoria had the usual leaders with Janecka(16.9) scoring with 18 points and Upton(14.8) came away with 11 points.

                McAllen Memorial(20-12) came into Bi-District against Weslaco(30-1) on a two-game losing streak. The two teams had met earlier in the season with Weslaco winning a close one 76-72. In the earlier meeting both teams played without their best inside players.

The Mustangs of Memorial received a severe blow prior to the game. Cesar Arenas(10.8) was suspended from the team for the rest of the season by Coach Molina. As the team’s second leading scorer, this was going to limit Memorial offensively. For Weslaco, it was their first playoff action in 16-years.

                The scoring combo of 6’2” Gabriel Valdez(22.1) and 6’2” Glenn McAlpin(19.1) had carried the Panthers all season and with the emergence of 6-6 sophomore, Billy Pemelton(11.7), Weslaco was a formidable opponent. “Their main strength is probably their experience,” Coach Molina of Memorial said. Valdez, McAlpin and Jason Murphy have played together for about three years now.”

                The keys to victory according to Molina was, slowing down Valdez and McAlpin and good scoring balance. First year coach, Greg Kiger of Weslaco, felt 5’9” Ito Alvaredo would have to be contained in order to be successful. Also, another big factor on the game’s outcome, was Weslaco had the home court advantage.

                The game was closer than expected with Weslaco(31-1) advancing again with a 57-49 victory. McAllen Memorial(20-12) closed out the season at 20-13, losing their final three games of the season and four out of their last five. McAllen Memorial did have a record-breaking season winning their first District title. Also, it was Memorial’s first time ever to finish over .500 on the final record.

Pan American bound, Gabriel Valdez(22.1), paced Weslaco with 22 points and McAlpin was held to only 12 points. Pemelton finished with 10 points and 13 rebounds for the Panthers. Jimmy Cisneros(13.3) led the way for the Mustangs with 13 points and Ito Alvaredo put up 12 points.

In 2nd round action, San Antonio Holmes(28-5) faced the pride of the valley in Weslaco(31-1). The Panthers had not seen a team like the Huskies all season. SA Holmes(28-5) was talented and athletic, as well as well tested on the season. The Panthers were going against one of the top guards in the Alamo city in 6’1” Adrian Wright. If that weren’t bad enough, inside the Panthers would have to deal with the 6’5” Cash twins, Kerry(15.4/7.4) and Keith(11.2).

S.A. Holmes(28-5) came into the game averaging 67.5 points per game and giving up 53.2, for a difference of +14.3. Weslaco averaged 69.5 and allowed 49.1 for a difference of 20.4, one of the top numbers in the state. Weslaco’s head man, Greg Kiger, was quite the gambler. For the second time in the playoffs, Kiger flipped for the home and home match-up instead of playing on a neutral site. Weslaco won the flip once again and received a monster home court advantage. San Antonio Holmes would be faced with a four-hour trip on their journey to Weslaco. Not many fans will travel four hours for a road game.

Weslaco(31-1) was making their first playoff appearance since 1971 and SA Holmes(28-5) had won their first playoff game in school history. “Having us come all the way down there to play them,” said 2nd year coach Bobby Jaklich. “I can see why they feel like they can beat the Huskies.”

                Weslaco(31-1) relied heavily on their standout guard, Gabriel Valdez(22.1) to lead them to victory. 6’2” Glenn McAlpin(19.1) and 6’6” Billy Pemmelton(11.9) were also important cogs in the Weslaco offensive machine.

                San Antonio Holmes(28-5) overcame the long trip, and hostile environment to come away with the biggest win in school history 73-63. Weslaco(31-1) packed the gym with 3200 wild and hostile fans. The Holmes victory put the Huskies into their first ever regional appearance. SA Holmes aggressive man to man defense again was the difference. The Huskies Keith Cash did an outstanding job defending Gabriel Valdez, holding Weslaco’s team leader to 8 of 20 on the evening from the floor. “I like covering people that shoot a lot,” said Cash. “It’s a challenge.” Valdez and Glenn McAlpin both managed to finish with 20 points for Weslaco.

                SA Holmes(28-5) was shooting the lights out going 9 of 10 in the 3rd quarter and finished 14 of 18 in the 2nd half for 78%. Adrian Wright led the way with 20 points followed by Keith Cash with 15 points, Kerry Cash added 12 points and Curtis Pearson finished with 14 points from long distance.

  Weslaco(31-1) had been unaware of Curtis Pearson(7.0) coming into the game, but Pearson made his presence known quickly. With all the attention being paid to Wright, Pearson scored 14 first half points for the Huskies. “We worked on stopping Wright all week,” Coach Kiger said. “All our scouting reports said you have to shut off Wright, we worked so hard to shut off Wright and held him down, but Pearson got the hot hand.

                “We had five or six kids that we were rotating in there and really didn’t have the depth that we needed to stay up with them,” Coach Kiger said. “They’re very strong, good athletes and they could go a little bit longer than we could.” SA Holmes took command of the game in the 3rd quarter leading 43-29. Weslaco did make a final run late fueled by James Murphy. The Panthers closed the gap to 63-57 with only 2:09 remaining. That was as close as Weslaco got.

SA Holmes(28-5) Coach Bobby Jaklich discussed the game saying, “I think the biggest thing was that we were able to adjust to everything that they threw at us and they did a lot of good things with the box and one on Adrian. Plus, the crowd factor. You’ve got to add ten points on the score because that crowd was worth it.”

                San Antonio East Central(32-3) and Willowridge(21-9) met in the 2nd round at Victoria High School. Willowridge(21-9) would certainly be a challenge for the Hornets with their superior size and ability to press. Coach Bonewitz was concerned because East Central had seldom faced pressing teams. “It will probably be a high scoring and aggressive game, as they are big on the boards,” Coach Stan Bonewitz said. “We just don’t have the muscle to hold them off.” Willowridge looked to 6’5” James Bailey(17.4/6.5) and 6’4” Tony Dunn(12.0/7.5) for their inside strength.

                Tony Terrell(15.0) led East Central(32-3) to the biggest win in school history over Willowridge(21-9) 97-83. During a five minute stretch in the 3rd quarter, Terrell came up with three steals, that turned the game around. The 5’9” junior sparked a 17-4 run by East Central in the 3rd period. “Terrell is the best ball-hawk we’ve seen this year,” said Willowridge coach Virel Kalinowski. “There was nothing we could do about him. Give the win to him,” Kalinowski continued. Along with his impressive floor game, 5’9” Terrell(15.0) ended up with 22 points and several assists. “Terrell has been doing it all year,” Bonewitz said. “He’s the consummate point guard.”

                James Smith(20.4) added 29 points for the victorious Hornets along with Stanley Coleman’s(21.2) 21 points. Darryl Eddington(10.9) put up 15 points for Coach Bonewitz. East Central only led 46-43 at halftime and were up 75-59 at the end of three.

                Tony Dunn(12.0) finished with 18 points and 6’5” James Bailey(17.4) ended up with 15 points for Willowridge. The Eagles never quit and were only down nine points at 86-77 with 2:57 remaining. “We were forced to foul them and they made the free-throws,” Kalinowski said. “They’re a good team.” Willowridge finished the season at 21-10.

                 Probably the premier 2nd round game pitted Brazoswood(26-7) against San Antonio Churchill(27-5). Brazoswood(26-7) was the top ranked team in the region and SA Churchill(27-5) had eliminated the top team from Austin. Both teams came out of strong districts. The Chargers had their hands full with SA East Central, SA Roosevelt and SA MacArthur, while Brazoswood had to deal with Willowridge and 7’1” Johnny Pittman of Terry. “You think they must be humongous,” said Churchill coach Bobby Murphy, “but after seeing them, I think we can play with them.”

                In the big win over Austin L.B.J., Coach Murphy felt it was one of his team’s strongest efforts of the season. The Brazoswood Buccaneers and San Antonio Churchill both played a similar style with a deliberate offensive attack. 6’3” Dennis Lindsey(20.0) was the main cog for the Buccaneers. Brazoswood was making their first playoff appearance since 1978.

                Brazoswood coach, Bob Cook, was impressed with Churchill. “I think they’re well coached. They’re real well-balanced,” Cook said. “Plus, I feel like they handled L.B.J., they really tore them up. We’re going to have our work cut out.

                S.A. Churchill(27-5) was struggling in the 3rd quarter against the Buccaneers when Coach Bobby Murphy called timeout down 34-30. “We were just standing around on defense,” Murphy said. “We were just lazy; I had to call timeout and preach the gospel.” His team responded with a 44-38 lead entering the final quarter. Bill Oglesby had the game of his life finishing with 19 points, 10 rebounds and 8 assists, leading the Chargers to a 63-56 win over Brazoswood. In the final quarter, Brazoswood came back to close the gap to 53-52 behind the outstanding play of Dennis Lindsey. The 6’3” senior scored 18 of his game high 27 points in the 2nd half. The one-point difference was as close as the Buccaneers could get.

                Coach Murphy was impressed with Oglesby saying, “He’s played two good playoff games in a row for us.” Joining Oglesby in double figures were 6’4” John Friesenhahn with 14/10 and 6’5” Tim Small with 13/7. Brazoswood finished the season at 26-8.










Region IV Showcase:

1980       Austin Lanier         SA Sam Houston  SA Clark                 CC Carroll

1981       Victoria                   SA Roosevelt         SA Marshall          CC Carroll

1982       Victoria                   SA Jay                     SA Churchill           Kingsville

1983       Austin Travis         SA Sam Houston  San Marcos           SA Jefferson

1984       Austin Travis         SA Roosevelt         SA Highlands        SA Fox Tech

1985       Austin L.B.J.           SA Lee                    CC King                  SA Fox Tech

1986       Austin Johnston   Converse Judson  SA East Central     CC Miller

1987       SA Holmes             SA Clark                 SA East Central     SA Churchill


                For the first time in state basketball history in class 5-A, all four semi-finalist teams came out of San Antonio. SA Clark(27-7) and SA Holmes(29-5) were both from District 30-5A, while SA East Central(33-3) and SA Churchill(28-5) were from 28-5A. All the teams were very familiar with one another for the most part, and came into regionals playing their best basketball of the season.

East Central(33-3) had beaten SA Holmes(29-5) 88-85 way back in late December. Holmes learned a valuable lesson in that one, that they could not turn the ball over 31 times and still win. “I wanted to play East Central ever since our loss,” Chris Pearson of SA Holmes said. “It’ll be an exciting game. There’ll be a big crowd.”

                East Central(33-3) was the only returning member of the 1986 regional semi-finalist and hoped their experience would pay off. Although the 1986 version of the Hornets was impressive, the ’87 team was stronger. The main reason was the emergence of their talented junior guard, 5’9” Tony Terrell. His ability to penetrate the defense, accelerate, shoot and dictate the pace of the game, made him a game changer.

Starters for the Hornets included 6’2” Stanley Coleman(21.2), 5’9” Tony Terrell(15.2/ 9.8 assists), Darryl Eddington(10.9), 6’2” James Smith(20.5) and 6’3” Richard Jones(11.1).

                In later years, Coach Stan Bonewitz said 6’0” James Smith(20.5) played with a warrior mentality. Smith didn’t play at the next level but was an outstanding high school talent, fitting into the Hornets up tempo style. Stanley Coleman(21.2) played at Incarnate Word for a season. Bonewitz described Coleman as having ice water in his veins. “He always took big shots in tough situations for us,” Coach Bonewitz commented. East Central ran constant full court pressure even on missed field goals. One of the skills I personally learned watching East Central play was coming up from behind the dribblers and tipping the ball underhanded forward to a teammate. 

                SA Churchill(28-5) had the strongest tradition of the four teams. In 1986 the Chargers had lost in the regional quarterfinals to state semi-finalist, Austin Johnston by one point. Churchill won the state championship in 1982 and advanced to the regional quarterfinals in 1983 as well. Churchill was not only a regional power, but one of the top programs in the state. The Chargers had finished in my final top ten in three of the previous seven seasons. As impressive as their tradition might have been, the Chargers record against East Central during the 1987 campaign was 1-3.

 Churchill looked to 6’4” Tim Small(18.0/9.4), 6’3” Bill Oglesby(14.0/6.2), 6-4 John Friesenhahn(12.2/8.9), 6’0” Joey Pierce(8.9) and 5’10” Brad Lewis(8.8). Oglesby had really come on in the playoffs putting up 29 points against Austin L.B.J. and 19 points in the win over Brazoswood.

                SA Holmes(29-5) had no real tradition, but in the short term they had advanced to Bi-District, losing to SA Churchill the previous season. All those players were back, which would seem to lend itself to an experienced ball-club. SA Holmes had a 2-0 record against SA Clark in District action.

The Huskies line-up was made up of all seniors. Starters for Coach Bobby Jaklich(*) were 6’5” Kerry Cash(14.9), 6’5” Keith Cash(11.0), 6’0” Adrian Wright(17.1), 6’1” Chris Pearson(7.0) and 6’2” John Vacca(7.4). Coming off the bench was 5’11” Kevin Jackson.

                SA Clark(27-7) had come out of nowhere to advance to the regionals. Their only real success had come in 1980 advancing to the regional semis under Coach Newton Grimes. The Cougars played Churchill in the season opener losing 54-47.

Coach Danny Murphy of the Cougars looked to 6’6” Chad Heller, 6’5” Matt Ward(7.6) and 6’4” Loren Lasley(6.3) on the inside. 6’1” Mike Houlihan(18.5) was critical to the team’s success from the outside along with 5’10” Dwayne Pedroza(7.1).

(*) Jaklich retired in 2018 as superintendent of Victoria ISD.

                The SA Churchill(28-5) - SA Clark(27-7) game took on special meaning to the two schools because of the Murphy brothers. Bobby coached at Churchill and Danny was running the show at Clark. Bobby had a 3-0 record against his younger brother. The talented brothers had taken Churchill to the state championship in 1982 with Bobby as head coach and Danny as his assistant.

                “He knows our personnel and our strengths and weaknesses as a team, and I pretty much know his,” Danny Murphy said. Both teams were all senior squads and both were District runner ups. Also, keep in mind both teams relied heavily on their inside games. Coach Danny Murphy was really worried about Churchill’s inside bulk.

                Coach Bobby Murphy was asked to compare his present team with his state championship team in 1982. “It’s basically the same type of team, we’re not real fast. We don’t have much quickness, with the exception of point guard, Joey Pierce. We’re fundamentally sound, good rebounders, intelligent defensively and for the most part, good perimeter shooters.

                San Antonio Clark(27-7) played one of their best games of the season and came away with a 79-67 upset win over San Antonio Churchill. The Cougars shot 70% from the floor for the game at the UTSA Convocation Center. Coach Danny Murphy had his troops focused for the upset. “I heard it all week long that if we played a great game, we could stay close.” Some 3,200 fans looked on as Clark avenged their earlier loss to Churchill. Dwayne Pedroza of Clark said following the big win, “we wanted to win this real bad-especially for coach.”

                6’6” Chad Heller was outstanding inside for the Cougars finishing with 20 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists. Coach Bobby Murphy commented following the loss, “they missed 10 shots the whole game, it’s hard to beat somebody who does that.” Actually, Clark missed 12, but who’s counting.

Clark took an early lead 39-27, hitting 16 of 20 shots for 80% in the first half. Churchill could manage only 12 of 36 for 33%. Churchill was able to stay close with 12 offensive rebounds in the first half.

                Coach Danny Murphy said he was worried in the first half because his team had played so well, and Churchill was still able to stay close. Ray Cantu made his presence felt off the bench for Clark hitting some big shots.

                Coach Bobby Murphy complained that his team couldn’t get the ball inside to their “bigs”. Churchill decided to switch things up in the 2nd half and came out pressing full-court. Heller took an alley-oop pass at the 3:22 of the 3rd quarter to put the Cougars up 48-35. Clark continued to handle the pressure and connected on 14 of 18 foul shots in the 4th quarter. The Chargers of Churchill could only manage to hit 12 of 35 shooting only 34% in the 2nd half from the floor.

In victory, the Cougars placed four players in double figures with Heller leading the way, followed by Houlihan(18.5), who chipped in 17 points, Lasley added 16 points and Pedroza put up 11 points. Tim Small(18.6) paced the Churchill attack with 20 points while Friesenhahn(12.2) ended up with 15 points.

Coach Danny Murphy commented after the big win, “they’ve got a heck of a team, I just think we played a heck of a game.” The Chargers finished with season at 28-6 with three of their losses coming to East Central.













Team Capsule: San Antonio Churchill Chargers 28-6  (14-2)

Coach- Bobby Murphy

Top Players- 6’4” Tim Small(18.6/9.4), 6’3” Bill Oglesby(14.0), 6’4” Friesenhahn(12.2/8.9):

                Team Strength-Rebounding, inside game, discipline, over-all size:

                Team Weakness-team speed, handling pressure:

                Style of Play-half court offense looking to get the ball inside:

                Biggest Win-San Antonio East Centrall(33-4) 89-78

                Worst Loss-San Antonio Clark(27-8) 79-67  (Regional Finals)

                Average Points- Pts. 69.4, Opp. 58.7, Diff. +10.7

                Power Rating- 81.44       End of Season State Ranking- #11


                In comparing SA Holmes(29-5) and SA East Central(33-3), Coach Bobby Jaklich said, “It’s hard to compare, I don’t think there’s any team like East Central.” Jaklich continued saying, “We can’t beat them if we play bad, East Central is a good team and well coached.” Holmes relied on their aggressive man to man half-court defense and superior inside strength.(Cash Twins)

Coach Stan Bonewitz of East Central said about SA Holmes(29-5), “They’ve really got it going now, it should be a good ball game. I think the whole tournament has a lot of spice to it. Especially with four local team’s being in it.” Bonewitz discussed the inside strength of Holmes saying, “They muscle you and that’s got to wear you down.”

                East Central’s inside game would definitely be at an extreme disadvantage going against Holmes. The Hornets inside relied on 6’0” James Smith(20.4) and 6’3” Richard Evans. Holmes countered with the Cash twins, both 6’5” and very athletic. Smith had put up 61 points in his two previous playoff games and Terrell had chipped in 43 points. That’s a total of 104 points from two players in the previous two contests. “Our players are all very quick and that lends itself to a fast-paced game,” Coach Bonewitz explained. “We run a lot off our defense with steals.” Bonewitz felt the key to the game against Holmes would be East Central’s ability to play tough half-court defense.

                San Antonio Highlands coach, John Kemmerzehl, commented about East Central saying, “the man to stop when you play East Central is Coleman,” the team’s leading scorer. “He’s the leader.” Kemmerzehl felt East Central was the favorite in the regional battle. 

                Coach Bonewitz had been responsible for one of the most incredible turn arounds in state history at East Central. Only six years earlier in 1981, the Hornets finished the season at 1-29. East Central was now traveling to regionals for the second year in a row with one of the state’s top programs.

                San Antonio Holmes(29-5) deviated from their normal aggressive man to man defense and went with a 2-3 zone and 1-3-1 zone trying to control the tempo. Coach Jaklich was successful in holding East Central(33-3) to 25 points under their season average, as the Huskies advanced 77-70 over the Hornets. Some 5,100 fans crammed into the UTSA Convocation Center to witness the contest. It was the largest crowd ever to watch a basketball game in the facility.

                Coach Bobby Jaklich of Holmes(29-5) felt holding East Central to only 70 points was the main factor in his team’s success. With 35 seconds remaining, Keith Cash knocked in a bucket off the glass and was fouled. Cash failed on the foul shot, but Tony Terrell was called for a technical foul for not raising his hand. Adrian Wright connected on the free throw to put the Huskies up by three. SA Holmes connected on their free throws late to pull out the 77-70 victory.

                SA East Central(33-3) once again had their season end in the regional semi-finals. The Hornets closed out another outstanding season at 33-4 and the top ranked team in the Alamo city according to the San Antonio Light.

                Keith Cash said, “I think it was our inside game, they don’t really have a big man. They’re all guards.” Adrian Wright(17.1) led Holmes with 18 points, followed by 6’5” Kerry Cash(14.9) and 6’1” Curtis Pearson(7.0), both with 16 points. 6’5” Keith Cash(11.0) added 10 points.

5’9” Tony Terrell(15.9) finished the season with 26 points and 6’2” Stanley Coleman(21.2) was good for 16 points. 6’1” James Smith(20.4) only managed 12 points for the Hornets.

Team Capsule: San Antonio East Central Hornets 33-4 (14-2)

                Coach- Stan Bonewitz

Top Players- 6’2” Stanley Coleman(21.2), Tony Terrell(15.9/9.8 ast), 6’1” James Smith(20.4):

Team Strength-incredible speed and quickness, outside shooting:

                Team Weakness-lack of size and no inside game:

Style of Play- full court pressure everywhere with quick shots, running up-tempo:

                Biggest Win-San Antonio Holmes(32-6) 88-85

                Worst Loss-San Antonio Roosevelt(23-11) 86-79

                Average Points- Pts. 95.9, Opp. 70.2, Diff. +25.7

                Power Rating- 86.26      End of Season State Ranking- #7



Regional Finals

                The regional finals came down to two teams from District 30-5A. San Antonio Clark(28-7) had lost their two previous meetings with San Antonio Holmes(30-5). The question was, what would they be doing differently? The answer was nothing. The game played out about the same as the previous games with the Huskies advancing to state with a 51-43 victory. The finals saw a much smaller crowd of only 2,800. The man who made the difference was Kevin Jackson of SA Holmes, who came off the bench. SA Clark packed it in tight against the Cash twins in an attempt to limit their touches. Jackson saw this as an opportunity knocking down 13 points from the perimeter. Jackson was 6 of 9 from the floor. SA Holmes(30-5) was forced to go with the long-range game with the middle clogged up. “We couldn’t throw it in the ocean from the wing,” Coach Jaklich said. “For a while our kids weren’t even hitting the rim, they were so frustrated.”

                Coach Jaklich commented on Jackson’s great game saying, “Kevin played super, and you know what, last night he might have played only 35 seconds against East Central.” Jackson commented on his big performance, “Actually, I was a little tense, but my teammates helped me out and coaxed me along.” Coach Danny Murphy commented on Jackson’s shooting, “I know he hit several baskets from farther out then I expected his range to be.”

                For SA Clark(28-7) it was their third loss of the season to SA Holmes(30-5) and the Cougars could only put up five points in the dismal 3rd quarter. The game was played at a very slow pace, as both teams packed their 2-3 zones, trying to limited the others inside games. “We had extra-collapse with our zone,” Coach Danny Murphy said. “We didn’t want the Cash twins to get started early.” Murphy continued saying, “When they get complete freedom to do what they what inside they are an excellent basketball team.”

                SA Holmes(30-5) had a solid five-point lead entering the final quarter 33-28. Jackson’s long jumpers propelled SA Holmes to a 41-31 bulge with only 4:57 left on the clock. SA Clark(28-7) closed the gap to 45-40 with 2:07 remaining in the game.  

                The Huskies broke down as follows: Wright(17.1) finished with 14 points followed by 5’11” Jackson’s 13 and Keith and Kerry Cash came away with only a combined 13 points.

Coach Jaklich commented that he was worried about his team’s legs having played the late game the night before and leaving the gym at 10:30 P.M. “The East Central game was awfully tough on our legs,” Coach Jaklich said.

                Clark finished their great season at 28-8. “We were picked 3rd in District, we had our doubters all year,” Danny Murphy said. Chad Heller was the only Cougar to make double figures with 13 points.  



State Tournament

San Antonio Holmes           31-5        #13         67.5-54.1     +13.4    PR 94.59

LaPorte                                  38-0          #2         77.8-60.6     +17.2    PR 91.65

Ft. Worth Dunbar                38-0          #1         82.1-60.3     +21.8    PR 94.12

Richardson High                  29-6        #20         66.2-51.3     +13.3    PR 85.73

                                                Top Players at State 5-A

                6’1”    Charles McCovery                   19.8        LaPorte

                6’2”    Derrick Daniels                         11.0        Ft. Worth Dunbar

                6’6”    William Gooden                       15.8        LaPorte

                6’2”    Randy Williams                         14.0        Ft. Worth Dunbar

                6’0”    Adrian Wright                          17.1        S.A. Holmes

                6’5”    Kerry Cash                                 14.9        S.A. Holmes

                6’5”    Keith Cash                                 11.0        S.A. Holmes

6’3”    Robert Thoele                          15.2        Richardson High

6’3”    Coyle Allen                                15.0        Ft. Worth Dunbar

6’3”    Tommy Washington                11.5        LaPorte  

The number one topic of conversation at the 1987 state tournament was the possible match-up between two undefeated teams, LaPorte(38-0) and Ft. Worth Dunbar(38-0). It would be the first time in the modern era that unbeaten teams would face each other for the state title in the state’s largest classification. Many coaches and fans thought it was a forgone conclusion. I’ll have to admit, I was one of them.

San Antonio Holmes(31-5) sailed into Austin with two of the top athletes in the state, Kerry and Keith Cash. Coach Danny Murphy of San Antonio Clark discussed the talented pair with the San Antonio Light. “If you were a coach and wanted to mold an athlete the way you wanted him to be, you would use those two guys as the mold. They have muscle, definition, height, strength, speed, quickness and agility. To find that in an 18-year old…you don’t find that very much.” Keith placed 4th in the state high jump competition clearing 6’10”. Kerry placed 3rd in the pole vault in district, after working on the event for a week. Kerry also played on the baseball team. “Had they concentrated on basketball, they would have been highly recruited,” Murphy continued. “Division I players without a doubt. We had a big team ourselves, but our kids weren’t really physical kids. They were normal high school kids,” laughed Murphy.

                As Ft. Worth Dunbar(38-0) and San Antonio Holmes(31-5) prepared for their semi-final game, many spectators were looking past the Huskies. Not much was really known about the team led by two football players. The two teams only common opponent was Bryan. Dunbar had defeated Bryan by 25 points, while Holmes had lost to the Vikings by seven.

In following Dunbar over the years there was one tell tail sign to their success. It was rebounding. When Dunbar lost to Amarillo in the regional finals in 1986, they were out rebounded by the Sandies. If Holmes had an advantage over Dunbar, it was the Cash twins on the inside. Amarillo had been the last team to beat the Wildcats. Since that loss, they had put together 38 straight wins, and most of those games they won the battle of the boards.

                Dunbar had actually won 55 out of their previous 56 games. That was incredible in any of the classifications, but unheard of at the 5-A level. Coach Jaklich was very strategic in his planning for the state tournament. He talked to several coaches from San Antonio in how to prepare for the state tournament. Also, he tried to gain as much information as possible on Dunbar. “We’re going to get them there early, take them to the 4 o’clock game and let them see what it looks like,” Jaklich said.

Dunbar came in ranked # 1 in the state and third in the nation according to U.S.A. Today newspaper. Dunbar had won 11 out of 12 District championship over the years, but had only won two games out of seven state tournament games. Wins came against Houston Westchester in 1977 and Austin Lanier in 1979. Losses were against S.O.C. in ’77, Lufkin in ’79, Plano in ’80, Pt. Arthur Lincoln in ’81 and Bryan in ’84. This was the Wildcats sixth visit to state over the previous 12 seasons. The pressure on Dunbar was enormous, as they rolled into Austin.

A tough question to answer was why did Dunbar have such a poor record in Austin. It wasn’t as it their fans didn’t travel well; all the state tournament attendance records were held by the Wildcats. Many have pondered that question with few answers. Personally, I felt the kids always had so much pressure on them with the school’s basketball reputation and unrealistic expectations. They always took everybody’s best effort. And also, its not like they were playing the Sisters of Mercy, they were facing the best teams the state had to offer.    

                The first thing the San Antonio Holmes fans and players realized when looking at the Dunbar roster was the team’s overall lack of size. Also, Coach Jaklich liked his situation saying, “I feel like we’re in a nice position, everybody expects them to beat us.” Another thing that Jaklich noticed is Dunbar seldom used more than six players. Coach Hughes had unfortunately lost the team’s leading scorer, Mark Chambers(16.4/11.4), late in the season with a broken foot.

                Of course, all the Dunbar fans recalled the team’s 1984 semi-final loss to Bryan 47-46. That Wildcat team had also been 38-0 coming into Austin. Coach Hughes responded to the question, “We’ve been down there in Austin five times, that’s more than anybody else. I guess we must be doing something right.”

                San Antonio Holmes was ready for the challenge as Kerry Cash commented, “I’m looking forward to playing, it’s an experience, I’m just glad I have a chance now.” Coming into the game, Coach Jaklich felt his number one concern would be 6’0” Derrick Daniels. After talking to other coach’s, he felt Daniels would be a difference maker. Although most observers looked at the game as a big mismatch, both teams had over a 94-power rating, which on paper made the game a toss-up.

                The largest crowd in state tournament history viewed the FW Dunbar-SA Holmes semi-final game. The new record for attendance was set at 16,252. As expected, Dunbar struggled against the inside size of Holmes and stayed in the contest from the outside in the first half. And for Dunbar, the kiss of death, Holmes out rebounded the Wildcats 34-28. The results were an upset victory for San Antonio Holmes 73-65.

                SA Holmes shot 59% from the floor and had numerous opportunities inside. Keith Cash stated the obvious, “We were just bigger than they were, we tried to get it inside.” Coach Jaklich was very concerned about Dunbar’s tremendous outside shooting in the first half and was hoping the intermission might cool them down.

                Dunbar came out pressing in the 2nd half, hoping to get some easy baskets. Holmes took even better shots in the 2nd half hitting 74% from the floor. Dunbar shot 54% from the floor for the game. Keith Cash ended up with 14 points, Wright hit 6 of 9 shooting in the first half and finished with 16 points, and Kerry Cash came away with 17 points. Randy Williams, who replaced Chambers in the starting line-up for Dunbar, led the Wildcats with 18 points and Daniels was good for 12 points.

                As a fan of the state tournament, you had to be disappointed. The thought of two undefeated teams playing for the state title was exciting. But it was clear Holmes was the better team on that day.

                The question all the FW Dunbar fans were asking is, would Mark Chambers have made a difference? The answer is a definite, yes. If for no other reason than rebounding. Chambers was the team’s leading rebounder. But as we have learned many moons ago, playing those games on what might have happened will drive you crazy. 

                For Coach Robert Hughes it was dejection once again in Austin. Hughes said, “I was telling one of my assistant coaches that it’s a dang shame you go 38 ball games and then you get down here and you don’t get to use your top gun. We’ll always wonder! What would have happened if that kid had played?

                Coach Roland Lopez of Fox Tech in San Antonio summarized the effect of the state tournament on coaches and players. “Anyone who loves basketball will appreciate the hard work and determination it takes to get there. Really, there are no losers in Austin, it’s a privilege to play in the state tournament.”

                SA Holmes upset Dunbar 73-65 in one of the biggest upsets of the decade. Of course, after reading this book you realize the teams came in on about even ground. At the time, I had not seen Holmes play and knew little about them, so it was an upset. But the Huskies were the real deal. They had faced several outstanding clubs over the season in San Antonio and were clearly one of the best teams in the state. Many coaches were selling the San Antonio region short on talent. You could have made the argument that three or four other teams would have represented the Alamo city well. Out of my final top 25 teams in the state, region IV had four representatives. Holmes, East Central, Churchill and Clark.

                Coach Bobby Jaklich explained some of this pre-game strategy saying, “the key to the ballgame was our shot selection, we were fortunate. Coming into tonight’s game, we heard that they liked to shoot 10-foot jumpers. Our game plan was to push them out to maybe 15 to 17 feet and see how they could shoot the ball from out there.

                Coach Robert Hughes of Dunbar went to the press in the 2nd half trying to shake things up. “I thought the press would do it, but they handled it well and we came up short. It’s always disappointing when you lose, but we’re going to come back until we win the damn thing,” Hughes said.

                Team Capsule: Ft. Worth Dunbar 38-1 (14-0)

                Coach- Robert Hughes

Top Players-Derrick Daniels(11.0/13.8 ast), 6’4” Mark Chambers(16.9/11.4), Randy Williams:

Team Strength-shooting, dribble penetration, rebounding, transition offense, speed, tradition:

                Team Weakness-depth, overall size:

                Style of Play-up tempo, aggressive, athletic:

                Biggest Win-Amarillo(30-4) 63-57 (Regional Finals)

Worst Loss-San Antonio Holmes(32-6) 73-65 (State Semi-Finals)

                Average Points- Pts. 82.1, Opp. 60.3, Diff. +21.8

                Power Rating- 94.12               End of Season State Ranking- #3


Richardson(29-6) had the daunting task of facing either Ft. Worth Dunbar(38-0) or LaPorte(38-0) in the state semi-finals. It had to be somewhat intimidating. Remember earlier in the season, Wilford Johnson had told Coach Longino he wanted to play the best, well he was going to get his chance.

LaPorte averaged 77.8 points per game and allowed 60.6 for a +17.2 margin of victory over the season. The Bulldogs enjoyed playing pressure defense and run and gun offense.

Starters for Coach Tom Holland looked to 6’6” William Gooden(15.8), 6’3” Tommy Washington(11.5), 6’0” Keith Hearon, 5’7” Fred Harris and 6’1” Charles McCovery(19.8). Subs off the bench for the Bulldogs included, 6’1” Paul McCovery and 6’4” Richard Allison.

Coach Holland of LaPorte had scouts watching Richardson in regionals and they relayed, “they have several good athletes, including two outstanding outside shooters,” Holland said. “They’re not real big, and enjoy playing a slow half-court game.”  

                Things looked promising for Richardson as the game got underway. The Bulldogs two standouts, 6’6” William Gooden and 6’1” Charles McCovery, had been sidelined to start the game due to disciplinary reasons. The big question buzzing through the crowd was when these two would enter the game? That answer came at the 2:26 mark of the 1st period with the Bulldogs leading 10-8. LaPorte went on to defeat Richardson 75-58 in front of 12,150 fans at the Erwin Center.

With McCovery and Gooden in the line-up, LaPorte took control, leading at halftime 42-20. Coach Tom Holland refused to elaborate on why the two were benched. “I really don’t want to harp on that situation,” Holland said. “We’ve got rules on the team, and my two ball players broke them. They know the rules and knew what the consequences were and that was that.” Years later it was said they broke curfew.

Brad Kuhne finished 5 of 17 from the floor for 10 points. Wilford Johnson came away with 11 points. “They played great defense and were very physical. They’ve got some great athletes,” Longino said. Gooden(15.8) finished with 20 points and 12 rebounds and McCovery(19.8) added 20 points, Hearon hit 12 points and Washington(11.5) added 11. LaPorte had a 47-31 rebounding advantage. The Eagles had 25 turnovers to LaPorte’s 21.

                Coach Holland had taken his team to watch the 2nd half comeback by Cleburne against Kerrville Tivy in the 4-A semi-finals. “I told them that if we let down, the same thing could happen to us,” Holland said.  

                Robert Thoele(15.2) finished his impressive playoff run with 21 points against LaPorte. Richardson completed a nice season at 29-7. Coach Joe Longino proved once again his ability to get the most out of his talent.  

                Brad Kuhne of Richardson explained that before the game Richardson was somewhat intimidated by LaPorte. The LaPorte players were standing outside the Richardson locker room underneath the Erwin Center, waiting to go onto the court. LaPorte’s players were clapping their hands and made the Eagles walk between them to get on the court. Whether this had an effect on Richardson is unknown, but the Eagles certainly did not have one of their better games. The Bulldogs man to man defense gave Richardson trouble. “I’m am sure the gravity of being in the state tournament is going to have an effect on any 17 or 18-year old kid. It had an effect on a 35-year old coach,” Coach Longino commented.

                As LaPorte advanced to the title game they couldn’t help but think “what if.” The Bulldogs had lost to Houston Wheatley the previous season in the regional semi-finals 80-78. Eddie Cumbo of Wheatley put up 38 points for the Wildcats in the victory. Wheatley advanced to state losing in the semi-finals in overtime to Dallas Kimball. LaPorte was informed later after the season that Cumbo was ineligible. He had not passed enough classes. “It was one of those unfortunate things that was discovered after the playoffs were over and was in no-way any bodies fault,” UIL director Bill Farney said. Coach Holland reflected, “that was a terrible way to lose in the state playoffs. My kids were disappointed. To find out they had an illegal player was terribly upsetting.”

                Team Capsule: Richardson Eagles 29-7 (11-3) Co-Champs

                Coach- Joe Longino

Top Players- 6’3” Robert Thoele(16.0), Brad Kuhne(13.2), 6’2” Kevin Peoples(13.2):

Team Strength-Team play, unselfish, outside shooting, played hard, athletic, over-achievers:

                Team Weakness-limited size at the post, depth:

                Style of Play- transition game with balanced offensive attack:

                Biggest Win-Dallas Skyline(34-2) 68-59 (2nd Round Playoffs)

                Worst Loss-Carrollton Newman Smith(14-17) 87-80

                Average Points- Pts. 66.2, Opp. 51.3, Diff. +14.8

                Power Rating- 85.73      End of Season State Ranking- #8


State Finals

                San Antonio Holmes(32-5) had an incredible task ahead of them as they faced undefeated LaPorte(39-0). The two teams had one common opponent in Clear Lake. SA Holmes defeated the Falcons by one point in their only contest, while LaPorte won two games over Clear Lake on both occasions by three points.

In looking at the two teams, SA Holmes(32-5) looked have the rebounding edge over LaPorte, while the Bulldogs looked to be quicker.

                The turning point in the game was an 11-0 run in the 3rd quarter by LaPorte. “We didn’t get back on defense, they beat us down the floor. They’ve got great quickness. That’s why they’re 40-0,” Coach Bobby Jaklich said. LaPorte took a 46-36 lead during the run and never trailed again. In front of a crowd of 15,076 the Bulldogs proved too strong for San Antonio Holmes(32-5) winning the state title 64-58.

SA Holmes was forced into 19 turnovers by the Bulldogs, which made up for LaPorte’s 40-27 disadvantage on the glass. Yes, the Huskies dominated inside. S.A. Holmes shot 48% from the floor, while LaPorte managed 45%. The difference in the game for the Bulldogs was at the foul line, where they hit 14 of 18, while SA Holmes only managed 8 attempts hitting 4. 

Things looked gloomy for LaPorte when Charles McCovery picked up his 3rd foul with 1:30 left before halftime. “I was a little disappointed or panicked or whatever you want to call it,” Coach Holland said. “We’re just not the same team without him on the floor.” With McCovery out, LaPorte began to slow the game down. “Smokey” sat the entire 2nd quarter. “He’s our best player on the floor-our ball handler and our floor leader,” Coach Tom Holland said. SA Holmes led 24-22 at halftime with McCovery on the bench

“In the 2nd half, we came back and put a lot of pressure on them,” LaPorte Coach Tom Holland said. LaPorte started pressing and the score went from 36-36 with 2:03 left in the 3rd quarter to 58-44 with 2:56 left in the game. “The turnovers killed us,” Coach Jaklich said.

William Gooden(15.8) was 8 of 16 from the floor for LaPorte for 19 points and 9 rebounds. McCovery(19.8) struggled hitting only 4 of 13 finishing with 13 points. Washington(11.5) was 6 of 10 for 15 points.

For the Huskies, Wright(17.1) put up 16 points, while the Cash twins and Curtis Pearson all scored 12 points apiece.

“Coming into the game, we knew we had a quickness edge, and we tried to take advantage of it,” Holland commented. “We knew they’d played a late contest last night against Dunbar, and we tried to tire them out.”

Keith and Kerry Cash had made their presence felt with three blocks. “We got kind of tired in the latter stages of the game, and they beat us up and down the floor and scored some layups that hurt us,” Bobby Jaklich of Holmes said.

Years later I was able to catch-up with Coach Tom Holland of LaPorte and discussed some of the things that made his team so successful. “I tried to play the toughest schedule possible to prepare us for the playoffs, going undefeated was something I wasn’t thinking about.” On winning close games, Coach Holland felt McCovery and outstanding foul shooting was the difference. “McCovery could do so many things well and was like a linebacker, he was so strong,” Holland explained. “McCovery was so unselfish, he could have averaged 28 points a game easily.”

In discussing his team, Holland felt Washington and Gooden were real strong post-up players, while 6’4” Richard Allison was reliable coming off the bench. “Allison would have started for most teams; he was my first player off the bench.” 6’1” Paul McCovery also played a critical role as a physical defensive stopper. Paul was Charles cousin. “We had 8 or 9 kids who could really come-in and contribute,” Holland said. “The kids had played together since kindergarten and were really close. I knew when they were freshmen, they were going to be good.”

Named on the All-Tournament team were Charles McCovery, William Gooden, Cash twins and Adrian Wright.






Team Capsule: San Antonio Holmes Huskies 32-6  (16-0)

                Coach- Bobby Jaklich

Top Players- 6’5” Kerry Cash(15.0/7.4), 6’5” Keith Cash(11.2), Adrian Wright(17.1):

Team Strength-Half-court man defense, strong rebounding, very athletic, outside shooting:

                Team Weakness-depth inside, foul shooting:

Style of Play-deliberate attack relying on half court defense, strong post play in the half-court:

                Biggest Win-Ft. Worth(38-1) 73-65  (State-Semi-Finals)

                Worst Loss-Bryan(23-11) 82-75

                Average Points- Pts. 67.5, Opp. 54.1, Diff. +13.4

                Power Rating- 94.59      End of Season State Ranking- #2



Team Capsule: LaPorte Bulldogs 40-0  (12-0)

                Coach- Tom Holland

Top Players- 6’1” Charles McCovery(19.8), 6’6” W. Gooden(15.8/7.3), 6’3” Washington(11.5):

Team Strength-team defense, team speed, shot blocker, quickness, ability to adapt, foul shooting:

                Team Weakness-limited depth inside:

Style of Play-liked to push the ball with up tempo and pressing and man pressure defense:

                Biggest Win-San Antonio Holmes(32-6) 64-58

                Worst Loss- Undefeated

                Average Points- Pts. 77.8, Opp. 60.6, Diff. +17.2

                Power Rating- 91.65      End of Season State Ranking- #1










Interview with a Dallas Legend- Larry Johnson

                L.J’s high school career began at John B. Hood Middle School in Dallas. His coach at Hood was Ed Wesley. Coach Wesley encouraged Larry to attend Skyline High School and play for Coach J.D. Mayo. Donald Wilson from Johnson’s neighborhood attended Skyline, which also led to Johnson’s journey to play ball for the Raiders. Larry’s home school would have been Dallas Lincoln. Johnson refined his basketball skills on Dixon Avenue Circle neighborhood outdoor court. “Every morning, noon, and night, you could find me playing, after a while, players were coming in from everywhere to test their talents,” Johnson said. As a freshman at Skyline, Johnson burst onto the Dallas seen like few ever. At 6’3” 200 pounds, he was a force from his first day with the Raiders.  

                Upon graduation, L.J. stood 6’5 ½” and weighed 220 pounds. He grew another two inches while in junior college. Larry had a tremendous four-year career at Skyline, winning almost every award possible, including McDonald’s All-American. The Raiders finished the regular season at 33-1 and ranked 3rd in the T.A.B.C. polls behind FW Dunbar(34-0) and the eventual state champion, LaPorte(35-0). Skyline traveled to Missouri for a tournament in late November and suffered their only loss in the regular season to Atlanta’s Booker T. Washington 61-56. Washington was paced by another McDonald’s All-American, 6’11” 285 pound, Elmore Spencer. “We could have played them five times and they would have beat us every time,” Johnson said. “They were really good.” Spencer and Johnson teamed up to win the National Championship in 1990 at U.N.L.V.

                Johnson discussed his great success during his high school and college years crediting outstanding coaching. “We had an outstanding coach and we probably played better than we actually were. Coach Mayo did a great job getting the most out of our talent,” L.J. said.  When asked about the lost to Richardson High in the playoffs, Johnson responded, “we got beat, what can I say. I felt we had a better team, but we got beat.” L.J. was never one to offer excuses.

                In playing at the prestigious McDonald’s All-Star game, Johnson marveled at the talent from all over the country. His fellow Texas teammate was LaBradford Smith from Bay City. In discussing Smith, Johnson said, “we knew each other, but were not close. Things were different than, we just didn’t see each other that much.”

                Larry discussed the players in the Dallas area he looked up to during his high school days. Rodney Samuel’s name was quickly mentioned by L.J., the former standout from Dallas South Oak Cliff. “Rodney Samuel was the best I’d seen in high school till he hurt his knee, he was never the same after that,” L.J. said. “I always called myself the “Godfather” of high school basketball in Dallas, but he was something.” Johnson also mentioned he was glad he never had to go against former Kimball star, 6’5” Marvin Washington, who played eleven years in the N.F.L. with the Jets and Broncos. 

                Following graduation, Larry showed interest in Georgetown, but they were not interested. He wanted to stay close to home if possible, so S.M.U. looked like a good situation. Following some trouble qualifying academically, L.J. decided to attend Odessa Junior College, where he was coached by Dennis Helms. L.J. won back to back Junior College, “Player of the Year” honors while in Odessa. One of the reasons Johnson attended Odessa was his close relationship with Tony Jackson out of North Dallas High School.

                Following Odessa, Larry moved on to U.N.L.V., which had one of the top college programs in the country. Johnson led the Runnin’ Rebels to the NCAA Championship in 1990 and the Finals as a senior. The 1991 loss to Duke is still listed as one of the greatest upsets in finals history. His 1991 team was considered one of the great teams in NCAA history. Johnson was named a 1st Team All-American twice, also won the prestigious John R. Wooden Award along with the Naismith Award as the top College Player in the land. L.J. ended his college days as one of the most decorated players in Texas High School basketball history. In 2002, Johnson and his U.N.L.V.  teammates, Stacey Augmon and Greg Anthony, were inducted into the UNLV Athletic Hall of Fame, along with the 1990–91 UNLV men's basketball team.

                Johnson was the top pick in the 1991 N.B.A. draft by the Charlotte Hornets. He was later traded to the New York Knicks. He signed the largest sports contract in history at the time for $84 million. Later it was topped by Michael Jordon. L.J. was named “Rookie of the Year” in 1992 and finished runner-up in the N.B.A. Slam-Dunk contest. In 1993, Johnson was named to the N.B.A. All-Star team and was named 2nd Team All-N.B.A. L.J. gained nationwide attention with his, “Grandmama" commercials with Converse.

After a back injury, Johnson began changing his game to the perimeter. He again was selected to the 1995 All-Star game. As a member of the New York Knicks, Johnson played in the N.B.A. finals in 1999. In 2001, due to chronic back problems, L.J. retired from the game he loved. He had been plagued for several years with back problems. 

                Johnson has been outspoken about the struggles of his friends from his Dallas neighborhood. After he launched his N.B.A. career, Johnson donated a million dollars to build a Dallas recreation center in his old neighborhood.

“Texas basketball has come so far with so much talent, I am so excited to see us compete with New York and California in basketball. It’s been great to watch,” L.J. said.

Johnson went back to school and got his Bachelor of Arts from UNLV. Recently, the New York Knicks hired him as a "basketball and business operations representative."






Catching Up with the “Great One”- LaBradford Smith

Few players in the history of Texas High School basketball ever played at the level of LaBradford Smith. Smith teamed up with Hart Lee Dykes his sophomore season to win the class 4-A state championship. Smith was able to launch bombs from long distance as well as throw it down with the best. The Bay City team won 54 straight games over LaBradford’s sophomore and junior seasons. He led Bay City to the state tournament his sophomore and senior years. Smith was a phenomenal athlete. As a mere freshman, he went to one track meet and broke the national age group record clearing 6’10”. The track coach had come over and asked him to jump in the District meet. The Kansas City Royals had him on the radar after throwing a 96 MPH fastball as a sophomore on the baseball diamond.

A real turning point for Smith on the basketball court came his freshmen year. The football coaches informed him he wouldn’t be able to play basketball unless he played football. “They wanted me at wide receiver along with Dykes,” Smith said. LaBradford’s parents had to get involved so he could take his talents to the basketball court.

LaBradford formed one of the greatest duo’s in state history his sophomore year teaming up with 6’4” Hart Lee Dykes. Dykes was named the national high school “Player of the Year” on the gridiron and was something else on the basketball court. “Dykes and myself had a big brother type relationship. He was two years older and told me what to expect in recruiting my senior year,” Smith said. LaBradford’s older sister played basketball at the University of Texas, so he was fully aware of what to expect at the next level.  

Smith’s real opportunity occurred following his freshmen year in the summer when he traveled to Boston and Arizona, to play with Jay Parker’s BCI’s all-star team. The letters started coming in droves over the next three seasons.

                Following high school, LaBradford was a McDonald’s All-American. He was named a Parade All-American as a junior and senior. At the McDonald’s All-Star game, he had injured his ankle and was very limited. “It was a great experience; it was nice to play against all the great talent. I got to know Larry Johnson at the game. He was an unbelievable player. He was the first guy that I played with at that level that could change the game without scoring a point. He was such a great talent, I was surprised he had signed with S.M.U. in the Southwest Conference,” LaBradford said.

                On the recruiting trail, LaBradford enjoyed his visit to Louisville and signed. “They had just won the national championship the year before and Coach Crum liked big guards,” Smith commented. “They got a lot of national exposure on TV and had a great program.” While at Louisville, LaBradford made three trips to the elite eight and started every game over his four seasons with the Cardinals. His senior season he averaged 16.6 points per game and 4.9 assists. His most memorable event during his college career was hitting 32 points on Indiana his freshmen season. “Coach Knight was yelling, he’s just a freshman,” Smith said. “Actually, it wasn’t that hard because I was playing with Pervis (Ellison).”

                Following graduation, LaBradford worked out with the Rockets and Washington Bullets. He played in the Orlando Pre-draft camp but skipped the Chicago camp. “There was no need to play,” Smith explained. Smith was taken with the 19th overall pick in the 1st round by Washington. While in Houston training before his rookie season he tore up his ankle, all the ligaments. He missed the first 30 games of the season due to injury. Following his 2nd season at Washington, he was waived and picked up by the Kings. He played a season and one-half with Sacramento.

Following his N.B.A. career he moved on and played two seasons in the C.B.A. and Spain for a season and Poland for 2 ½ years. In describing his time in the N.B.A. LaBradford said, “best job in the world.” In discussing his experience in Europe, he said it was a great experience, “enjoyed it.”

                “I was pretty disenchanted with sports following my playing days and wanted to do something else,” Smith said. “That was a mistake, because I was never able to transition into basketball after being out for about ten years. All my contacts were either out of the game or had moved on.”

                LaBradford explained that his biggest disappointment was that all of his injuries during his long career took place at the N.B.A. level. “I never really was as explosive following the ankle injuries,” Smith said. LaBradford presently lives in Ft. Thomas, Kentucky and retired.

                The highlight of his N.B.A. career was putting up 37 points on Michael Jordon while playing in Washington. “Jordon was helping off me inside and really didn’t have much respect for my game,” Smith said. None the less and incredible accomplishment and career.


1987 State Rankings AAAAA {End of the Regular Season}: 

  1. Ft. Worth Dunbar 30-0 6’4” Mark Chambers(16.0), Derrick Daniels
  2. LaPorte 31-0 6’6” William Gooden(16.0), 6’1” C. McCovery(20.1)
  3. Dallas Skyline 31-1 6’7” Larry Johnson(29.0), 6’0” Burnis McFarland
  4. Beaumont Central 22-5 6’4” Daimon Sweet, 6’3” Keith Hockless
  5. Duncanville 29-2 5’8” James Burkhalter(22.2), 6’5” Arthur Hurst
  6. Sherman 27-1 6’7” Jason Burleson(15.9), 6’4” Earl McKinney(19.3)
  7. Amarillo High 25-3 6’1” Sammy Simpson, 6’4” Brant Capps
  8. Alief Hastings 30-2 6’2” Ronnie Ellison, 6’2” Preston Ivory
  9. Highland Park 26-3 6’2” Thomas Hocker(17.7), 6’4” John Hull
  10. Brazoswood 23-6 6’3” Dennis Lindsey(21.6), Ralph Miller
  11. Houston Yates 19-7 6’6” Darryle Johnson, 6’4” Rodney Diggs
  12. Houston Sam Houston 22-6 6’2” Darrell Williams, 5’7” Marlan Hooper
  13. San Antonio Holmes 23-5 6’2” Adrian Wright(17.1), 6’5” Keith Cash
  14. San Antonio Churchill 23-3 6’5” Tim Small, 6’4” Bill Oglesby           
  15. San Antonio East Central 26-3 5’9” Tony Terrell(15.9), Stanley Coleman(21.2)
  16. Texas High 22-4 5’9” John Wilson(17.1), 6’2” Jimmy Moss(15.8)
  17. Victoria 26-5 6’4” Darrell Janecka(16.9), DuWayne Upton(14.8)
  18. Tyler John Tyler 22-8 6’1” Larry Pettigrew(22.9), 6’3” Derek Turner(21.5)
  19. Houston Lee 25-7 6’3” Walter Felder, 6’2” Dale McHayle
  20. Richardson 23-4 6’3” Brad Kuhne(11.6), 6’3” Robert Thoele(15.2) 

All-State Team by the Sports Writers-

1st Team-6’7” Larry Johnson(29.0) Dallas Skyline, 6’6” William Gooden(16.0) LaPorte, 7’1” Johnny Pittman(19.6) Rosenberg Terry, 6’1” Charles McCovery(20.1) LaPorte, 6’0” Derrick Daniels(11.0)-FW Dunbar; 

2nd Team- 6’4” Mark Chambers(16.0) FT. Worth Dunbar, 6’6” Darryl Johnson- Houston Yates, 6’4” Brant Capps(18.3)-Amarillo, 6’0” Elmer Bennett(30.3) Houston Bellaire, 6’3” Dennis Lindsey(21.6) Brazoswood;

3rd Team- 6’7” Todd Willis(18.4) Longview, 6’4” Daimon Sweet(19.8)-Beaumont Central, 6’9” Lang Meyer(15.8)-Conroe McCullough, 6’2” Larry Pettigrew(22.9)-Tyler John Tyler, 6’2” Sammy Simpson(14.0)-Amarillo:

{Five of the best players in the state were juniors, 6’0” Derrick Daniels, 6’0” Elmer Bennett, 6’5” Daimon Sweet, 5’9” Tony Terrell and 6’2”Neil Derrick, this would be the best group of guards produced during the decade and one of the best ever in the Lone Star State, 1988 was going to be a banner recruiting year}

All-State Team by the TABC-

1st Team- 6’7” Larry Johnson(29.0) Dallas Skyline, 6’6” William Gooden(15.8) LaPorte, 6’1” Sammy Simpson(14.0)-Amarillo High, 7’1” Johnny Pittman(19.6) Rosenberg Terry, 6’0” Elmer Bennett(30.3) Houston Bellaire;

2nd Team- 6’4” Mark Chambers(16.0) FT. Worth Dunbar, 6’2” Adrian Wright(17.1) SA Holmes, 6’1” Charles McCovery(20.1) LaPorte, 6’6” Darryl Johnson- Houston Yates, Ronnie Ellison(19.6)-Alief Hastings;

3rd Team- 6’2” Larry Pettigrew(22.9)- Tyler John Tyler, 5’8” James Burkhalter(22.2) Duncanville, 5’9” Calvin Smith(27.2) South Garland, 6’5” David Willie(25.0/15.0)- Austin Crockett, 6’7” Todd Willis(18.0)- Longview:

Mr. Basketball for T.A.B.C. was Larry Johnson and LaBradford Smith.

Jay Parker’s Pre-season All-State Basketball Team

1st Team F-Larry Johnson 6’6” 225, Dallas Skyline; 6’5” Darren Terry 6’5” 190, Hughes Springs; C-7’0” 245, Rosenberg-Terry; G-LaBradford Smith 6’3” 195, Bay City; 6’2” Courtney Jeans 6’2” 180, Euless L.D. Bell:

2nd Team F-Darryl Johnson 6’6” 225, Houston Yates, 6’5” Vladimir McCrary 6’5” 210, San Antonio Madison; C-6’11” 220 Maurice Artis, Killeen; G-Rodney Diggs 6’4” 170, Houston Yates; 6’3” Tony Jackson 6’3” 180, North Dallas:  











Recruits: The two most hotly pursued players in Texas Basketball history came out in 1987 in 6’7” Larry Johnson and 6’4” LaBradford Smith. Proposition 48 was going to play a big role with both players. Johnson originally had committed to S.M.U. but failed to qualify, instead turning to Odessa Junior College. LaBradford had 3.35 GPA and passed his SAT in late April. He signed with the Louisville Cardinals.

Johnson and LaBradford were also two of the top dunkers the state has ever produced. Whether jumping completely over a player at the state tournament, or a slam dunk performance in the N.B.A. slam dunk competition, these were two of the best ever at throwing it down.

Larry Johnson(29.0/19.1/ 5.2 blocks) and LaBradford Smith(26.2/14.0/8.3 asst/5.6 steals) were tremendous talents that not only had a great deal of potential, but were exceptional at the high school level. The dynamic duo reached uncharted waters after the ’87 season when the Louisville Courier-Journal named two Texans to the “Top Five” players in the country. The players were selected after extensive interviews with college coaches, high school coaches, scouting agencies and camp directors as well as the media. Only three players over the previous fifteen years had ever been so honored, 6’6” Eddie Owens(28.0) of Houston Wheatley in 1973, 6’11” Rudy Woods(25.4) from Bryan in 1978 and 7’1” Tito Horford(14.0) of Houston Marian in 1985. Johnson and Smith made it two in one season.

Dave Bones, publisher of the recruiting newsletter- CAGE SCOPE, commented about LaBradford, “he’s been compared to Michael Jordon and Jerry West.” Dwane Casey, the assistant coach at Kentucky, also compared Smith with Jordon, “he’s a Michael Jordon type in that he comes at you from so many different ways. His first step is ultra-quick, and he can press, handle the ball and guard big guards.” Remember in 1987 Jordon was in the early stages of becoming a legend.

Texas high school talent scout, Jay Parker, called Smith, “he’s the most highly skilled kid I’ve ever seen coming out of high school. I haven’t seen anything like him, he’s a fantastic player.” LaBradford was named the national high school player of the year by Gatorade in 1987. This was a tremendous honor for Smith as well as Texas basketball. The prestigious award was later won by Kobe Bryant and LeBron James.

Basketball Guru, Bob Gibbons of All-Star Sports publication out of Lenoir, North Carolina, was impressed with Larry Johnson. “A strong case can be made for naming the 6’7”, 230-pound Johnson the nation’s best player.” Gibbons said, “he has a tremendous body an exceptional athlete and maybe the best rebounder that I seen all year. In the two McDonald’s games he met all comers.”  

Joe Butler, who runs a recruiting service out of Pittsburgh, went one step further calling Johnson one of the strongest players in the history of high school basketball. “He’s like a tight end playing basketball. And he’s not a stiff; he knows how to play. He has good hands, and while people question his overall speed, It’s not bad,” Butler said. Coach Casey from Kentucky chimed in, “if I’d known how good he was, I’d have lived in Dallas.”

7’1” Johnny Pittman of Rosenberg Terry was overshadowed by Smith and Johnson, but was named to the 5th team nationally by the Louisville Courier-Journal. That placed Pittman as one of the top 25 recruits in the country.

We have referred to Ken Mink, the nationally syndicated sports columnist, each season with his recruiting results. It always insightful looking at how the Texas players compare nationally to the rest of the country. Mink worked out of Kingsport, Tennessee. Mink rated LaBradford as the #1 point-guard in the country. Larry Johnson was rated the #2 power forward in the nation behind Marcus Liberty of Chicago, the top player in the country according to most recruiting services. Johnny Pittman was the #13 rated post nation-wide. All three were ranked in the top 100 players nationally. Johnson ranked #6, Smith came in at #19 and Pittman at #92.

LaBradford selected Louisville over North Carolina and Georgetown because of the running, fast-break style. LaBradford said he turned to basketball after his brother, Rocky, had his athletic career cut short due to football injuries. “He was better than me in everything, baseball, football and basketball,” LaBradford said. Rocky had four knee surgeries, twice each on both knees. As a high jumper his freshman year, LaBradford cleared 6’10”, as an infielder in baseball he hit .350 and knocked 12 home runs. He was said to have a 92-mph fastball as well.

LaBradford played four seasons at Louisville and was the 19th overall pick in the NBA in 1991. The Washington Bullets selected Smith. His big performance came in 1993 against Michael Jordon when Smith scored 37 points on the living legend. Smith played three years in the Association.

Larry Johnson ended up at Odessa Junior College and was named the top junior college player in the country before taking his talents to UNLV. Johnson led UNLV to the national championship his junior year and lost to Duke in a major upset his senior season. UNLV was undefeated coming into the title game against Duke. L.J. was named All-American both years and “Player of the Year” as a senior. He was the top draft choice of the Charlotte Hornets in 1991. He was named the NBA’s “Rookie of the Year” in 1992. During his incredible career, he was named to two All-Star games and named 2nd team All-NBA in 1993. Johnson announced his early retirement from basketball due to chronic back problems that had plagued him for several years. Johnson and Clyde Drexler were the most decorated Texans at the time in the N.B.A.

Numerous seniors signed with college’s in 1987, but failed to qualify because of Proposition 48. One recruiter put the number as high as 50% of all division I recruits failed to qualify. 7’1” Johnny Pittman(19.6/16.9) from Terry signed with Kentucky out of high school, but ended up at Oklahoma State. Pittman put up 8.1 points with 6.2 rebounds playing for the Cowboys. Pittman was drafted in the CBA with the #39 overall pick. 6’1” Charles McCovery(20.1) from LaPorte was highly recruited, but failed to qualify and went to Odessa JC. The Sooners signed McCovery and he played one season at Oklahoma, averaging 10.8/4.1 assists and later won a national championship at Oklahoma City. Smokey was also drafted into the CBA with the 59th overall pick by Tri-City. 6’6” Darryl Johnson and 6’4” Rodney Diggs of Houston Yates were considered outstanding recruits. Johnson went on to average a double-double at the University of San Francisco with 15.4 points and 11.4 boards. He was one of the top five recruits in the state in 1987. Diggs signed with the Houston Cougars but never played. 6’7” Vladimir McCrary(15.0) of San Antonio Madison played at New Mexico and had a nice career with 8.2 points and 5.8 rebounds. 6’2” Courtney Jeans(19.0) of L.D. Bell played at the University of Texas and his best year was as a freshman. He averaged 6.5 points with 2.3 rebounds. He was a four-year lettermen with the Longhorns. 6’2” Arthur Massey(25.1/8.3/5.9) was outstanding in high school and carried those talents onto San Diego State averaging 14.6 points, 4.4 rebounds with 5.0 assists. Massey played high school ball at San Antonio Roosevelt. Prior to attending San Diego State he played at Alvin JC. 6’6” Darrell Mickens(17.0) from Paris took his skills to the University of Houston. Mickens best year he averaged 11.6 points with 8.5 rebounds per game with the Cougars. “Darrell is a big-time athlete. He is a great jumper and a player who can get up and down the court,” Houston coach Pat Foster explained upon signing Mickens.

6’2” Ronnie Ellison(19.6) from Alief Hastings signed with Cincinnati and played one year, averaging 5.6 points and 2.3 assists. Ellison had a disagreement with Coach Tommy Yates and transferred to UTSA. He averaged 13.5 points and 4.2 assists running the point at UTSA. 6’5” Darrin Terry(21.0) from Hughes Springs was considered a top basketball recruit, but ended up playing football at Tyler JC and basketball at Carl Albert JC in Oklahoma. Upon signing with Texas A&M, Aggies head coach Kermit Davis said, “he’s as good a 6’6” athlete as I’ve seen in some time.” Terry played six games for the Aggies before being ruled academically ineligible. His best years on the court were with NAIA powerhouse, Oklahoma City University. Terry helped OCU win two national titles and a 51-game winning streak. 6’8” Jerry Neal of Zapata played one year at Texas A&M. 6’4” Mark Johnson from Lufkin signed with A&M but failed to qualify. 6’8” 220 pound Thomas Gipson(19.0/11.0/ 5.5 blocks) from Seguin played at Texas before transferring to North Texas State. Gipson selected Texas because of Academics. Also, it was just close enough to home that his friends and family could come watch him play. Gipson had over 60 schools involved in his recruitment. “I think there is no question that a player like Thomas has a chance to make an immediate impact,” Texas coach Bob Weltlich said. When Coach Tom Penders took over with the Longhorns, Gipson saw his playing time diminish. Thomas had considered Arkansas and Tech out of high school. Gipson transferred to North Texas State and averaged 9.9 points and 8.4 rebounds. 6’8” Andrew Fowler (19.0/13.0) of Hillsboro played four years at Texas. 6’7” Hank Dudek of Dallas Jesuit was a two-year letterman with the Longhorns. 6’4” Winn Shepard(14.3/8.7) from Houston Westbury played at Texas. 6’2” Thomas Hocker(17.7) from Dallas Highland Park averaged 7.0 points and 5.1 assists at the University of Miami in Florida. 6’8” Walter Martin(22.0) of Snook fame signed with Washington State but did not make grades. 6’8” Shaun Davis(20.0) of Maud was a four-year letterman at Arkansas. 6’11” Maurice Artis(13.1/7.0/4.0 blocks) of Killeen was a highly prized recruit selecting the Red Raiders over Tulsa and Temple. Artis was a two-year letterman at Texas Tech. 6’10” Bobby Holkan(16.0) from Clear Lake played three years at S.M.U. 6’9” Lang Meyer(15.8) of Conroe McCullough played four-years at Stanford. 6’6” Darion Newsome(26.0) played at South Plains J.C. Newsome was an all-stater from Wichita Falls Hirschi.

6’0” Adrian Wright from state finalist San Antonio Holmes played for St. Mary’s in the Alamo city. 6’5” Jerry Joyce from Morton played for West Texas State. 6’4” Tony Jackson of North Dallas fame played at Odessa J.C. 6’7” Todd Willis(18.0) from Longview signed with T.C.U. He ended up playing two years with the Horn Frogs. 6’7” Jim Harman(16.3/12.1) from San Antonio Madison took his skills to Baylor and played two seasons. Coach Gene Iba of Baylor called Harman, “a great passer-shooter, probably one of the most underrated players in the state. Harman had considered Tech, Tulsa, Wyoming and UTSA. 6’8” Gregg Betts of SA Madison went on to Texas A&I. 6’4” Terry Jefferson from Conroe carried on their strong tradition playing one year at T.C.U. 6’6” Toby Christian(23.4) of Lubbock High played three years with the Baylor Bears. 6’3” Dennis Lindsey(21.6) from Brazoswood proved to be one of the top guards in the state averaging 10.6 points with the Baylor Bears. Coach Gene Iba of Baylor was excited about the Lindsey commitment, “Lindsey was one of the better players this year shooting the 3-pointer, but unlike most players that shoot the 3-pointer, he is an extremely good athlete.(There was no 3-point line in high school in 1987) Dennis is not a one-dimensional player, he can do a lot of things on the court.” 6’5” James Bailey from Willowridge played one season at Fresno State. 6’6” Leeland McCall(18.5/15.0) from Austin L.B.J. had an outstanding high school career and played two seasons at Southwest Texas State. 6’4” George Connor was a phenom at Ft. Worth Trimble Tech and took his talents to Southwest Texas State averaging 20.9/7.2 his senior year. Conner played two years at Jacksonville J.C.  6’3” Ryan Davis(29.9) was one of the top offensive players in the state his senior year at Lubbock Estacado. Davis signed with Southwest Texas State. 6’5” Randy Reinagel(18.0) from Alice played his freshman season at Southwest Texas State. 6’1” Calvin Smith(27.1) was outstanding at South Garland high school and committed to Oklahoma. Smith ended up at Midland J.C. because of grades.

6’4” David Willie(25.0/13.0) was dominating at Austin Crocket in the state capital. Willie played four seasons at Rice with his best campaign being his freshman year. He averaged 15.4 points with 3.9 rebounds his first year. 6’11” Lynn Cowan from Houston Christian signed with Oral Roberts. 6’2” Sammy Simpson(14.0) from Amarillo traveled to U.T. Arlington and later transferred to West Texas State. 6’8” Thomas Helland of Houston Kinkaid played one season at Davidson. 6’7” Jeff Rowan from Cypress-Fairbanks played two years at Sam Houston. 6’6” Lorenzo Tolbert from Houston Austin played one season with Sam Houston as did 6’6” Frank Lane(16.0) of Diboll. 6’1” Willie Johnson(33.0) from New Diana signed with Panola J.C. along with 6’4” Eddie Jones(20.7) of Hughes Springs. Hosea Lee from Tyler Lee played at East Texas State University.

6’0” Kevin Gulley from South Oak Cliff followed his former coach to North Texas State and played two years with the Mean Green. 6’4” Jerrod Gales from Trimble Tech followed his uncle to North Texas as well. 6’11” Doug Schindler stayed close to home and attended North Texas also. Gulley and Schindler played two seasons and Gales just one. Schindler averaged 5.1 points along with 5.8 boards. 6’6” Rich Achberger put up 8.8 points along with 4.4 rebounds at Stephen F. Austin. Achberger was from San Antonio MacArthur. 6’9” Randy Laird of Kountze signed with S.F.A., as did 6’2” Tim Schumacker of Houston. Tim Small from San Antonio Churchill and 6’8” Chad Heller from San Antonio Clark both played at Texas Lutheran. Heller put up some nice numbers averaging 11.2 points per game and 7.2 rebounds. 6’7” Paul Roberts from Baytown committed to U.T. Arlington but never played. 6’10” David Quick from Arlington Lamar played four seasons at the Air Force academy. 6’6” Darrell Janecka of Victoria had a nice career at Trinity University in San Antonio finishing with 8.9 points and 4.2 rebounds. 6’5” Paul Pyle of Houston Lee played one year at Houston Baptist. 6’2” Gary Durbon(28.3)from South San Antonio played at U.T. San Antonio one year. 6’7” Taju Olajuwon averaged 10.3 and 7.3 rebounds at UTSA after finishing his career at Houston Marian Christian. He was drafted by the CBA with the 110th pick. Although he never lived up to his famous brother, he had a nice college career. 6’2” Gabriel Valdez(23.5) from Weslaco was outstanding at Pan American averaging 14.6 points. 6’6” William Gooden(15.8/7.3) of LaPorte fame ended up in Oklahoma at Phillips University after two seasons at San Jacinto J.C. 6’4” Robert Thoele(15.2) from Richardson High played one season at Vanderbilt. 6’3” Tommy Washington(11.5) of LaPorte played at Prairie View, 6’0” Keith Hearon, also from LaPorte, took his talents to Lee J.C., 5’7” Fred Harris traveled to Panhandle State to play following his career at LaPorte. 6’0” Larry Pettigrew(22.9) from John Tyler was all-conference at Howard J.C. in Big Spring. 6’1” Ricky O’Neal(24.6) from Dallas Pinkston played at Odessa J.C. 6’6” Todd Welty of Canyon signed with West Texas State. 6’3” Keith Horne of SA Sam Houston signed with UTSA. He averaged 20.7 points per game in college. Horne was a 6’10” high jumper in track. 6’2” Darrell Williams(20.2) from Houston Sam Houston traveled to Navarro J.C. and led the team in scoring at 18.5. 6’5” Chris Chavers from Temple played at Temple JC and later played one season at North Texas State. 5’7” Kevin Pruitt of Sherman took his skills to Grayson County JC. 6’4” Mark Chambers of Ft. Worth Dunbar played at Cisco JC. 6’1” Maurice Alexander from Waxahachie also played two seasons with the Wyoming Cowboys averaging (15.2/3.2/3.9 asst) his senior year. Prior to playing for Wyoming, Alexander played at Tyler JC. Alexander was drafted into the CBA at #96 by Rapid City.

Many basketball coaches always refer to the 1987 recruiting class as one of the best ever, but that was not the case. It was a class that was very top heavy, with few players having a great deal of college success. Only two players from the class was drafted into the N.B.A., Johnson and Smith.




Top Texas Recruits in 1987 based on their college and pro careers:

Larry Johnson 6’6”                    Dallas Skyline           Odessa JC/UNLV  22.7/10.9        HornetsNBA#1

LaBradford Smith 6’4”                Bay City                    Louisville 16.6/4.9 Asst              BulletsNBA#19

Arthur Massey 6’2”                   SA Roosevelt            San Diego State 14.6/5.0 Asst

Darryl Johnson 6’6”                   Houston Yates          San Francisco 15.3/11.4

Charles McCovery 6’1”              LaPorte                    Oklahoma 10.8/4.1 Asst             CBA #59

Darrell Mickens 6’6”                  Paris                         Houston 11.6/8.5                      CBA #78

Dennis Lindsay 6’3”                   Brazoswood              Baylor 10.6/2.5

George Connor 6’4”                  FW Trimble Tech       SW Texas St. 20.9/7.2

Maurice Alexander 6’1”             Waxahachie             Wyoming 15.3/3.2/3.9 ast.        CBA #96

David Willie 6’4”                       Austin Crockett         Rice 15.4/3.9

Ronnie Ellison 6’2”                    Alief Hastings            UTSA 15.4/6.4 Asst

Keith Horne 6’3”                       SA Sam Houston       UTSA 20.0/4.0

All-Americans: Larry Johnson, Johnny Pittman and LaBradford Smith were all named to the pre-season Street & Smith All-American team as one of the top 25 players in the country. It was the first time the state of Texas had three players named by Street & Smith. Street & Smith also named their pre-season Top 25 Teams in the country. Houston Yates came in a #14 and Ft. Worth Dunbar at #20. It probably doesn’t seem like a big deal, but at the time it was definitely important for the image of Texas Basketball nationwide. Also listed was the top five players in Houston and San Antonio in the pre-season. Houston’s top five were 7’1” Johnny Pittman, LaBradford Smith, 6’8” Lang Meyer from Conroe McCullough, 6’6” Darryl Johnson and 6’4” Rodney Diggs from Houston Yates. San Antonio was a city that had received very little state recognition, let alone national attention. Players named from San Antonio were 6’6” Vladimir McCrary from SA Madison, 6’8” Thomas Gipson from Seguin, 6’4” Roger Willis of SA Fox Tech, 6’7” Jim Harmon of SA Madison and 6’0” Arthur Massey from SA Roosevelt. Street & Smith named LaBradford one of their “Freshman of Influence” as a top 15 player in the nation in their pre-season issue following his senior year. Larry Johnson would have been named, but he was at Odessa Junior College. Smith joined Ira Terrell, Eddie Owens, Earl Evans, Karl Godine, Rudy Woods, James Griffin, Terry White and Tito Horford as the only players ever named by the magazine. Remember prior to 1973, freshman weren’t eligible for varsity competition.

                In the Capital Classic All-Star game in Landover, Maryland, Larry Johnson was named the M.V.P. of the game finishing with 10 points in 20 minutes of play. The McDonald’s All-Star game showcased the talents of Larry Johnson and LaBradford Smith. LaBradford was dealing with an ankle injury, so he was limited, while L.J. put up 16 points and pulled down 5 rebounds. He was in serious contention for the M.V.P. Award which was won by Mark Macon of Saginaw, Michigan. At the Annual Derby Festival Classic at Freedom Hall in Louisville, Kentucky; Texas had two players represented. LaBradford Smith had signed with Louisville and Johnny Pittman was committed to Kentucky.

                Parade Magazine recognized Larry Johnson and LaBradford Smith as 1st team All-Americans and Johnny Pittman was named to the 3rd team. The four teams selected by Parade Magazine had twelve players on each squad for a total of 48 players. Basketball Weekly was a very prestigious publication at the time. Weekly named Larry Johnson to the 1st team and LaBradford Smith to the 2nd team. Only five players were named to the first and second teams. Johnny Pittman was named Honorable Mention or basically one of the Top 50 players in the country according to Basketball Weekly. U.S.A Today was another highly touted publication that named LaBradford Smith 1st team and Larry Johnson on the 2nd unit. Only five players were named to each team. Players named Honorable Mention All-American by U.S.A. Today were- 6’0” Randy Accord-Clint, 6’1” Elmer Bennett-Houston Bellaire, 6’4” Brant Capps-Amarillo, 6’4” Mark Chambers-FW Dunbar, 6’0” Derrick Daniels-FW Dunbar, 6’6” Will Flemons-Paducah, 6’6” William Gooden-LaPorte, 6’4” Avery Helms-Sweeny, 6’6” Darryl Johnson-Houston Yates, 6’4” Eddie Jones-Hughes Springs, 6’8” Randy Laird-Kountze, 6’3” Dennis Lindsey-Brazoswood, 6’1” Charles McCovery-LaPorte, 6’0” Stacey Moore-Denison, 6’6” Darion Newsome-Wichita Falls Hirschi, 6’4” Darrell Mickens-Paris, 7’0” Johnny Pittman-Rosenberg Terry, 6’0” Charles Walker, Borger:  

                In 1987 “TABC Mr. Basketball Award” was won by Larry Johnson and LaBradford Smith. The Amarillo Chamber of Commerce continued to name the most prestigious basketball award in the State. The 25th Annual Award went for the second year in a row to LaBradford Smith. He became only the second player ever named two times. The other was the legendary Dwight Jones of Houston Wheatley in 1969 and 1970.

                At the B.C.I. Texas Shootout held in late March at Autry Court on the campus of Rice University the following players were named from their respective areas. Attendance was a major issue with the Shootout. As for scholarships the event was a big success as viewed by event originator Jay Parker and tournament director Butch Ghutzman. In 1983, according to the numbers released by B.C.I., 22 Texas seniors receiving Division One scholarships. In 1986 that number increased to 56 scholarships. The B.C.I. organizers attributed this to the shootouts. EAST-6’1” Charles McCovery-LaPorte, 6’2” Tim Schumacher-Alief Elsik, 6’4” Terry Jefferson-Conroe, 6’2” Dennis Lindsey-Brazoswood, 6’4” LaBradford Smith-Bay City, 6’5” Winn Shepard-Houston Westbury, 6’5” Jimmy Hardwick-Klein Forest, 6’6” Darryle Johnson-Houston Yates, 6’7” Taju Olajuwon-Marian Christian, 6’9” Lang Meyer-Conroe McCullough, 6’10” Bobby Holkan-Clear Lake, 7’0” Johnny Pittman-Rosenberg Terry: NORTH-6’1” Ricky O’Neal-Dallas Pinkston, 6’2” Thomas Hocker-Highland Park, 6’3” Tony Jackson-North Dallas, 6’6” Mark Johnson-Lufkin, 6’4” Darrell Mickens-Paris, 6’4” Lance Levin-Richardson Pearce, 6’5” Darrin Terry-Hughes Springs, 6’7” Larry Johnson-Dallas Skyline, 6’7” Todd Willis-Longview, 6’7” Steve Overstreet-Dallas S.O.C., 6’9” Shaun Davis-Maud: SOUTH- 6’0” Adrian Wright-SA Holmes, 6’0” Doug Peak-Georgetown, 6’0” Arthur Massey-SA Roosevelt, 6’2” Gary Durbon-South San Antonio, 6’4” David Willie-Crockett, 6’5” Rich Achberger-SA MacArthur, 6’6” Darrell Janecka-Victoria, 6’6” Vladimire McCrary-SA Madison, 6’6” Leeland McCall-Austin L.B.J., 6’7” Jim Harmon-SA Madison, 6’8” Thomas Gipson-Seguin, 6’9” Jerry Neal-Zapata: WEST- 6’2” Sammy Simpson-Amarillo, 6’2” Courtney Jeans-Euless L.D. Bell, 6’4” George Connor-FW Trimble Tech, 6’4” Jerrold Gales-FW Trimble Tech, 6’4” Ryan Davis-Lubbock Estacado, 6’5” Jerry Joyce-Morton, 6’5” Chris Lowry-San Angelo Central, 6’6” Toby Christian-Lubbock, 6’6” Darion Newsome-Wichita Falls Hirschi, 6’8” David Quick-Arlington Lamar, 6’9” Andrew Fowler-Hillsboro, 6’11” Maurice Artis-Killeen:

                Texas High School Coaches Association All-Star game was coached by Larry Brown and Robert Hughes. South Squad: Darryl Johnson-Houston Yates, Dave Willie-Austin Crockett, Charlie McCovery-LaPorte, Ronnie Ellison-Alief Hastings, Adrian Wright-SA Holmes, Thomas Gipson-Seguin, Arthur Massey-SA Roosevelt, Gary Hunt-PA Lincoln, Dennis Lindsey-Brazoswood: North squad-Thomas Hocker-Highland Park, Larry Pettigrew-Tyler John Tyler, Courtney Jeans-Euless LD Bell, Darion Newsome-WF Hirschi, Quentin Washington-Dallas Hillcrest, Sammy Simpson-Amarillo, Toby Christian-Lubbock High, Todd Willis-Longview, Bernard Williams, Calvin Smith-South Garland.

National Rankings: LaPorte(40-0) came away with an impressive national ranking at #6 nationwide by U.S.A. today. Ft. Worth Dunbar(38-1) lost their last game against San Antonio Holmes and still finished #19 in the country. Before the playoffs, Ft. Worth Dunbar had achieved the highest ranking in the USA Today poll of any team ever from Texas. Dunbar had climbed all the way to #3 in the country. Houston Madison finished #4 during the 1985 season. Also, it was the first time two Texas teams had finished in the USA Today “Top 25” poll.    

                State Leaders: Ft. Worth Dunbar and San Antonio East Central put up the top offensive numbers in 1987. Dunbar averaged 82.1 per game and East Central led the state with 95.9. Victoria ran up some offensive totals averaging 81.7 per game. East Central also led the state on margin of victory with +25.7. SA Alamo Heights led the 4-A ranks with +26.4 margin of victory. Brownsville Hanna had one of the top point difference at +24.9. Ft. Worth Dunbar came away third at +21.8 followed by Weslaco at +20.1. LaPorte put up solid numbers at +17.2 point difference. Dallas Skyline finished with a +16.0 point difference. Defensively, Plano East led the Dallas-Ft Worth metro-plex with 48.8. The Panthers had the top defensive numbers in areas outside El Paso. The Sun City did not publish point averages to compare. The states leading scorer in class 5-A was Elmer Bennett, a junior from Houston Bellaire with 30.3 per game. Larry Johnson was close behind with 29.0 per game for Dallas Skyline. Neil Derrick, another underclassman, hit 28.3 per game for the Garland Owls. Gary Durbon put up 28.3 per game at South San Antonio and broke the city record scoring 56 points against San Antonio Lanier. Rebounding was dominated by probably the strongest rebounder in the history of the state, Larry Johnson, at 19.8. Johnny Pittman came in at 16.9. Anthony Snowden of Dallas Pinkston put up 16.1 per game. 6’6” Leeland McCall of Austin LBJ averaged 15.0 rebounds per game. Blocked shots leader goes to Thomas Gipson of Seguin with 5.5 per game followed by Larry Johnson at 5.2. Anthony Snowden of Dallas Pinkston had 3.5 per game. The nations all-time assist leader, Derrick Daniels of Ft. Worth Dunbar, put up incredible numbers at 13.8 assist per game. Reggie Brown of Garland Lakeview was impressive as well with 11.8 assists per game. Tony Terrell from East Central averaged 9.8 assists per game.   

                Top Scorer in the Playoffs: Robert Thoele averaged 24.2 points per game in the Eagles run to the state semi-finals. Thoele put up 23 points vs. Kimball, 21 vs. Skyline, 29 vs. Killeen, 27 vs. Kingwood and 21 against LaPorte. Charles McCovery of LaPorte was so consistent in the playoffs; 25 vs. Sterling, 22 vs. Central, 21 vs. Yates, 26 against Hastings, 20 vs. Richardson and 13 vs. SA Holmes. McCovery averaged 21.1 in LaPorte’s playoff run.

Power Ratings 1987

  1. A. Holmes 32-6           94.59     State Finals 5-A       loss LaPorte 64-57
  2. Worth Dunbar 38-1           94.12     State Semi 5-A        loss SA Holmes 73-65
  3. LaPorte 40-0           65     State Champs 5-A   def. SA Holmes 64-57
  4. Arthur Lincoln 25-5           90.27     Regional Finals 4-A loss Bay City 74-64
  5. Garland Lakeview 25-8           15     3rd District 5-A
  6. Dallas Skyline 34-2           62     2nd Round 5-A         loss Richardson 68-59
  7. Alief Hastings 35-3           81     Regional Finals 5-A loss LaPorte 59-56
  8. Beaumont Central 23-7           32     2nd Round 5-A         loss LaPorte 94-85
  9. Amarillo 30-4           50     Regional Finals 5-A loss Dunbar 63-57
  10. Tyler John Tyler 25-9           46     Bi-District 5-A         loss K. Ellison 64-63
  11. SA East Central 33-4           28     Regional Semis 5-A loss SA Holmes 77-70
  12. Richardson 29-7           73     State Semis 5-A      loss LaPorte 75-58
  13. Westbrook 29-8           85.11     2nd Round 5-A         loss H. Smiley 68-65
  14. Weslaco 31-2           13     2nd Round 5-A         loss SA Holmes 73-63
  15. Lancaster 31-3           36     Regional Semis 4-A loss Hillcrest 53-54
  16. Clear Lake 27-10         33     Regionals 5-A          loss Hastings 64-58
  17. Dallas Hillcrest 24-10         48     State Champs 4-A   def. Bay City 54-51
  18. SA Churchill 28-6           44     Regional Semis 5-A loss Clark 79-67
  19. Texas High 24-7           37     Bi-District 5-A         loss Killeen 67-54
  20. Kerrville Tivy 27-8           36     State Semis 4-A      loss Cleburne 45-42
  21. Houston Yates 25-8           12     Regional Semis 5-A loss LaPorte 95-86
  22. Highland Park 27-5           06     Bi-District 5-A         loss Spruce 61-58
  23. Bay City 31-5           94     State Semis 4-A      loss Hillcrest 54-51
  24. Lake Highlands 18-12         84     3rd District 5-A
  25. Duncanville 32-3           75     2nd Round 5-A         loss Dunbar 71-64
  26. Wilmer Hutchins 23-11         54     Ineligible 4-A
  27. Tyler Lee 26-5           51     3rd District 5-A
  28. SA MacArthur 19-11         26     3rd District 5-A
  29. Arlington Martin 27-9           09     Regional Semis 5-A loss Amarillo 66-51
  30. Killeen 30-8           75     Regional Semis 5-A loss Richardson 68-53
  31. Cleburne 28-7           26     State Finals 4-A       loss Hillcrest 54-42
  32. SA Clark 27-8           61     Regional Final 5-A   loss Holmes 51-43
  33. FW Trimble Tech 24-10         86     Bi-District 5-A         loss Sherman 66-65
  34. Victoria 27-6           00     Bi-District 5-A         loss Willowridge 87-67
  35. Garland 23-10         43     1st Round 5-A          loss Skyline 96-83
  36. Houston Sam Hou. 27-7           31     2nd Round 5-A         loss Hastings 61-50
  37. Worth Paschal 25-9           73.17     3rd Place District
  38. Sherman 29-3           75     2nd Round 5-A         loss Arl. Martin 53-52
  39. Houston Lee 26-8           68     1st Round 5-A          loss Stratford 69-60
  40. Longview 23-9           09     4th District 5-A
  41. Plano 20-12         34     Regional Semis 5-A loss Kingwood 47-38
  42. Richardson Pearce 17-12         06     4th District 5-A
  43. Bishop Lynch 25-10         58     TCIL Champions      def. Jesuit 51-45
  44. Waxahachie 20-9           06     2nd Round 4-A         loss Hillcrest 60-58
  45. Sweeny 34-2           60     State Champs 3-A   def. Hughes Spr. 66-64
  46. Killeen Ellison 25-9           65     Regional semis 5-A loss Kingwood 45-41
  47. Morton 33-5           25     State Champs 2-A   def. Liberty Hill 84-72


The power ratings are always interesting to review and decipher. Interestingly San Antonio Holmes was the top ranked team according to the numbers. Holmes lost to LaPorte in state title game 73-65. I am not going to make any excuses for the Huskies but emotionally if was going to be tough to take down back-to-back undefeated teams. The emotional win over Dunbar was tough to come down from in a one day turn around. In the final top 25 the Dallas area led the way with eight teams, Houston produced four, San Antonio had three along with the Triangle. East Texas produced two and Ft. Worth, West Texas and the Valley all had one. The shocker was Garland Lakeview at #5 in the rankings. The Patriots had a great preseason defeating a number of strong teams and defeated district champion Highland Park twice only to go down to South Garland and Garland in all four games. The losses eliminated them from the playoffs. The 1987 Dunbar Wildcats fell well short of the 1984 team which also finished 38-1. The ’84 unit had and impressive 103.64 power rating. Amarillo’s attempt to win back-to-back titles fell short with an 86.50 ranking compared to their 1986 title squad which measured 92.00.  













1987 5-A Playoffs

Region I Bi-Dist.        El Paso High(23-8)                     58            El Paso Bel Air(22-9)                 57

                                Amarillo(26-3) #7                     82            San Angelo Central(19-11)         55

                                Sherman(27-2) #6                     66            FW Trimble Tech(24-9) OT         65

                                Arlington Martin(25-8)              59            Grand Prairie(23-9)                   53

                                El Paso Eastwood(26-5)             67            El Paso Andress(23-10)              52

                                Odessa Permian(20-9)               57            Lubbock Monterey(24-11)         55

                                Ft. Worth Dunbar(34-0) #1        84            Denton(19-12)                          57

                                Duncanville(31-2) #5                 66            Ft. Worth Richland(21-10)         63

Region I Q-Finals       Amarillo(27-3) #7                     42            El Paso High(24-8)                     41

                                Arlington Martin(26-8)              53            Sherman(28-2) #6                     52

                                El Paso Eastwood(27-5)             75            Odessa Permian(21-9)               69

                                Ft. Worth Dunbar(35-0) #1        71            Duncanville(32-2) #5                 64

Region I Semi Finals  Amarillo(28-3) #7                     66            Arlington Martin(27-8)              51

                                Ft. Worth Dunbar(36-0) #1        89            El Paso Eastwood(28-5)             73

Regional Finals         Ft. Worth Dunbar(37-0) #1        63            Amarillo(29-3) #7                     57

Region II Bi-Dist.       Dallas Spruce(13-15)                 61            Highland Park(27-4) #9                 58                            Plano(18-11)                            61                Dallas Sunset(19-9)                   57                            Killeen Ellison(24-8)                  64            Tyler John Tyler(25-8) #18         63                            Humble Kingwood(21-11)         45            Klein Forest(18-10)                   43

                                Dallas Skyline(33-1)  #3            96            Garland(23-9)                           83

                                Richardson(25-6) #20                78            Dallas Kimball(23-7)                  51

                                Killeen(28-7)                            67            Texas High(24-6) #16                54

                                Klein Oak(26-4)                         61            Huntsville(21-11)                      55

Region II Q-Finals      Plano(19-11)                            55            Dallas Spruce(14-15) 2OT          51

                                Humble Kingwood(22-11)         45            Killeen Ellison(25-8) OT             41

                                Richardson(26-6) #20                68            Dallas Skyline(34-1) #3              59

                                Killeen(29-7)                            37            Klein Oak(27-4)                         36

Region II Semi Finals Humble Kingwood(23-11)         47            Plano(20-11)                            38

                                Richardson(27-6) #20                68            Killeen(30-7)                            53

Region II Finals         Richardson(28-6) #20                65            Humble Kingwood(24-11)         61

Region III Bi-Dist.      Alief Hastings(32-2) #8              69            Houston Westbury(25-7)           51

                                Houston Sam Houston(26-6)#12 66            Houston Sterling(15-11)            49

                                Houston Stratford(22-12)          69            Houston Lee(26-7) #19              60

                                Houston Yates(23-7) #11            105           Houston Washington(17-11)     70

                                Beaumont Central(23-6) #4       68            Aldine MacArthur(21-11)          67

                                LaPorte(34-0) #2                       89            Baytown Sterling(18-12)           63

                                Houston Smiley(20-13)             68            Beaumont Westbrook(29-8)      65

                                Clear Lake(24-9)                       73            Pasadena Rayburn(24-9)           48

Region III Q-Finals     Alief Hastings(33-2) #8              61            Houston Sam Houston(27-6)#12 50

                                Clear Lake(25-9)                       52            Houston Smiley(21-13)             49

                                Houston Yates(24-7) #11           72            Houston Stratford(23-12)          66

                                LaPorte(25-0) #2                       94            Beaumont Central(24-6) #4       85

Region III Semis        Alief Hastings(34-2) #8              64            Clear Lake(26-9)                       58

                                LaPorte(36-0) #2                       95            Houston Yates(25-7) #11           86

Region III Finals        LaPorte(37-0) #2                       59            Alief Hastings(35-2) #8              56

Region IV Bi-Dist.      Brazoswood(26-7) #10              72            Corpus Christi Moody (23-9)       70

                                Willowridge(20-9)                    87            Victoria(27-5) #17                     67

                                San Antonio Churchill(26-5) #14 87            Austin L.B.J.(25-7)                     65

                                SA East Central(31-3) #15            102           Austin Lanier(17-12)                 88

                                San Antonio Clark(24-7)            61            San Antonio Highlands(23-10)   57

                                San Antonio Holmes(27-5) #13  67            San Antonio Sam Houston(24-8) 60

                                Brownsville Hanna(28-3)           71            Laredo Nixon(23-10)                 66

                                Weslaco(30-1)                          57            McAllen Memorial(20-12)         49

Region IV Q-Finals    San Antonio Churchill(27-5) #14 63            Brazoswood(27-7)  #10             56

                                San Antonio Clark(25-7)             70            Brownsville Hanna(29-3)           56

                                SA East Central(32-3) #15          97            Willowridge(21-9)                    83

                                San Antonio Holmes(28-5) #13  73            Weslaco(31-1)                          63

Region IV Semis        San Antonio Clark(26-7)            79            San Antonio Churchill(28-5) #14 67

                                San Antonio Holmes(29-5) #13  77            SA East Central(33-3) #15          70

Region IV Finals        San Antonio Holmes(30-5) #13  51            San Antonio Clark(27-7)            43

State Semi-Finals      LaPorte(38-0) #2                       75            Richardson(29-6) #20                58

                                San Antonio Holmes(31-5) #13  73            Ft. Worth Dunbar(38-0) #1        65

State Finals               LaPorte(39-0) #2                       64            San Antonio Holmes(32-5) #13  58


{After reviewing the entire season and the playoffs this would be my 1987 AAAAA Top Teams}

  1. LaPorte 40-0         {def. Yates(2), PA Lincoln, Bea.Central(2), Hastings}
  2. SA Holmes 32-6         {split E. Central, def. Dunbar, Clark(3), Clear Lake, 30-3}
  3. Worth Dunbar 38-1         {defeated Yates, Ellison, Bryan, Amarillo, Duncanville}
  4. Dallas Skyline 34-2         {beat Martin, Lakeview(2), LBJ, Duncanville, Garland}
  5. Alief Hastings 35-3         {def. Clear Lake, H.Sam H.(2), Westbury(2), Yates, SA SH}
  6. Amarillo 30-4         {beat Arl. Martin, Hirschi, Andrews, EP Eastwood}
  7. A. East Central 33-4         {3-1 vs. Churchill, split with Holmes, Alamo Hts.}
  8. Beaumont Central 23-7         {eliminated by LaPorte, 1-3 vs. Lincoln, 2-0 vs. Westbrook}
  9. Houston Yates 25-8         {def. Westbury, H. Sam H., Willowridge, Jaycees title}
  10. Duncanville 32-3         {beat Martin, Monterey, Richardson, Lynch, Plano, LH}
  11. Richardson 29-7         {state semis, beat Skyline, Killeen, Kingwood, Garland}
  12. Tyler John Tyler 25-9         {2-1 vs. Texas High, defeated Tyler Lee 2-1}
  13. A. Churchill 28-6         {1-3 vs. E.Central, def. LBJ, Brazoswood, split SA Mac}
  14. Garland Lakeview 25-8         {def. J. Tyler(2), Plano, Borger, Texas High, High.Park(2)}
  15. Killeen 30-8         {split Ellison, beat Texas High, Clear Lake, SA Roosevelt}
  16. Texas High 24-7         {2nd in District John Tyler, beat Sherman, Martin, Sunset}
  17. Highland Park 27-5         {beat Richardson, Arl. SH, Monterey, Trimble Tech}
  18. Arlington Martin 27-9         {beat Sherman, Pinkston, Lynch, Reg. Semis}
  19. San Antonio Clark 27-8         {beat Churchill, Highlands, 2-0 vs Jay, Temple, SA Roos.}
  20. Tyler Lee 26-5         {John Tyler 1-2, Texas High split, beat Longview, Pearce}
  21. Sherman 28-3         {beat Trimble Tech, loss to Martin by 1}
  22. FW Trimble Tech 24-10       {beat Plano, lost to Sherman by 1, split with Paschal}
  23. Worth Paschal 25-9         {won Optimist T., split with Trimble Tech., lost Dunbar OT}
  24. Sam Houston 27-7         {def. Smiley, Sterling(2), split Washington, Finals Jaycee T}
  25. Klein Oak 27-5         {defeated Aldine Mac., Stratford, Conroe, Hastings}
  26. Westbrook 29-8         {loss Smiley bi-district, 2-1 vs. Nederland, beat PA Lincoln}
  27. Clear Lake 27-10       {Beat Yates, Sam Rayburn(2), Smiley, lost to Holmes by 1}
  28. Humble Kingwood 24-12       {beat Elsik, Bellaire, Klein Forest, Dobie}
  29. Spring Branch Mem. 25-8 {def. Dobie, Killeen, Hastings, Ellison, Westbury}
  30. Houston Stratford 23-13       (defeated Memorial twice to advance to playoffs}
  31. Houston Kinkaid 33-0         {def. Terry, Houston Lee, Bellaire(2), SW Prep Champs}
  32. Brazoswood 27-8         {beat Willowridge(2), CC Moody, District champ}
  33. Willowridge 21-10       (2nd Round, def. Dobie, Memorial}
  34. Lake Highlands 18-12       {beat Richardson twice, split with Plano, beat Samuel(2)}
  35. Garland 23-10       {split with Richardson, beat Arlington SH, Lakeview}
  36. San Antonio Jay 21-12       {Finals Northside, beat Killeen, Churchill, Smiley}
  37. Austin L.B.J. 25-8         {District champion 27-5A}
  38. Huntsville 21-12       {def. Victoria, Westbrook, District runner-up}
  39. Killeen Ellison 25-9         {split with Killeen, beat John Tyler, LBJ, Houston Lee}
  40. Houston Lee 26-8         {def. Memorial, Willowridge, Westbury(2), Smiley}
  41. Euless L.D. Bell 23-11       {beat nationally Macon Southwest Ga., Arl. SH, A. Martin}
  42. Bryan 23-11       {beat SA Holmes, finals of Optimist T., lost Lockett in Dist}
  43. Dallas Kimball 23-8         {hard hit by ineligible players, suspensions, injuries}
  44. FW Richland Hills 21-11       {def. A. Martin, Sam Houston, Bell twice}
  45. Sam Houston 21-11       {def. Duncanville, Trimble Tech, Richland, A. Martin, Bell}
  46. A. Roosevelt 23-11       {4th place, split E. Central, def. Ellison, LBJ}
  47. Dallas Bishop Lynch 25-10       {Beat Lake High. Kimball, Sunset, Arl. Sam Houston}
  48. Weslaco 31-2         {split Hanna, two wins over Harlingen, McAllen Memorial}
  49. Terry                 23-8         {lost District playoff game to Willowridge, def. H. Sterling}
  50. Victoria 27-6         {split with Bay City, defeated CC Moody twice, Fox Tech}
  51. Alief Elsik 23-11       {4th in District 17-5A, beat Willowidge, Yates}
  52. Houston Westbury 25-8         {lost in Bi-District, beat Dulles, Willowridge}
  53. Houston Bellaire 22-11       {3rd in District 18-5A, split H. Lee, beat WOS}
  54. A. MacArthur 19-11       {3rd Dist. Split Churchill, def. SA Highlands, Clark, Ellison}
  55. SA Highlands 24-10       {2-1 vs. SA Sam Houston, 2-0 vs. Fox Tech}
  56. SA Fox Tech 24-8         {3rd- 29-5A, split Sam Houston, beat SA Highlands}
  57. A. Madison 19-14       {5th 28-5A, 1-2 vs. E. Central, split MacArthur, beat Clark}
  58. Temple 19-12       {defeated Killeen, Ellison, Round Rock}
  59. Grand Prairie 23-10       {lost to Arlington Martin in Bi-District, def. Plano}     
  60. Longview 23-9         {beat Sam Rayburn, John Tyler 1-2, Clear Lake}
  61. El Paso Eastwood 28-6         {regional semis losing to Dunbar}
  62. SA Sam Houston 24-10       {split with Fox Tech, 1-2 vs. Highlands}
  63. Irving MacArthur 21-11       {3rd in Dist., def. Arl. Martin, Denton}
  64. Worth Southwest 18-12 {beat Highland Park, split with Trimble Tech and Paschal}
  65. Arlington Lamar 18-12       {wins over Martin, Richland Hills, Bell}
  66. Plano 20-12       {regional semis, split Lake Highlands}
  67. Houston Smiley 21-14       {loss in 2nd round}
  68. Houston MacArthur 21-12       {lost in Bi-District, def. Brazoswood, H.Lee}
  69. Odessa Permian 21-10       {lost in 2nd Round}
  70. Aldine 21-10       {3rd in District 21-5A}
  71. Brownsville Hanna 29-4         {split with Weslaco and Harlingen in District}
  72. Dulles 21-11       {def. Kingwood, Elsik, Klein Oak}
  73. Houston Kashmere 15-12       {3rd in District 19-5A}
  74. Houston Sterling 15-11       {1st round loss in Playoffs, def. Aldine Mac.}
  75. Dallas Pinkston 21-8         {3rd behind Kimball, Sunset, beat Trimble Tech}
  76. El Paso 24-9         {lost in 2nd round to Amarillo 42-41}
  77. Round Rock 22-10       {split with Temple and Ellison}
  78. A&M Consolidated 21-11       {3rd in District}
  79. Houston Washington 17-12 {lost in Bi-District, def. WOS}
  80. Denton 19-13       {beat FW Southwest, Richland, District runner-up}
  81. Dallas Sunset 19-10       {lost in Bi-District to Plano 61-57, District champs}
  82. Arlington Heights 18-12 {defeated Paschal and FW Southwest}
  83. Dallas Samuel 16-15       {3rd place finish, beat Plano}
  84. South Oak Cliff 13-14       {played one of the toughest schedules in the state}
  85. Houston Milby 16-16       {3rd in District 20-5A, beat Yates, Dobie, Washington}
  86. Lubbock Monterey 24-12       {defeated Plainview Dist. playoff, lose Permian 1st round}
  87. Corpus Christi Moody 23-10 {runner-up to Victoria in Dist. 26-5A}
  88. Pasadena Rayburn 24-10       {district champ, 12-2, split Brazoswood}
  89. Nederland 22-10       {lost District playoff with Westbrook, 7-3 in district}
  90. Austin Lanier 17-13       {district runner-up 27-5A, 1-2 vs. Austin L.B.J.}
  91. Austin Travis 19-11       {3rd place in 27-5A, finished behind L.B.J. and Lanier}
  92. Plano East 16-12       {4th place, beat I. Mac., Pearce}
  93. Richardson Pearce 17-12       {defeated Garland, Grand Prairie, split with L.H.}
  94. South Garland 19-13       {tied for 3rd place in District with Lakeview}
  95. San Antonio Edison 19-13       {4th place finish 29-5A, defeated Austin Lanier 59-55}
  96. North Garland 20-12       {finished in 5th place, beat Lynch}
  97. El Paso Bel Air 22-10       {lost in Bi-District to El Paso 58-57}
  98. South San 20-12       {finals of the South SA Tournament, defeated Alamo Ht.}
  99. Baytown Sterling 18-13       {district runner-up, loss to LaPorte in Bi-District}
  100. Laredo Nixon 23-11       {31-5A Co-Champs, loss first round to Hanna}
  101. Plainview 18-11       {lost district playoff against Monterey for runner-up}
  102. Humble 22-10       {4th in District, def. Conroe}
  103. Corpus Christi King 20-11       {finished 3rd in 26-5A behind Victoria and CC Moody}
  104. Clear Creek 18-14       {def. Clear Lake, Smiley, Kingwood, SA Madison}
  105. Dallas Spruce 14-16       {defeated Highland Park in Bi-District}
  106. Cypress-Fairbanks 15-15       {3rd in District 16-5A}
  107. Klein 16-13       {4th in District 16-5A}
  108. Conroe 18-14       {5th in District}
  109. Klein Forest 18-11       {def. Humble, H. Washington}
  110. El Paso Andress 23-11       {Bi-District}
  111. San Angelo Central 19-12       {Bi-District}
  112. C. Carroll 18-14       {finished 4th in 26-5A behind Victoria, Moody, King}
  113. Austin Reagan 16-14       {eliminated Austin Travis from the playoffs, 4th place}
  114. Pasadena Dobie 20-13       {defeated Clear Lake, Klein Oak}
  115. McAllen Memorial 20-13       {dropped four out of last five games, 31-5A Co-Champs}
  116. Pasadena 22-12       {def. Stratford, Clear Creek, Longview}
  117. Harlingen 20-11       {3rd place finish in District 32-5A split with Hanna}
  118. Laredo Martin 21-8         {3rd place, eliminated in last District game by Nixon 77-74}
  119. Mission 17-12       {4th place finish in 31-5A behind Memorial, Nixon, Martin}
  120. Deer Park 18-15       {very competitive in 22-5A, wins over Sterling and Dobie}



























Best 1980-1987

           Players(5)                        Pts.          Team                        College                    Pros

6’8”   Leonard Allen(81)*           13.1         Pt. Arthur Lincoln      San Diego St.             Draft Mavs #50

6’9”   Greg Anderson(83)*         20.0         Houston Worthing    Houston                   Spurs NBA #23

6’8”   Mike Wacker(80)*            22.2         San Marcos               Texas                        Draft Jazz #151

6’10” John Brownlee(81)           26.1         FW Southwest          N. Carolina/Texas      Draft Clip #78

7’1”   Tito Horford(85)                14.0         Houston Marian        LSU/Miami                               Draft Bucks#39

6’7”   Anthony Allen(86)            20.0         Pt. Arthur Lincoln      Georgetown

6’9”   Sylvester Kincheon(83)      23.6         Austin Travis             Oklahoma State

6’9”   James Gulley(84)              22.0         Newton                    Lamar                       CBA #19

6’4”   James Francis(86)             25.0         LaMarque                 Baylor(Football)        N.F.L.

6’7”   Norman Anderson(84)      18.0         F.W. Southwest        T.C.U.

6’8”   Andre Ross(81)                 17.0         Houston Milby          San Diego St.            CBA #35

6’7”   Riley Smith(86)                 21.4         Mansfield                 Idaho                       CBA #21  

6’6”   Randy Samuels(80)           15.4         Beaumont Hebert     Oklahoma

6’7”   Jimmie Gilbert(82)            16.3         Huntsville                 Texas A&M               Draft Bulls #98

7’1”   Johnny Pittman(87)          19.6         Rosenberg Terry       Oklahoma State        CBA #39

6’8”   Glenn Puddy(84)               21.3         Clear Lake                S.M.U.                      CBA #40

6’8”   Ricky Cobb(80)                 20.5         Wichita Falls             Midwestern Univ.

6’7”   Connally Brown(83)          17.8         West Orange Stark    Villanova

6’8”   Steve Miles(86)                19.1         Dallas Samuel           Texas Tech

6’7”   Chris Hardin(81)                22.2         West Orange Stark    McNeese St.

6’6”   Ronnie Morgan(86)           20.5         South Oak Cliff          North Texas State     CBA #114

6’8”   Gilbert Collier(80)             16.0         Ft. Worth Dunbar      T.C.U.

6’7”   Kirk Lundblade(80)           22.0         Plano High                S.M.U.

6’7”   Paul Cunningham(80)        12.6         Houston Milby          U.T.E.P.

6’9”   Raynard Davis(83)            13.8         S.A. Sam Houston      Texas                        Draft Spur#142

6’10” Reginald Muhammad(85)  20.2         Wilmer Hutchins       S.M.U.

6’7”   Eric Poerschke(82)            14.0         S.B. Memorial           Arkansas  

6’9”   Fred West(85)                  17.6         Tyler John Tyler        Texas Southern         CBA 101

6’7”   Jason Burleson(88)           17.0         Sherman                  Texas(Football)


6’6”   Larry Johnson(87)*           29.0         Dallas Skyline           Odessa JC/ UNLV       HornetsNBA#1

6’6”   Michael Young(80)*          20.0         Houston Yates          Houston                   Celtics NBA#24

6’6”   Clyde Drexler(80)*            16.0         Houston Sterling       Houston                   BlazersNBA#14

6’8”   Ricky Winslow(83)*          22.5         Houston Yates          Houston                   Bulls NBA #28

6’7”   Steffond Johnson(81)        18.0         Longview                 LSU/ San Diego St.     Clip NBA #100

6’9”   Herb Johnson(81)             25.0         Midland High            Tulsa                        Draft Cavs #55

6’4”   Willie Ashley(81)              16.0         Ft. Worth Dunbar      T.C.U.

6’7”   Will Felmons(88)              23.5         Paducah                   Texas Tech

6’8”   Larry Davis(81)                 19.6         Lufkin                       S.M.U.                      CBA #11  

6’5”   Keenan DeBose(82)          27.2         Killeen High              Arkansas

6’5”   Sam Norton(81)                26.7         FW Paschal               U.T. Arlington

6’6”   Andre Allen(80)                18.6         Ft. Worth Dunbar      Illinois/UTA

6’4”   Todd Chambers(80)          22.0         Bay City                    Oklahoma

6’5”   Carlton McKinney(83)       27.6         Nixon                       S.M.U.                      CBA #2

6’6”   Darryl Johnson(87)           20.0         Houston Yates          San Francisco U.

6’7”   Pat Durham(85)                17.0         Wilmer Hutchins       Colorado State          Mavs NBA#35

6’4”   Hart Lee Dykes(85)           20.0         Bay City                    Oklahoma St.(Foot)   N.F.L. Patriots

6’5”   Lenzie Howell(86)             22.0         Dallas Bryan Adams   Arkansas                   CBA #38

6’6”   Jules Wells(84)                 14.0         Beaumont Pollard     Lamar

6’6”   Tom Grant(84)                 28.5         Aldine Nimitz            Houston

6’5”   Tim Howard(85)                25.3         Ft. Worth Dunbar      Angelo State

6’6”   Darrell Mickens(87)          18.6         Paris                         Houston                   CBA #78

6’1”   Darrell Mitchell(84)          19.1         Bryan                       Tyler J.C.(Knee)


6’4”   LaBradford Smith(87)*      26.5         Bay City                    Louisville                  BulletNBA#19

6’4”   Lance Blanks(85)*             22.2         Conroe McCullough  Virginia/Texas           PistonNBA#26

6’4”   Fennis Dembo(84)*          17.0         S.A. Fox Tech             Wyoming                 PistonNBA#30

6’4”   Carven Holcombe(83)*     24.4         Houston Yates          T.C.U.                       Draft Cavs #80

6’4”   Rodney Samuel(86)           22.0         Dallas S.O.C.             Okla/Odessa JC/W.Va.

6’3”   Jerry Mason(86)                30.6         Lamesa                     Texas Tech

6’4”   Carl Wright(82)                 25.0         Dallas Roosevelt       S.M.U.                      Draft 76er#113

6’2”   Eddie Cumbo(86)              23.6         Houston Wheatley    J.C./Houston

6’4”   Charles Young(82)            25.3         Tyler Lee                  Kilgore J.C.

6’3”   Carlton Cooper(81)           23.1         Paris                         Texas                        Draft Mav#132

6’5”   David Moss(83)                17.8         S.A. Sam Houston      Tulsa                        Draft Blaz#109

6’5”   Skeeter Henry(86)            19.6         South Grand Prairie   Midland JC/O.U.       NBA Suns FA

6’2”   Puntus Wilson(80)            20.1         Dallas S.O.C.             JC/ Ariz. St/Lamar U   CBA #67

6’5”   Matt England(80)             15.2         Houston Madison     L.S.U./H. Baptist       DraftBullet127

6’2”   Randy Williams(88)           23.0         Ft. Worth Dunbar      Midland JC

6’2”   Mark McCall(86)               20.3         El Paso High              U.T.E.P.                    Globetrotters

6’0”   Donnell Hayden(86)          25.3         North Mesquite        Baylor/North Texas

6’4”   Gary Heyland(82)             15.4         S.A. Churchill            Baylor/UTSA

6’3”   Robert Hughes(81)           19.0         Ft. Worth Dunbar      Texas/U.T. Arlington

6’5”   Dwayne Brown(83)           17.0         Dallas Kimball           Baylor/Lamar Univ.

6’6”   Reid Gettys(81)                12.6         S.B. Memorial           Houston                   Draft Bulls#103

6’3”   Darrell McArthur(86)        26.5         Silsbee                     Houston

6’4”   Gary Swain(83)                 24.5         Dallas Jesuit             Creighton

6’4”   Floyd Macon(85)              18.5         Dallas Samuel           Junior College

6’5”   Benford Williams(88)        21.0         Sweeny                    Texas       

6’5”   Darrin Terry(87)                19.3         Hughes Springs         A&M/Okla. City


6’0”   Mookie Blaylock(85)*       17.0         Garland High            Midland JC/O.U.       Bulls NBA #12

6’1”   Michael Williams(84)*      30.9         Dallas Carter             Baylor                      PistonNBA#48

5’4”   Spud Webb(81)*              25.0         Wilmer Hutchins       Midland JC/NC State PistonNBA#87

6’0”   Elmer Bennett(88)*          30.3         Houston Bellaire       Notre Dame             HawksNBA#38

6’3”   Sean Gay(85)                    16.5         Houston Madison     Texas Tech                 CBA #124

6’1”   Alvin Franklin(82)             28.0         La Marque                Houston                   Draft Kings #80

6’2”   Neil Derrick(87)                28.3         Garland                    Washington State

6’1”   Arthur Massey(87)            25.1         S.A. Roosevelt          San Diego State

6’0”   Derrick Daniels(88)           13.0         Ft. Worth Dunbar      Houston

6’1”   Charles McCovery(87)       21.0         LaPorte                    Oklahoma                 CBA #59

5’9”   Tony Terrell(88)                34.7         SA East Central         Oklahoma City

6’2”   Reggie Roberts(80)           22.6         McKinney High         Texas A&M

6’1”   Luster Goodwin(81)          16.9         Houston Kashmere   U.T.E.P                     Draft War. #71

5’11” Kato Armstrong(85)          18.0         South Garland          S.M.U.                      CBA #27

5’11” Todd Alexander(84)          21.0         Waxahachie             Minnesota/SMU

6’2”   Freddie Ricks(86)              25.2         Humble                    Texas A&M

6’1”   Eric Dickens(81)                17.1         Houston Madison     Houston

6’2”   Jack Worthington(81)        27.1         Spring High               Texas/Okla. City

6’3”   Johnny Fuller(83)              24.0         Wilmer Hutchins       S.M.U.

6’2”   Rod Jacques(85)                20.0         Conroe                     T.C.U.      

6’0”   Harold Howard(80)           23.5         Austin Lanier            Texas State

6’1”   Ricky Grace(84)                15.0         Wilmer Hutchins       Oklahoma                 Jazz,NBA#67

6’3”   Ken Walling(81)                13.7         Canyon                     West Texas A&M       Draft MLB

5’11” James Stern(81)                27.0         Waxahachie             Baylor

6’0”   Ron Singleton(82)             27.3         Dallas Carter             Ariz. St./Gr. Canyon   Draft Sun#146

5’10” Lamar Wadley(85)            22.0         Corsicana                 Texas State Tech Int.

6’2”   Jason Shead(86)                17.0         Austin Johnston        Angelina JC

By Year-1980(14), 1981(17), 1982(8), 1983(11), 1984(10), 1985(13), 1986(15), 1987(10), 1988(6):

By Schools-               Ft. Worth Dunbar(7) Willie Ashley, Robert Hughes Jr., Derrick Daniels, Andre Allen, Gilbert Collier, Tim Howard, Randy Williams:

Wilmer Hutchins(4) Spud Webb*, Ricky Grace, Reginald Muhammad, Pat Durham;

Houston Yates(4) Ricky Winslow*, Carven Holcombe, Darryl Johnson, Michael Young*;

Bay City(3) Hart Lee Dykes, LaBradford Smith*, Todd Chambers;

Houston Madison(3) Sean Gay, Matt England, Eric Dickens;

(*) Top 15 players of the Decade -80(3),81(2),82(0),83(3),84(2),85(2),86(0),87(2),88(1):


                                Top 5-A Teams 1980-87 “McKee”

  1. Houston Madison(85) 40-0         5-A State Champions
  2. LaPorte(87) 40-0         5-A State Champions
  3. Worth Dunbar(84) 38-1         5-A State Semi-Finals
  4. Arthur Lincoln(81) 36-3         5-A State Champions
  5. San Antonio Churchill(82) 37-3         5-A State Champions
  6. Bryan(83) 34-5         5-A State Champions
  7. Bryan(84) 31-6         5-A State Champions
  8. San Antonio Holmes(87) 32-6         5-A State Finals
  9. Dallas Roosevelt(81) 41-3         5-A State Semi-Finals
  10. Galveston Ball(82) 35-6         5-A State Finals
  11. Houston Kashmere(80) 31-5         4-A State Champions
  12. Worth Dunbar(81) 31-5         5-A State Semi-Finals
  13. Worth Dunbar(87) 38-1         5-A State Semi-Finals
  14. Houston Yates(80) 29-2         4-A Bi-District
  15. Houston Milby(80) 30-3         4-A District Runner-up
  16. Plano High(80) 32-4         4-A State Finals
  17. Conroe(85) 34-3         5-A State Finals
  18. Houston Yates(83) 37-3         5-A State Semi-Finals
  19. Dallas South Oak Cliff(85) 34-2         5-A Regional Semis
  20. Dallas Skyline(87) 34-2         5-A 2nd round
  21. Houston Madison(81) 35-4         5-A Regional Finals
  22. Clear Lake(81) 38-2         5-A Regional Semis
  23. San Antonio Fox Tech(84) 33-6         5-A State Semi-Finals
  24. Houston Yates(82) 33-4         5-A Bi-District
  25. Houston Washington(81) 30-6         5-A Regional Semis
  26. San Antonio Marshall(81) 29-8         5-A State Finals
  27. Dallas Roosevelt(80) 30-4         4-A Regional Finals
  28. Worth Paschal(80) 30-5         4-A District Runner-up
  29. Houston Milby(81) 29-8         5-A District Runner-up
  30. San Antonio Roosevelt(81) 35-5 5-A Regional Finals
  31. Dallas Roosevelt(82) 32-2         5-A District Runner-up
  32. Spring Br. Memorial(82) 36-5         5-A Regional Semis
  33. A. Sam Houston(82) 31-4         5-A Bi-District
  34. North Mesquite(82) 38-3         5-A State Semi-Finals
  35. Alief Hastings(87) 35-3         5-A Regional Finals
  36. Tyler Lee(82) 30-5         5-A Regional Semis
  37. A. Sam Houston(83) 32-8         5-A State Semi-Finals
  38. Dallas Kimball(83) 30-5         5-A Regional Finals
  39. Worth Dunbar(83) 33-3         5-A Regional Finals
  40. Dallas Kimball(84) 32-4         5-A Regional Finals
  41. Amarillo(86) 30-5         5-A State Champions
  42. Killeen(84) 29-3         Ineligible
  43. Dallas South Oak Cliff(86) 28-3         5-A Regional Finals
  44. Amarillo(87) 30-4         5-A Regional Finals
  45. Houston Madison(84) 29-3         5-A Regional Quarterfinals
  46. Worth Southwest(84) 27-11       5-A Regional Finals
  47. Aldine MacArthur(85) 30-3         5-A 1st Round
  48. Houston Memorial(84) 31-8         5-A State Finals
  49. Worth Paschal(83) 30-9         5-A State Finals
  50. Dallas Kimball(85) 30-3         5-A Regional Finals
  51. Dallas Kimball(86) 31-4         5-A State Finals
  52. Worth Dunbar(80) 30-8         5-A State Semi-Finals
  53. Houston Madison(80) 26-11       5-A Regional Finals
  54. San Antonio Highlands(84) 35-5 5-A Regional Finals
  55. South Garland(86) 31-3         5-A 2nd Round
  56. Worth Dunbar(86) 30-5         5-A Regional Finals

{4-A are not included, also class 5-A was 4-A in 1980}


                                                Power Ratings 1980-87

  1. Houston Madison(85) 40-0          93       5-A State Champs      Sean Gay
  2. Arthur Lincoln(86) 33-1          104.97       4-A State Champs      Anthony Allen
  3. Worth Dunbar(84) 38-1          103.64       5-A State Semis         R. Washington
  4. San Antonio Fox Tech(84) 33-6          74       5-A State Semis         Fennis Dembo
  5. Arthur Lincoln(81) 36-3         99.30       5-A State Champs      Leonard Allen
  6. Bryan(83)                 34-5         60       5-A State Champs      Rod Bernstein
  7. San Antonio Churchill(82) 37-2         50       5-A State Champs      Gary Heyland
  8. Galveston Ball(82) 35-6         87       5-A State Finals         Oscar White
  9. Dallas Roosevelt(81) 40-3         76       5-A State Semis         Carl Wright
  10. Beaumont Hebert(81) 35-2         60       4-A State Champs      Don Mickens
  11. Conroe(85) 34-3            56       5-A State Finals         Rod Jacques
  12. Clear Lake(81) 38-2         49       5-A Regional Semis    Russ Capps
  13. Bryan(84) 31-6         08       5-A State Champs      D. Mitchell
  14. Dallas South Oak Cliff(85) 34-2         95       5-A Regional Semis    Rodney Samuel
  15. Houston Yates(83) 37-3         90       5-A State Semis         Ricky Winslow
  16. Beaumont Pollard(85) 25-9         71       5-A Regional Finals    Alfred Minix
  17. Arthur Lincoln(85) 29-4         94.70       4-A Regional Semis    Anthony Allen
  18. San Antonio Holmes(87) 32-6         59       5-A State Finals         Keith Cash
  19. Worth Dunbar(87) 38-1         94.12       5-A State Semis         Derrick Daniels
  20. Mansfield(86) 31-2         12       4-A State Finals         Riley Smith
  21. Dallas Kimball(83) 30-5         97       5-A Regional Finals    D. Brown
  22. Dallas Roosevelt(82) 32-3         93       5-A District 2nd          Carl Wright
  23. Waxahachie(83) 35-2         87       4-A State Champs      T. Alexander
  24. South Garland(86) 31-3         65       5-A 2nd Round           Billy Smith
  25. Worth Dunbar(83) 33-3         92.02       5-A Regional Finals    R. Washington
  26. Amarillo(86) 31-5         00       5-A State Champs      Sam Simpson
  27. Beaumont Hebert(80) 35-2         95       3-A State C*(4-A)       R. Samuel
  28. Arthur Lincoln(84) 32-3         91.88       4-A State Champs      Kevin Bush
  29. LaPorte(87) 40-0         65       5-A State Champs      C. McCovery
  30. North Mesquite(82) 38-3         57       5-A State Semis         Brian Essary
  31. Worth Dunbar(81) 34-5         91.24       5-A State Semis         Willie Ashley
  32. Tyler Lee(82) 30-5         96       5-A Regional Semis    Charles Young
  33. Silsbee(83) 35-2         95       4-A State Semis         L. McArthur
  34. Beaumont Hebert(82) 30-3         81       4-A State Champs      Rahn Bailey
  35. Longview(81) 33-4         68       5-A Regional Finals    Stef Johnson
  36. Dallas South Oak Cliff(86) 28-3         50       5-A Regional Finals    Ronnie Morgan
  37. San Antonio Marshall(81) 31-8         39       5-A State Finals         Vittatoe Twins
  38. Plano(80) 32-4         20       4-A State F*(5-A)       Kirk Lundblade
  39. Worth Southwest(84) 27-11       90.15       5-A Regional Finals    N. Anderson
  40. Garland Lakeview(87) 25-8         15       5-A 3rd place             Louis Hicks
  41. Bay City(85) 35-1         70       4-A State Champs      Hart L. Dykes
  42. Dallas Skyline(87) 34-2         62       5-A 2nd Round           Larry Johnson
  43. Houston Yates(80) 29-2         38       4-A* Dist. Runner-up Michael Young
  44. Richardson(83) 32-3         23       5-A Regional Semis    M. Buchanan
  45. Worth Paschal(80) 30-5         89.07       4-A Dist. Runner-up   Sam Norton
  46. Austin Johnston(86) 34-3         93       5-A State Semis         Jason Shead
  47. Dallas Samuel(85) 24-9         87       5-A 2nd Round          F. Macon 
  48. Houston Washington(81) 30-6         83       5-A Regional Semis    Jerome Scott
  49. Alief Hastings(87) 35-3         81       5-A Regional Finals    Ronnie Ellison
  50. SA Sam Houston(83) 32-8         73       5-A State Semis         Raynard Davis
  51. Beaumont Westbrook(85) 29-4 48       5-A Regional Semis    Antonio Wells
  52. Beaumont Central(87) 23-7         32       5-A 2nd Round           Daimon Sweet
  53. Austin High(81) 37-1         26       5-A Bi-District           Kelly Blaine
  54. Houston Madison(83) 27-5         84       5-A Regional Quart    Greg Willis
  55. Houston Kashmere(80) 31-5         45       4-A State Champs      A. Godine
  56. Austin Travis(83) 30-4         23       5-A Regional Semis    Sly Kincheon
  57. Spring B. Memorial(82) 36-5         13       5-A Regional Finals    E. Poerschke
  58. Tyler John Tyler(83) 22-10       05       5-A Bi-District           Albert Dixon
  59. San Antonio Roosevelt(81) 35-5 01       5-A Regional Finals    Kelvin Moore
  60. Houston Yates(82) 33-4         95       5-A Bi-District           C. Holcombe
  61. Dallas Kimball(86) 31-4         93       5-A State Finals         Leonard Perry
  62. Houston Kashmere(81) 27-8         85       5-A Dist. Runner-up   L. Goodwin
  63. Houston Milby(81) 28-7         80       5-A Dist. Runner-up   Andre Ross
  64. Pampa(82) 29-5         80       5-A State Semis         Mike Nelson
  65. Waxahachie(80) 32-4         68       4-A* State Semis 3-A Vance Hughes
  66. Worth Dunbar(80) 30-9         86.64       5-A* State Semi        Gilbert Collier
  67. Arlington Sam Houston(84) 28-5 61       5-A 2nd Round          Cedric Williams
  68. San Antonio Highlands(84) 35-5 51       5-A Regional Finals    Paul Riley
  69. Amarillo(87) 30-4         50       5-A Regional Finals    Sam Simpson
  70. Worth Paschal(83) 30-8         86.50       5-A State Finals         V. Coleman
  71. Tyler John Tyler(87) 25-9         46       5-A Bi-District           L. Pettigrew
  72. South Garland(85) 27-7         43       5-A 1st Round           K. Armstrong
  73. Bay City(86) 34-1         36       4-A Regional Finals    L. Smith
  74. Houston Wheatley(86) 21-12       29       5-A State Semis         Ed Cumbo
  75. San Antonio E. Central(87) 33-4 28       5-A Regional Semis    Stan Coleman
  76. San Marcos(80) 27-5         25       4-A* Bi-District          Mike Wacker
  77. Waxahachie(82) 30-7         04       4-A State Finals         T. Alexander
  78. Spring B. Memorial(84) 31-8         04       5-A State Finals         Andy Gilchrist
  79. Killeen High(84) 29-3         91       5-A Ineligible            Webb Twins
  80. Waxahachie(81) 29-9         84       4-A State Semis         James Stern
  81. Richardson(87) 29-7         73       5-A State Semis         Robert Thoele
  82. Worth Dunbar(86) 30-5         85.70       5-A Regional Finals    M. Chambers
  83. San Antonio Churchill(81) 34-5         67       5-A Dist. Runner-up   J. Williamson
  84. Houston Madison(81) 35-4         58       5-A Regional Finals    Eric Dickens
  85. Dallas Kimball(85) 30-3         52       5-A Regional Semis    Carl Love
  86. Tyler John Tyler(85) 31-2         35       5-A 1st Round           James Johnson
  87. Aldine MacArthur(85) 30-3         30       5-A 1st Round           Keith Hill 
  88. Corsicana(85) 29-4         23       4-A Regional Finals    Lamar Wadley
  89. Beaumont Westbrook(87) 29-8 11       5-A 2nd Round           Talbert Avery
  90. Wilmer Hutchins(84) 27-7         08       5-A 2nd Round          Ricky Grace
  91. West Orange Stark(83) 30-7         85.08       5-A Regional Finals    C. Brown


1987 AAAA

                Pt. Arthur Lincoln(23-4) and Bay City(28-4) finished once again as the top two teams in the state in class 4-A. The Bees and Black Kats were responsible for the previous three straight titles, Lincoln in 1984 and 1986 and Bay City in 1985. Most observers felt they were clearly the two strongest teams in the state. All-American LaBradford Smith paced Bay City and Lincoln had a plethora of talent as usual. The two 4-A giants faced off once again battling it out for region III supremacy.

                Every season is exciting as new schools emerge with surprising success and talent. The 1987 4-A season was no different with several new teams coming out of the woodwork. Great basketball all over the state;

Region I

Region I was loaded with several quality teams during the ’87 campaign. Borger(26-5) had another strong group out west as well as Wichita Falls Hirschi(29-5). Andrews(29-3) had an high octane offense and was thought to be a dark horse. 6’6” Darion Newsome(26.5) of Hirschi was considered the top player in the region.

Borger handled District 1-4A fairly easily finishing 15-1. The Bulldogs only loss came at the hands of Canyon(19-13) 65-64 on Canyon’s home court. Borger(26-5) closed District action with a victory over Lubbock Estacado(19-11) 99-85. Members of the 1-4A All-District team from Borger were 6’2” Don Coffee and 6’0” Charles Walker on the 1st team. 5’11” Robey Hunnicutt was named to the 2nd team, 5’11” K.K. Kemp made the 3rd team and 5’10” Kevin Loftis was named honorable mention. The District MVP came from Lubbock Estacado, 6’3” Ryan Davis(29.9).

Standings 1-AAAA Borger(26-5) 15-1, Lubbock Estacado(19-11) 12-3, Levelland(22-9) 11-5, Canyon(19-13) 10-6, Dumas(17-14) 6-10, Hereford(10-20) 5-11, Pampa(9-21) 5-11, Lubbock Dunbar(6-24) 4-12, Wolforth Frenship(9-22) 3-13:

District 4-4A North Zone was a mess with Ft. Worth Northside(16-13), Ft. Worth Carter Riverside(11-15) and Ft. Worth Poly(13-11) all tied for first place at 7-3. FW Northside(16-13) downed FW Carter Riverside(11-15) 84-63 in a District playoff to advance against Ft. Worth Poly(13-11). The Steers defeated Poly 73-65 at Billingsley Field House and took the North Zone title.

Northside(16-13) prepared for Crowley(19-9) in the Zone Playoffs. Crowley was the runner-up in the South Zone behind Cleburne(22-6). Crowley(19-9) advanced to the playoffs defeating Ft. Worth Northside(18-13) 78-76. 

                Cleburne(22-6) captured the 4-4A North Zone title with very little fanfare. The Yellowjackets defeated Crowley(19-9) in District games 52-39 and 51-45. In the zone playoffs, Cleburne(22-6) advanced to the state playoffs with a 52-49 victory over Ft. Worth Carter-Riverside(11-15).

 Graham Hagood(17.0/7.0) paced Cleburne with 18 points while 6’3” Bill Allen and 6’3” Lee Troy combined for 20 rebounds. Carter-Riverside’s Mitchell Cole(19.0) was held well below his average, finishing with only 9 points. Cedric Ross claimed high point honors for Carter-Riverside with 20 points.  

Standings 4-AAAA North Zone-FW Northside(16-13) 7-3, FW Carter-Riverside(11-15) 7-3, FW Poly(13-11) 7-3, Everman(14-15) 5-5, FW Castleberry(17-12) 4-6, FW Brewer(7-24) 0-10: South Zone-Cleburne(22-6) 10-0, Crowley(19-9) 8-2, Granbury(15-14) 5-5, Joshua(8-18) 4-6, Brownwood(7-21) 3-7, Stephenville(6-22) 0-10:

South Zone All-District - Co-MVP 6’0” Justin Traweek(15.0/9.0/5.0 assist/5 steals)-Cleburne and 6’3” Graham Hagood(16.0/8.0/3 assists)-Cleburne, Coach of the Year- Jeff Cody of Cleburne, 1st Team- 5’8” Scotty Watson(10.0)-Cleburne, 6’4” Hoovere Royal(16.0)-Crowley, 5’11” Todd Royal(11.0)-Crowley, 6’5” David Svlak(11.0)-Joshua, 6’8” Brad Janek(14.0)-Joshua, 6’5” Bo Brawner(13.0)-Granbury, Chet Bverly(10.0)-Brownwood; 2nd Team- Kyle Elliott-Stephenville, Shane Perkins-Brownwood, Steve Moody-Crowley, Mark Thomas-Crowley, Barry Griffin-Granbury, Greg Balkney-Granbury, 6’2” Billy Allen(9.0/5.0)-Cleburne; Honorable Mention-Lee Troy-Cleburne, Brad Allen-Cleburne, Lancce Whitfill-Cleburne:  


                Cleburne(23-6) came into the playoffs on a 15-game winning streak against Mineral Wells(18-13). The Yellowjackets last loss had come against Diamond Hill. Hill’s quickness really gave Cleburne trouble. Cleburne barely survived Ft. Worth Carter-Riverside(12-15) in the zone playoffs winning a close one 52-49. Carter-Riverside had also relied on their quickness.

                Cleburne(23-6) displayed limited talent, but had an outstanding coach in Jeff Cody. The Yellowjackets relied on coaching and a high basketball IQ for success. A typical Yellowjacket game was close and low scoring. Cleburne(23-6) squared off against Mineral Wells(18-13) in Boswell for Bi-District. “Mineral Wells is very talented,” Coach Jeff Cody of Cleburne conveyed, “but I don’t think there as quick as Carter-Riverside. It’s tough to play against quickness and Carter was the quickest team we’ve played since Diamond Hill. We haven’t seen quickness like that in our zone.”              

                Cody discussed Mineral Wells(18-13). “They have very skilled players and they’re difficult to press, they have excellent outside shooters, they shoot the ball outside better than anybody we’ve faced this year, they’re a good solid ball club.” Coach Cody’s ability to assess talent was one of his many assets as a basketball coach.

                In a practice game prior to the playoffs, Mineral Wells(18-13) lost to Decatur(28-2) 77-59. The Rams ran multiple defenses and were coached by first year coach Jeff Parker.

The Rams line-up consisted of 6’2” Jeff Lampkins, 5’10” Hamrick, 6’0” Chris Motley, 6’2” Bruce Crippin and 6’3” Jeff Zuelsdorf. Coming off the bench was super-quick 5’10” Bobby Sutton and 6’3” Tony May. Lampkins was considered the team’s top outside threat and Hamrick handled the point. Coach Cody felt a triangle and two would be the best way to handle covering Hamrick and Lampkin. “We’ve looked at it, but when you start running gimmick defenses, you take away from rebounding. The two things we do well is play defense and rebounding, and we don’t want to mess with that. If we go to anything, it may be the match-up zone,” Cody said. “We’ve had good success with our presses,” Cody said. “But we’ll probably just pick Mineral Wells(18-13) up man-to-man all over the court.”

                Cleburne(23-6) played one of their worse halves of season against Mineral Wells(18-13) and trailed at intermission 24-18. The Yellowjackets really struggled against Mineral Wells(18-13) 1-2-2 zone. In a very slow deliberate game, Cleburne pulled out a 39-34 decision. “Our philosophy has always been to stay close with defense and rebounding,” said Cody. “If we can do that for three quarters, we feel like we’ll win our share.”

                “We were cold in the first half,” said Hagood. “We were fortunate to still be in the game at half.” Traweek(15.0/9.0) finished with 12 points, 10 rebounds, 5 steals and 2 assists. At the 4:20 mark of the final quarter and up by two, Coach Cody went into his delay game. The Rams began intentionally fouling.

                For Cleburne(22-6) it was their 7th straight win in Boswell dating back to 1981. “This gym has been very good to us,” said Cody. Hagood(17.0/7.0) finished with 12/5 and Watson came away with 8 points and 3 steals.

                Next up for Cleburne(23-6) was Andrews(29-3) out of West Texas. The Mustangs of Andrews had taken out Lubbock Estacado(19-11) in Bi-District 82-74.  Most observers felt the Mustangs were one of the favorites to come away with the region I title. “Andrews is stronger than Lancaster,” said Cody. “This will be like going against five sticks of dynamite. We’ve got to be careful and not have one of them blow up in our face.” Cleburne had lost earlier in the season to Lancaster(27-2) 67-56. Coach Cody felt Lancaster was the strongest team the Yellowjackets had faced.

                Andrews(29-3) was coached by Frank Bice and were on a 23-game winning streak. The Mustangs had some impressive wins defeating Lamesa(26-5) earlier in the season 90-63 at the Ft. Worth Lions Club Tournament in December. “I don’t know how much better we are now, but we’re better,” Coach Bice said. “We’re playing well, but I’m sure Cleburne is playing a lot better now than they were in the Lions Club tournament,” Bice said.

The Mustangs started 6’0” Bernard Williams(15.0), 6’1” sophomore Damon Clay(20.0/10.0), 5’10” sophomore Gym Bice(15.0), 5’6” Louis Clay(10.0) and 6’3”, 220 pound Mike Moisant(8.0/8.0). Andrews averaged 78.0 points a game in their high-powered attack. Louis Clay was considered the top point guard Cleburne(23-6) had faced over the course of the season.

                “Louis Clay is the best point guard we’ve seen this season,” Coach Cody explained. “He’s a terrific one on one player. I talked to the Lamesa coach, and he said Williams is the best one on one player he’d ever seen.” Cody continued, “That didn’t make me feel to good, because Lamesa had the Mason brothers a couple of years ago. I thought they were pretty good one on one players.”

Cody discussed the Mustangs attack, “they fast break, and they press, they like to isolate you one on one in the open court. They figure if they do that, you’ll foul’em or they’ll shoot a lay-up.” Cody said, “Andrews is very quick. The thing we can’t allow to happen is for their quickness to intimidate us.”

                Andrews(29-3) ran a multitude of defenses. Man-to-man, 1-3-1 zone, full court man, 1-2-2 three quarter, half-court zone and a diamond and one; Coach Cody discussed what defense the Yellowjackets would open in, “it really won’t make much difference, because we’ll change defenses after a few minutes.” Cody continued explaining, “we may play some 1-2-2 zone and run a triangle, so we can guard Williams and Bice man for man.” Cody said, “Foul trouble is one of the hazards of starting in man-to-man, but we’ve got to start out in what we do best. We’re not saving anything for the prom,” Cody said. “We have to play to win, I’m kinda hoping Andrew’s scouts are still trying to figure out what we were doing on offense in the first half against Mineral Wells,” Cody said.

                In the regional semi-finals at Hardin-Simmons in Abilene, Cleburne(23-6) pulled another major upset defeating Andrews(29-3) 50-41. “We were the underdogs, nobody really expected us to win,” Cleburne’s Scotty Watson said. “I don’t think Andrews had played against anyone who plays man-to-man defense like we do,” Watson continued. “And I think that once they saw they couldn’t run the score up on us, they were a little startled. They’d been used to blowing everybody away.”

                Hagood(17.0) was able to put Cleburne(23-6) up 33-29 with only 5:56 remaining in the game. With 2:18 remaining 6’1” Traweek hit two foul shots that put the Yellowjackets in control 39-31. Watson(7.0) gave Cleburne(23-6) a ten-point spread 41-31 with a coast to coast lay-up seconds later. “We shot well, and they didn’t shoot well, but I’d like to think we had something to do with the way they shot,” said Cody.

                Andrews(29-3) opened the game in a zone, but switched to man-to-man quickly. “They switched defenses a lot, and we did a great job of recognition, especially after one day of practice,” Cody said.

                “I stopped evaluating this team after the first Crowley game,” Cody said. “We can’t play much better than we played tonight, but if we can play one more like this, we’ll be in the state tournament.”

                In the other side of the bracket, Wichita Falls Hirschi(28-5) got the better of Crowley(20-9) in Bi-District 91-65 behind 26 points by 6’6” Darion Newsome(26.5). The Huskies went on a 32-10 run in the 4th quarter to advance to the regional semi-finals against Borger. Crowley closed out the season at 20-10. Borger showed their strength advancing with a 91-67 win over Lamesa in Bi-District.

In the regional semi-finals, Borger(26-5) went at it against Wichita Falls Hirschi(29-5). The Huskies and Bulldogs were both top ten ranked teams and the winner looked to have the inside track on state. The site for the match-up was the Amarillo Civic Center. The Huskies had to make a four-hour journey to Amarillo and support would be scarce.

                Borger(27-5) was attempting to make amends for their regional final loss the year before to Mansfield. 6’2” Don Coffer(16.9/7.1/58% FG) 6’0” Charles Walker(14.2/9.0/3.3 steals)were the key inside threats for the Bulldogs. Robey Hunnicutt(15.1), K.K. Kemp(14.7/5.2) and Kevin Loftis(9.3/4.1/55% FG) filled out the starting lineup for Borger.

The Huskies countered with 6’6” Damon Newsome(27.0/15.6), 6’4” Derrick Glasker, 6’2” Dean Holt(10.0), Keith Stevenson(14.0/8 assists) and 6’0” Daryl Gould. Stevenson was a three-year starter, who came off the football field as the starting quarterback. Reggie Flenoy provided support off the bench. Coach Randy Byers was in his 7th season with Hirschi and had won six consecutive District titles. “We’re going to have to slow down their break as much as we can and hope that we can shoot,” Byers said.  

                Coach Hunt of Borger(27-5) felt his team would have to shoot a high percentage due to the size disadvantage against the Huskies.

                Some 2000 fans crammed into the Amarillo Civic Center and watched Borger(27-5) come away with a 75-71 victory over Hirschi(29-5). Borger(27-5) advanced to the regional finals for the 2nd season in a row against the Cleburne(25-6) Yellowjackets.

Borger(27-5) trailed 65-58 with 5:50 remaining when K.K. Kemp came alive. Kemp scored ten straight points and put the Bulldogs up 68-67 with 3:06 left in the contest. Borger(27-5) was able to outscore Hirschi 17-4 over a three-minute stretch. With only 23 seconds remaining, Borger was up 75-69 over Hirschi.

K.K. Kemp finished with 16 points, Charles Walker came away with 14/9 and Don Coffer was high point man with 22 points. Coffer was 12 for 12 from the line. Robey Hunnicutt had been feeling ill before the game and struggled with 2 of 10 from the floor and 3 of 5 from the line.

                Newsome was impressive with 30 points and 15 rebounds in a losing cause for the Huskies. Coach Randy Byers felt the difference in the game was foul trouble with his guards. “When we lost our guards to fouls, we lost our assist people. It was just a matter of time,” Byers said. Three Huskies were disqualified in the 4th quarter due to fouls. Keith Stevenson still managed 17 points; Terry Phillips put up 10 points as well. Stevenson, Phillips and Gould all fouled out. Borger finished the day 23 of 33 from the foul line.

Regional Finals

                Regional finalist, Cleburne(24-6) and Borger(28-5), were all too familiar with playoff basketball and each other. After Tuesday’s 2nd round victory, Cleburne traveled back home from Abilene and had one good practice on Thursday before heading north in the morning for Amarillo. Borger(28-5) on the other hand played pretty much a home game against Wichita Falls Hirschi(27-5) in Amarillo. “Successful teams must over-come obstacles,” Cody said. “This game stands between us and the state tournament. We’ll reach back and find a little something extra.”

For the Yellowjackets it was their 5th regional final trip over a course of seven years. In 1981 Cleburne lost to Canyon, in 1982 Andrews took them down, in ’84 Cleburne defeated Hirschi to advance to state and in 1985, the Yellowjackets went down to Lamesa. “We’re proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish in the playoffs,” Cody said. “At this point, you have to be good, but you also have to get some breaks,” Cody explained.  

Cleburne(25-6) looked to 6’3” Graham Hagood(16.0/8.0), 6’0” Justin Traweek(14.0/8.0), 6’2” Bill Allen(8.0) and 6’2” Lee Troy(9.0). “We don’t go into a ball-game to hold the ball, but we try to be patient and play within what our kids are capable of doing,” Coach Jeff Cody of Cleburne said. “When it all started this year, we weren’t even supposed to be playing in this ballgame. We’ve just got to try to do what our kids can do to stay in the ballgame. These kids are very coachable and overachievers. When they were in the 7th, 8th and 9th grades, they were all B-teamers.” Cody continued saying, “It’s been one of the most fun seasons I’ve ever had.”

                Borger(28-5) started 5’11” K.K. Kemp, 5’11 Robey Hunnicutt, 5’10” Kevin Loftis, 6’2” Don Coffey(16.9/7.1) and 6’0” Chris Walker(14.2/9.0). Coming off the bench for Coach Duane Hunt was 5’11” Junior Loftis and 6’1” Allan Hurd.

                Don Coffey had put up 22 points in the win over Lamesa and a season high of 29 vs. Hirschi. “The Bulldogs of Borger presses a great deal more than Andrews did. They’ll jump switch and that’s something we haven’t faced in a while,” Cody said.

                The Yellowjackets as always would attempt to control the tempo. Borger on the other hand wanted a much faster tempo. “We want to make them play our style of basketball. Borger(28-5) will press us hard trying to force quick shots,” Cody said. “We’ll try not to shoot it quickly.” Cody continued his scouting report saying, “they’ve had a good look at what we try to do, but at this point in the season I think everybody has everyone else pretty well scouted.” Officials would be coming out of the Nacogdoches chapter. Coach Cody had wanted the San Antonio chapter, but lost the flip.

                Coach Duane Hunt of Borger(28-5) felt getting an early lead would be critical in disrupting Cleburne’s tempo. “If you can ever get ahead of people like that, then they usually have troubles playing catchup,” Hunt commented. “They’re very deliberate and patient. They take nothing but good shots. They turned down layups against Andrews(29-3) if there was nobody back and will pull the ball back out and work for their one good shot.” Coach Hunt continued saying, “They’re a good club, Traweek and Hagood are both good players.”

Although Borger was favored, Cleburne seemed to have the Bulldogs number coming into the contest. The Yellowjackets had defeated Borger two previous times in Vernon. Also, the Yellowjackets would be going for their 5th straight win over Borger.

                Cleburne(24-6) came away with a 58-57 win over Borger(28-5) to advance to state in front of some 1200 fans in Vernon. The game was a see-saw battle going back and forth. Things were tied with 2:04 remaining when KK Kemp put Borger up 56-53 by knocking down 3 of 4 foul shots. Justin Traweek responded for Cleburne hitting a driving layup to bring the Yellowjackets within one point at 56-55. Traweek turned right around and fouled Borger’s Kevin Loftis and Coach Hunt was adamant that the foul was intentional. Hunt lost his battle with Loftis hitting the front end of a one-an-one to make the score 57-55. Traweek pulled down the rebound for Cleburne and was fouled with 27 seconds on the clock. Traweek closed the gap to one for Cleburne(25-6) hitting the front end of the one and one. Borger proceeded to throw the ball away giving Cleburne(25-6) the ball right back. Unlike most high school teams, Coach Cody of Cleburne did not call timeout as his team brought the ball up court. With six seconds left, Scott Watson hit Lance Whitfill for the winning bucket from 8 foot away. The Bulldogs had 3.9 remaining on the clock and called timeout. Loftis put up a 40-footer at the buzzer that barely missed.

“Traweek was who Coach Cody wanted taking the final shot,” Whitfill said. “We were designed to clear out for Traweek,” Coach Cody explained. “The best you hope for on a situation like that is to get a good shot.”

                Cleburne(25-6) was led by Justin Traweek(15.0) with 17 points, 8 rebounds, 5 steals and 3 assists. Joining Traweek was 6’3” Graham Hagood(17.0) with 9/5, 6’3” Bill Allen(7.0) with 10 points and 6’3” Lee Troy(6.0) was good for 10/9. The Yellowjacket’s Graham Hagood had fouled out with 1:54 remaining and Lee Troy left the action at 4:15 remaining. Coach Cody brought in seldom used 6’4” Bill Macklin and 6’3” sophomore, Lance Whitfill.

                Coach Hunt of Borger(28-5) was not happy with the physical play during the game. “We had to be pretty cautious, there was so much physical contact inside. They worked Coffer over inside. We just could not get the ball in to him in the low area. The officials were not going to call that. When that happens, you’ve got to go to other things,” Hunt said.

                “I didn’t think we could win with that many turnovers,” said Cody. “But Borger had the big turnover at the end that came back to haunt’em.” “We’ve been a team all year,” Cody said. “We’ve had people pick-up the slack all year. Macklin and Whitfill did the job they had to do.”

                For Cleburne(26-6) it was their 18th straight win. Cleburne finished 12 of 16 from the foul line and Borger ended the game 13 of 17. Kemp led the Bulldogs with 14 points and Coffer(16.9) finished with 13 points and 9 rebounds. Borger finished another fine season at 28-6. Borger(28-5) was 22 of 63 from the floor for 35% and Cleburne shot over 52% from the field hitting 23 of 44.

Region II

                During the 1987 season, Region II looked stronger than in years past with Paris(27-5), Lancaster(29-2) and Wilmer Hutchins(23-11) as the favorites to advance to Austin. All three were ranked in the top ten in the final TABC polls.  

District 7-4A had three of the top teams in region II, Lancaster(29-2), Wilmer-Hutchins(23-11) and Waxahachie(21-8). The Lancaster(29-2) Tigers entered District at 17-0 and held down the state’s top ranking for a short time. Coach Joe Rushing returned three starters from a 22-8 playoff team, 6’9” Randy Yarber(13.0), 5’6” James Cain and 6’3” Todd Westbrook. Unfortunately, Westbrook missed every game with a lengthy illness. Coach Rushing was creating a winning culture in Lancaster with aggressive man to man pressure defense and ball control offense. Also bursting onto the scene was a young sophomore named Thomas Hill. Before his career was over, the 6’3” Hill would be considered the best player to ever play at Lancaster. Hill played college ball at Duke, where he started on two national championship teams.

                Lancaster had some impressive wins in pre-district; 59-46 over Bishop Lynch(25-10), Cleburne(23-6) 67-56, Mineral Wells(18-13) 67-59, Dallas Adamson(20-9) 76-47 and Dallas Hillcrest(19-9) 77-60:

                Lancaster’s chief challenge in the District came from Wilmer Hutchins(23-11). Hutch climbed all the way to #3 in the final TABC rankings. The Eagles returned two of the top guards in the Dallas area in 6’1” Briant Collier(24.9) and 6’2” Joel Donaldson(27.0). Joining Collier and Donaldson was a young talented group of underclassmen moving up from a 24-5 junior varsity squad.

                Wilmer Hutchins(23-11) played one of the strongest pre-season schedules in the state in class 4-A. Wilmer Hutchins took down Dallas Adamson(20-10) 71-67, beat Paris(27-5) 67-62, defeated Dallas Lincoln(11-9) 89-82 and Dallas Samuel(16-15) 85-76. Losses were numerous against a challenging group. Hutchins loss to Ft. Worth Dunbar(34-0) 75-74, Lubbock Monterey(23-11) 78-72, Lake Highlands(18-12) 66-60, Plano(20-12) 75-62, Gainesville(13-16) 76-74, Wheatley(13-14) 71-70, Tyler Lee(26-5) 54-48, Dallas Jesuit(19-10) 73-62 and Dallas Kimball(23-8) 80-68.

                Traditional power Waxahachie(21-8) was considered a contender for the 7-4A title as well. Leading the Indians attack were 6’2” Billy Slaughter, 6’2” Maurice Alexander(20.4) and 6’8” James Stern. “Lancaster and Wilmer-Hutchins are a notch above everybody else,” Coach John Nickols of Waxahachie commented. Hachie struggled during the pre-season losing to Corsicana(13-16) 66-59, Rockwall(17-10) 54-51 and Ft. Worth Northside(16-13) 67-50.

                Waxahachie(21-8) made a big splash as District opened defeating Lancaster(29-2) 55-49. For the Tigers it was their first loss of the season. “We really let their crowd intimidate us. Defensively, we let them beat us with second shots, and Alexander killed us with his outside shooting.”

Foul trouble was a major concern for the Tigers as 6’9” Randy Yarber, Thomas Hill and Andre Mitchell had four fouls entering the final period. Lancaster looked to have things under control leading 47-41 late only to watch Waxahachie’s Maurice Alexander take over the game. Alexander hit four straight foul shots and a two pointer to pull his team into the lead 55-49. Alexander finished with 24 points, while Hill paced Lancaster with 18 points, 8 rebounds and 7 steals. Alexander and Hill were two of the top guards in the state regardless of classification. The Waxahachie(21-8) loss was doubly disappointing for the Tigers having just gained the state’s top ranking in the TABC poll.

                In the next big showdown, Lancaster(29-2) faced Wilmer-Hutchins(23-11) on the Tigers home court. Lancaster proved too strong for Hutch winning a hard-fought overtime victory 67-62. “This was a must win for us,” Rushing said. “Two losses this early in district would have been a difficult hurdle to clear.” 6’9” Randy Yarber had a big evening with 19/7/2 steals. James Cain and Thomas Hill added 13 points apiece, while Andre Mitchell put up 12/8/3 steals.

The Eagles were led by Ronald Johnston with 16 points, Joel Donaldson(27.0) with 15 points and Briant Collier(24.9) finishing with 14 points. The Tigers moved to 19-1 on the season and 2-1 in District action. 

                Lancaster(29-2) had little trouble in the second contest against the Indians of Waxahachie(21-8) winning 62-46. Coach Rushing put five players in double figures in the victory. “We had a great effort against Maurice Alexander and that allowed us to stay on top,” Coach Rushing said. Hill finished with 16 points, followed by Yarber with 13 points and 9 rebounds. Mitchell came away with 11 points and 9 rebounds. 5’6” James Cain had a big night as well with 10 points, 4 rebounds, 4 steals and 10 assists. Lancaster(29-2) moved to 25-1 and 8-1 in District tied with Wilmer Hutchins(23-11).

                Wilmer-Hutchins(23-11) took down Lancaster(28-2) on their home court to give the Tigers their second loss of the season 63-59. Collier and Donaldson combined for 58 points in the Eagles victory over Lancaster. The Eagles euphoria was short lived as they turned right around and were upset by Waxahachie(21-8) 75-73. Alexander showed why he was named All-State finishing with 29 points. The loss gave both Lancaster and Wilmer-Hutchins(23-11) two District losses. Waxahachie(21-8) had lost their first round game to Wilmer Hutchins(23-11) 78-63.

                Waxahachie(21-8) failed to keep pace with the front runners in District, losing to Corsicana(13-16) 68-59. Alexander was unstoppable with 28 points in the loss, but the Indians had nobody else in double figures. The loss dropped Waxahachie one game back of the league leaders Lancaster(29-2) and Wilmer-Hutchins(23-11).

Everything looked solid for Wilmer Hutchins(23-11) as they entered the last week of the season tied for the District lead at 10-2. The bottom fell out for the Eagles as Wilmer Hutchins(23-11) was forced to forfeit their final two District games due to scheduling too many games. The forfeits dropped Wilmer Hutchins record to 10-4 and out of the playoff picture. Waxahachie(21-8) was the benefactor moving into the playoffs at 11-3.

For Lancaster(29-2), they wrapped up their first District title since the 1963-64 season defeating Corsicana(13-16) 69-50. The Tigers were considered the front runner in region II.

7-AAAA Final Standings: Lancaster(29-2) 12-2, Waxahachie(21-8) 11-3, Wilmer Hutchins(23-11) 10-4, Ennis(14-15) 7-7, Cedar Hill(15-17) 6-8, Corsicana(13-16) 6-8, Midlothian(9-21) 3-11, Red Oak(10-19) 1-13:

All-District 7-4A 1st Team-6’2” Joel Donaldson(27.0), Wilmer Hutchins; 5’6” James Cain(18.0), Lancaster; 6’1” Briant Collier(24.9), Wilmer Hutchins; 6’4” Thomas Hill(18.0), Lancaster; 6’2” Gerald Love, Ennis; 6’1” Andy Dotson, Corsicana; District MVP-5’11” Maurice Alexander, Waxahachie; Sophomore or the Year- 5’11” Bert Millner, Cedar Hill; Coach of the Year-Joe Rushing-Lancaster:

In District 6-4A, Dallas Hillcrest(19-9), Dallas Madison(18-8), Dallas Lincoln(11-9) and Dallas Adamson(20-9) all had formidable teams. Hillcrest(19-9) returned their entire starting lineup and their 3 top reserves. Hillcrest started out slowly in District losing to Seagoville(10-17) 72-68 and Dallas Lincoln(11-9) 76-73. With a 3-2 record in District, Patrick Williams and Lonnie Fuller joined the team from football. The Panthers proceeded to go unbeaten through the remainder of District. Hillcrest(19-9) ran the table defeating Dallas Madison(18-8) 72-70 and 69-68, Dallas Adamson(20-10) 80-65 and Dallas Lincoln(11-9) 93-84.

Dallas Hillcrest(19-9) pre-district campaign was unimpressive as the Panthers struggled around the 500 mark. They did have one quality win over state-ranked Borger(27-5) 66-63.

Dallas Madison(18-8), Dallas Lincoln(11-9) and Dallas Adamson(20-9) fought it out for the 2nd spot in District. Adamson and Lincoln finished tied at 8-4 with Adamson(20-9) advancing to the playoffs. Dallas Lincoln(11-9) relied on 5’11” Rodney Tucker(20.8) and 6’3” Gerald Williams. 5’11” Jerry Johnson(16.9/7.3) was the man for Dallas Madison.

6-AAAA Final Standings: Dallas Hillcrest(19-9) 10-2, Dallas Adamson(20-9) 8-4, Dallas Lincoln(11-9) 8-4, Dallas Madison(18-8) 7-5, Seagoville(10-17) 6-6, North Dallas(9-17) 3-9, Dallas Woodrow Wilson(1-21) 0-12:

All-District 6-4A 1st Team- 5’11” Tyrone Maxey(12.0/10.8 asst), Dallas Hillcrest; 6’0” Rodney Tucker(20.8), Dallas Lincoln, 6’4” Quincy Washington, Hillcrest; 6’2” Tony Craig(22.7/11.3), Dallas Madison; 6’3” Jeffrey Shelley, Dallas Adamson; 6’3” Elzie Barnett, Seagoville; Player of the Year-Quincy Washington-Hillcrest, Sophomore or the Year- 6’3” Jeffrey Shelley-Adamson; Coach of the Year-Steve Scott-Hillcrest:

                In 5-4A Paris(27-5) had their best team since Carlton Cooper back in 1981. The Wildcats got by McKinney(18-11) and Rockwall(17-10) to claim the East Zone title. Coach Mike Long’s team centered around the talents of 5’7” Dexter Williams(12.0/8.0 assist) and 6’4” Darrell Mickens(16.7). Paris(27-5) easily took the zone title going undefeated while McKinney(18-11) and Rockwall(17-10) battled it out for the runner-up spot.

Paris(27-5) attempted to play as challenging a schedule as possible being located deep in East Texas. In pre-season action the Wildcats took down Denison(17-11) 80-71 and lost to Wilmer Hutchins(21-8) 67-62 and Dallas Samuel(16-15) 63-61.

McKinney(18-11), coached by Chester Story, defeated the Yellowjackets of Rockwall in the two rivals first District meeting. The Lions defeated Rockwall 49-48 on 6’4” Everett Tutson’s foul shot with six seconds on the clock. Tutson(19.8) was the focus of Rockwall’s defensive effort and only managed 7 points on the evening. Jackie Lynn(14.6) stepped up for Coach Chester Story and led the Lions in scoring with 11 points and six steals. Story commented after the game, “we held their leading scorer(Chris Crawford) to just two points. Lynn did a great job defending.” 6’6” Glen Swain led the Yellowjackets in the loss with 19 points. Coach John Williamson was in his first year at the helm with the Yellowjackets replacing Hal Cunnyngham.

McKinney(18-11) traveled up to Paris(27-5) in the last game of the first round of District supporting a 4-1 mark. The Lions were totally destroyed by the Wildcats 81-58. “They play 10 and 12 kids a lot, and they dominated us on the boards. They have a 6’6” kid coming off the bench,” Story explained.

In 2nd round action, Rockwall(17-10) and McKinney(18-11) went at it once again on the Yellowjackets home court. Coach Williamson’s squad was up to the task defeating McKinney 62-55. Rockwall(17-10) looked to 6’6” Glen Swain(17.0), 5’10” Chris Crawford(9.0) and 6’3” Eric Atwood as team leaders. Tutson paced the Lions with 16 points and 20 rebounds in the loss. “This is the best I’ve seen them play,” Story said speaking of Rockwall’s improved play.

Paris(27-5) traveled to McKinney(18-11) looking to wrap-up the zone title. The Lions of McKinney looked to starters 6’4” Chip Rodgers, 6’4” Everett Tutson, 6’3” Ross Johnson, 5’9” Jackie Lynn and 5’10” Sam Walker. Lynn and Walker were three-year starters.  

McKinney(18-11) was unable to pull the upset losing 65-52 to Paris. The good news for the Lions was Rockwall(17-10) had lost to North Lamar(6-22), putting McKinney in the driver’s seat for 2nd place in the North Zone. Darrell Mickens paced the Wildcats in the win over McKinney with 17 points. “Mickens is a major college prospect,” Coach Story said. “They go to the boards, especially the offensive boards. They have speed and quickness. They play a lot of kids and they just wear you down, they just have some great athletes,” Story explained. Dexter Williams added 12 points for Paris and Carlton Fullbright followed with 10, mostly from the perimeter.

The West Zone battle was much more competitive with Denison(17-11) coming away with first place followed by Gainesville(13-16). The Leopards split with Denison(17-11) and Allen(21-9), but were upset by The Colony(5-21) 64-56. The loss knocked Gainesville(13-16) out of a first place tie with Denison(17-11).

Paris(27-5) defeated Gainesville(13-16) 66-55 in the zone playoff game between the top team in the East and runner-up in the West. Paris had the home court advantage because they had won their zone. Darrell Mickens and Dexter Williams paced Paris with 16 points apiece. Derrell Comer led the Leopards with 24 points.  

McKinney(18-11) took a warm-up game to prepare for their zone playoff game against Denison(17-11). The Lions faced state ranked AAA power Ferris(26-5). Coach Story wanted to get in a game after being off for several days. Ferris traveled to McKinney and ripped the Lions rather easily 58-33. Ferris put four players in double digits.

In the zone playoff between Denison(17-11) and McKinney(18-11) the Lions had to face the Yellowjackets on their home court. Denison man-handled McKinney winning easily 84-47. McKinney lost their top defensive player, Jackie Lynn, with 2:46 left in the first quarter with a knee injury. Lynn’s assignment was to contain Denison’s Duane McFarland, the Yellowjackets top weapon. McFadden went on to put up 27 points, followed by Claude Bell with 14. Things got even worse for the Lions when Tutson picked up his 4th foul mid-way through the 3rd quarter. “We did everything we knew to get them off their game.” Coach Story said. McKinney finished the season at 18-13. For the Lions of McKinney, it was their first playoff experience in seven years. 

5-AAAA Final Standings: East- Paris(27-5) 10-0, McKinney(18-11) 7-3, Rockwall(17-10) 6-4, Terrell(7-20) 3-7, North Lamar(6-22) 3-7, West Mesquite(5-23) 1-9. West-Denison(17-11) 8-2, Gainesville(13-16) 7-3, Allen(21-9) 6-4, Northwest(15-14) 4-6, Boswell(14-12) 3-7, The Colony(5-21) 2-8:

All-District 1st Team East Zone- 5’7” Dexter Williams-Paris, 6’4” Everett Tutson(19.8)-McKinney, 5’9” Jackie Lynn(14.6)-McKinney, 6’6” Glen Swain(17.0)-Rockwall, 5’10” Chris Crawford(9.0)-Rockwall, 6’0” Cory Young-North Lamar; MVP- 6’4” Darrell Mickens(17.0/11.0)-Paris, Newcomer of the Year-6’3” freshman Martin Harrington-West Mesquite, Coach of the Year-Mike Long-Paris. 2nd Team-Todd Johnson-Paris, Ferris Bills-Paris, Charles Wilson-Terrell, Eric Atwood-Rockwall, Sam Walker(*)-McKinney:

All-District 1st Team West Zone- 5’11” Mike Glerkey-Northwest, 6’4” Derrell Comer-Gainesville, 6’5” Greg Newman-Boswell, 6’0” Stacey Moore-Denison, 6’2” Keith Compton-Allen; District MVP-6’4” Duane McFadden-Denison, Sophomore of the Year-6’4” Bret Barrick-Gainesville, Newcomer of the Year-6’2” Corey Booker-Gainesville, Coach of the Year- Bob Clayton-Denison.

(*) Sam Walker was the head man at Texas A&M Commerce for several years.

                Henderson(24-7) defeated Palestine(21-9) 70-51 to wrap up the South Zone title in District 8-4A. Carthage(22-9) and Palestine(21-9) tied for the runner-up spot and were forced to have a playoff for 2nd place. Palestine(21-9) proceeded to eliminate Carthage(22-9) 69-51 in an easy win at John Tyler gym. Lee Brown and Felix Stephens combined for 33 points in the Palestine win. Kenneth Robinson fueled the Carthage attack with 23 points.  

In the North Zone, Whitehouse(25-4) won the title, but were taken down by Sulphur Springs 53-49, which left Sulphur Springs, Liberty-Eylau and Mt. Pleasant tied for 2nd place. Liberty-Eylau eliminated Sulphur Springs 69-50 to force a playoff with Mt. Pleasant. The Tigers of Mt. Pleasant(18-10) defeated Liberty-Eylau to advance to the zone playoffs. Mt. Pleasant was paced by Newcomer of the Year in East Texas, sophomore 6’4” Keith Fields(18.0).    

Two established programs met in the zone playoffs in District 8-4A in Palestine(21-9) and Whitehouse(24-6). Palestine owned a 62-60 win over Whitehouse earlier in the season on their home court in January. Whitehouse(24-6) had moved up from class AAA and had a dynamite program having made the playoffs 16 out of the previous 17 years. Whitehouse had also appeared in the playoffs every season since 1975.

Starters for Whitehouse included, 6’4” Chris Moran(15.0), 6’4” Corey Greenhouse(14.0), Scott Cooper(10.0), Roy Fuller(10.0) and  5’10” David Johnson. Coming off the bench for Whitehouse was Jeff North(11.0). Coach C.L. Nix described Palestine, “they’re all quick.”

Palestine(21-9) had advanced to the state tournament the previous season and was not really intimidated by Whitehouse. Palestine(21-9) had tied Henderson(24-7) for the first half zone title only to fall to 3-2 in the second round. Palestine(21-9) defeated Carthage(22-9) in a zone playoff to advance against Whitehouse(24-6).

Making up the starting line-up for Palestine: 6’5” B. Jenkins, 5’11” Felix Stephens, 6’3” Anthony Crist, 6’2” Ivory Lee Brown and 6’2” Charles Mims.

Palestine(21-9) defeated Whitehouse(25-4) 58-53 to win a 8-4A District playoff game at Lon Morris College. Felix Stephens paced Palestine to victory with 20 points. Palestine looked to Stephens, Ivory Lee Brown and Charles Mims for success. Chris Moran and Corey Greenhouse led Whitehouse with 18 apiece. Palestine advanced to the state playoffs.

Henderson(24-7) took down Mt. Pleasant(19-10) 70-68, the North Zone runner-up, at Longview Pine Tree high school. Henderson seemed to have things well in hand up 69-58 with only 2:41 to play before Mt. Pleasant rallied with a 10-1 run. Keith Fields brought Mt. Pleasant within one point with 47 seconds left on the clock. That was as close as the Tigers could get.

Henderson was paced by Jeff Henson with 22 points and Darwin Pauley with 19 points. Mt. Pleasant looked to their two talented sophomores, 6’7” Kenneth Haley and 6’4” Keith Fields(18.0). Haley finished with 17 points and Fields added 14 points.

Standings 8-4A South Zone-Henderson(23-7), Carthage*(22-9), Jacksonville(19-9), Palestine*(20-8), Chapel Hill(17-12), Athens(7-20); Henderson won both halves of District; 8-4A North Zone-Whitehouse(24-5), Mt. Pleasant*(18-10), Hallsville(15-14), Kilgore(10-18), Sulphur Springs(13-14), Liberty Eylau*(16-12): Whitehouse and Mt. Pleasant finished 4-1 in 2nd half of District action, (*) tied for District runner-up:

All-District 8-4A North Zone: MVP 6’4” Chris Moran(15.0)-Whitehouse, Coach of The Year- C.L. Nix-Whitehouse and Steve Armstrong-Sulphur Springs, Sophomore of the Year- Keith Fields-Mt.Pleasant and Kenneth Hailey-Mt. Pleasant: 1st Team-6’0” Stacik Vaughn(16.2)-Liberty-Eylau, 6’3” Kent Cooper(13.0)-Mt. Pleasant, 6’4” Corey Greenhouse(14.0)-Whitehouse, 5’10” David Johnson(7.0)-Whitehouse, 6’5” Reggie Pegasus(9.0)-Kilgore, 6’0” Patrick Moore(17.0)-Kilgore, 5’10” Troy Ivory(14.0)-Sulphur Springs, 6’0” Ridney Howard(18.0)-Hallsville, 6’0” Patrick Elam(13.0)-Hallsville, 5’11” Heath Johnson(20.0) Sulphur Springs, 6’4” Jeff North(12.0)-Whitehouse:

All-District 8-4A South Zone: MVP 6’4” Darwin Pauley(18.0/7.0)-Henderson, Coach of the Year-Jody Sory – Henderson, 1st Team-6’1” Jeff Henson-Henderson, 6’2” Ivory Lee Brown-Palestine, 6’2” Charles Mims-Palestine, Felix Stephens-Palestine, 6’2” David Abbott-Chapel Hill, 6’4” Rodney Tatum-Jacksonville, 6’0” Lance Alexander-Jacksonville, 6’2” Kenneth Robinson-Carthage, 5’8” Fonta Castleberry-Carthage, Bertrand Barker-Athens: 2nd Team-6’0” Chris Jackson-Henderson, 6’5” Kennard Choke—Chapel Hill, 6’5” Stacey Hunter-Jacksonville, 6’3” Trampass Bass-Chapel Hill, 5’9” Glendell Ingram-Carthage:


Henderson(25-7) had high expectations as they entered the playoffs against Waxahachie(22-8). Henderson’s coach, Jody Sory, had led Lindale to state in 1983. Henderson took out Mt. Pleasant(19-10) 70-68 for the south zone championship in District 8-4A. Coach Sory was well aware of Waxahachie and their strong tradition. “Waxahachie is as good as anybody we could’ve drawn,” Sory said. “They’re a great basketball school and their tradition goes all the way back to the 50s.”

Henderson(25-7) was paced by 6’4” Darwin Pauley(17.9), Chris Jackson, Jeff Henson, John Clay, Steve Miller and Brad Bridges. Pauley was the zone’s MVP. Key players for the Indians attack were 6’2” Billy Slaughter, 6’8” Jeff Stern and 6’2” Maurice Alexander(20.4). 

Waxahachie(21-8) proved too strong for Henderson(25-7) coming away with a 75-72 overtime victory in Mineola. 6’8” James Stern led the way for the Indians with 21 points, followed by Billy Slater and Maurice Alexander with 16 points apiece. In a losing effort, Henderson saw Darwin Pauley and Chris Jackson combine for 44 points. Henderson finished the season 25-8.

Lancaster(29-2) drew Palestine(21-9) at Navarro Jr. College in Corsicana and got away with a 68-58 victory over the perennial playoff power. Lancaster jumped Palestine early leading 22-8 in the first period. “They have a tremendous group of athletes. Even when our lead stretched to 25-points, I was never really comfortable,” Coach Rushing said. The Tigers led at one point 48-23. 5’6” James Cain led the Tigers with 19 points followed by Thomas Hill’s 15 points. Felix Stephens paced Palestine with 21 points.

Dallas Hillcrest(19-9) advanced past Denison(17-11) 80-72 behind Quintin Washington’s 25 points. Other Panthers in double figures were Lonnie Fuller with 16 points and 14 rebounds followed by Tyrone Maxey with 17 points. Duane McFadden was big for Denison with 12 points and 20 rebounds and Bell added 14 points. Hillcrest had the rebound advantage 40-33. Denison finished the season at 18-12.

Paris(27-5) showed some real offensive output in their 93-60 Bi-District win over Dallas Adamson(20-9) in Greenville.

Waxahachie(22-8) and Dallas Hillcrest(20-9) came together at Sprague Field House in East Dallas in the regional semi-finals. This was a definite advantage for Hillcrest having played several games in the arena. Waxahachie on the other hand was used to the playoffs, having made big runs dating back to the 1950s. The game was close throughout as Maurice Alexander was held to only nine points by Hillcrest. The Indians came up short losing 60-58 to Hillcrest(20-9). Quintin Washington led the charge for Coach Steve Scott with 15 points. James Stern once again led Waxahachie with 13 points.

Lancaster(30-2) had better luck than their 7-4A counterpart defeating Paris(28-5) 71-69 at Greenville High School. Thomas Hill hit a key bucket with 17 seconds remaining to put the Tigers up by two points. Paris(27-5) took a timeout to set up their final play of the game. 6’3” Darrell Mickens was probable target for the Wildcats having put up 26 points on the evening. Lancaster switched to a 3-2 zone defense trying to slow down the penetration of Paris’ Dexter Williams. The strategy worked, as Paris failed to get a shot off.

Lancaster hit 13 of 16 from the foul line to give the Tigers a comfortable 65-55 lead late. Mickens countered for Paris scoring six straight points to get his team back into the game. Paris finished the season with a 28-6 mark. Lancaster moved on at 31-2.

Regional Finals

Dallas Hillcrest(21-10) was seen as the underdog as they entered the regional finals against Lancaster(31-2). This was due mainly to the Tigers domination of Hillcrest in their earlier meeting in pre-district 77-60. The score was very deceiving due to the fact that Hillcrest was basically a different ballclub after some mid-season adjustments. In talking with Coach Steve Scott of Hillcrest, he said his team went through a transformation after 6’6” post Charlie Shaw became ineligible prior to District. 6’2” Lonnie Fuller came out of football along with 5’7” Patrick Williams(*) joining the varsity. Coach Scott got away from his double low post game and began pressing aggressively as Fuller replaced Shaw. Maxey, Williams and 5’8” Marcus Frazier created a strong guard rotation. “We began pressing because of our small line-up and improved depth at guard,” Coach Scott said. After adjusting to the new style, Hillcrest went on a roll winning 12 out of the next 13 games. Their only loss was a warm-up game to Dallas Adamson 86-76. Coach Scott said they had already beaten Adamson twice in District and the kids were not up for the game. Shaw returned to the team in the playoffs and added to an already deep bench.

(*) 5’7” Patrick Williams was a sophomore transfer from Dallas Madison and was forced to play on the junior varsity until District. Williams proved to be a critical piece for Hillcrest teaming up with Maxey to form one of the top backcourts in Dallas. 

The Hillcrest(22-10)-Lancaster(31-2) game took place at Berkner High School in Richardson. Quintin Washington hit the winning basket for Hillcrest. The senior post gave the Panthers a hard fought 54-53 victory with only two seconds remaining. The real hero was Tyrone Maxey, who penetrated the lane setting up Washington for the easy basket. The Panthers scored the last six points of the game to advance to state. Patrick Williams finished with 14 points for the Panthers followed by Washington with 10.

The Tigers seemed to be in control leading 49-42 when Andre Mitchell fouled out with 5:11 remaining. Leading by five with 1:45 to play Lancaster began turning the ball over giving Hillcrest life. Patrick Williams and Tyrone Maxey(*) made key steals late to get the Panthers back into the contest. Down by one, Hillcrest patiently ran the clock down waiting for the game’s final shot. Coach Scott drew up an inbounds play in which Maxey penetrated and dished to Washington for the winning basket. Hillcrest emptied the bench in celebration thinking the game was over. The officials put two seconds back on the clock after a long discussion. Lancaster’s Yarber took a full court pass and came away empty on the final shot attempt. Lancaster failed to scratch over the last two minutes of the game. Thomas Hill paced Lancaster with 21 points.

Lancaster ended a great season at 31-3. Hillcrest(22-10) traveled to state for the first time in the 50 year history of the school. For Lancaster it was a bitter end to the best season in school history. Tigers basketball became one of the top programs in the state over the next 33 years.  

(*) Maxey’s son is none other than Tyrese Maxey, presently playing at the University of Kentucky and Philadelphia 76ers. Maxey was one of the top recruits in the country in 2019 and a McDonald’s All-American while playing at South Garland. Maxey tied the state single game all-time record his junior year in the semi-finals with 46 points in an overtime loss. His performance was one of the best ever at the state tournament. He tied the previous record in the largest classification held by Marcus Freiberger of Greenville set in 1947. Ira Terrell of Dallas Roosevelt held the modern record at 45 against Houston Wheatley in 1972.

Hillcrest’s Quintin Washington never played college basketball instead turned to Gospel singing following high school. Maxey had to settle for South Plains J.C. following high school. After one season, Maxey moved on to play for Washington State. Maxey was an outstanding three-point shooter and had a fine college career. Patrick Williams was able to transfer to Hillcrest under the Dallas ISD policy called an MM transfer (majority to minority). You could transfer anywhere in the school District if you were in the majority at one school and went to a school where you were a minority. Hillcrest got a lot of players over the years with this rule.

Region III

                Pt. Arthur Lincoln(25-4) once again had one of the most talented teams in the state regardless of classification. Their record was impressive as usual. The Bees dominated the All-District team with their talented crew. 6’2” Gary Hunt(18.9) was named District MVP and 6’8” Bryan Sallier(13.6) was named 1st team All-District. 6’3” Craig Turner(8.1) was named to the 2nd team.

PA Lincoln(25-4) had their 29-game winning streak come to an end early in the season with their 73-69 loss to Lake Charles Boston. After the loss to Lake Charles, PA Lincoln turned right around and loss to the top rated 5-A team in the state, LaPorte(34-0) 61-55. Charles McCovery and William Gooden combined for 39 points in the Bulldogs victory. Hunt paced Coach Gambles bunch with 15 points, while 6’8” Brian Sallier(13.6) ended up with 14 points. The Bees were starting only one player with varsity experience.  

Lincoln’s early season battles against Beaumont Central(23-7) were intense and draining. The teams met four times with Lincoln handling Beaumont Central(23-7) 46-44 in an early season game in Beaumont. Some 1500 fans looked on as 6’8” Bryan Sallier(13.6) came away with 16 points for the Bees and 6’4” Gary Hunt(19.3) added 17 points. Damon Sweet(19.8) and Columbus Wise(13.6) were the leaders for Central with 16 and 18 points respectfully.

The second meeting between the Jaguars and Bees took place in the finals of the Nederland Tournament. Beaumont Central(23-7) was good enough for a 74-69 win over PA Lincoln(25-4). The sensational 6’4” Damon Sweet(19.8) paced the Jaguars with 27 points and won the tournament MVP. Three days later the teams met once again in a match game at the BEEhive in Pt. Arthur. The Bumblebees won easily 89-74. Gary Hunt(19.4) had his season high with 31 points and Sweet(19.8) managed 28 points.

The final game between the two titans took place on December 31 in the finals of the Yellowjacket Classic at Pt. Arthur Jefferson High School. The Bees were led by tournament MVP Brian Sallier(13.6), winning 75-65. Sallier fought off foul trouble to put up some key baskets in the fourth quarter. 6’5” Craig Anderson led PA Lincoln with 20 points and was named All-Tournament.

Beaumont Westbrook(29-8) pulled out and exciting overtime win over Pt. Arthur Lincoln(26-5) 63-59. Central coach Charles Briethaupt commented after the big win, “that’s the only way we can ever hope to beat Lincoln is to press them, if we play them in a half-court game, then we get killed the same as they beat us last year.”

Coach James Gambles troops opened District against arch rival Silsbee(21-8). The Tigers were not the force they had been in the past. The Bees dropped the Tigers both times 59-48 and 63-52. In the two teams first game, Lincoln dominated inside out rebounding Silsbee 48-24. Silsbee(21-8) coach Terry Culley said following the loss, “they killed us with their rebounding.”

West Orange Stark(24-10) challenged Lincoln for the District finishing at 10-2. Lincoln won pretty handily in the two team’s first meeting 72-59, but the second game was a different case. The District title was on the line as the two rivals played at West Orange Stark High School.

Coach Travis Weatherspoon of WOS commented, “it’s like a heavyweight bout. It’s a big game for us and I’m sure we’ll be up for the task.” The Mustangs line-up consisted of 6’3” 220 pound Richard Salter(8.5), 6’2” Tony Cleveland, 6’5” Gary Scott(15.8), Kevin Smith(9.0) and 5’10” Quinton Tezeno(9.2/10.0 Asst). Tezeno and Smith got a late start coming out of football. WOS had captured the state championship on the gridiron. “I think right now we’re playing as good as I could expect,” Weatherspoon commented.

WOS relied heavily on the inside strength of 6’3” Richard Salter(8.5). His inside defense and rebounding put the Mustangs at another level. “He’s our solid foundation,” Weatherspoon said. “He does so many other things people don’t recognize.” As for facing the Bumblebees, Coach Weatherspoon was concerned about 6’8” Bryan Sallier(14.0/12.0/5 blocks). “He blocked shots and caused us to alter shots inside and outside,” Weatherspoon said. “It was the first time we ran up against someone who blocked shots at will.”

Coach Gamble of Lincoln commented before the big showdown, “they have a real balanced team, they play multiple defenses. They shoot the ball well and they’ve got good ball handlers.”  

The game did not disappoint with Lincoln coming up big from the foul line in overtime for a 54-52 win. At West Orange Stark High school 1500 fans jammed into the gym to watch two of the top 4-A teams in the state go at it. Sallier, B.J. Tyler and Gary Hunt all hit critical free throws down the stretch. WOS led virtually the entire game, only to let the game slip away. “It was a draining loss,” Weatherspoon said, “but I don’t think we’re mentally or physically drained. Our goal is to get into the playoffs and meet them again.”

“West Orange Stark played a tremendous game,” Coach Gamble said, “but we never felt like we would lose. We maintained our poise and kept playing until intensity and things worked out.”

Hunt led the way with 17 points for the Bees and Sallier came up big with 16 points and 12 rebounds. For the Mustangs 6’5” Gary Scott put up 16 points and 5’10” Quinton Tezeno finished with 10 points and 9 assists. Coach Weatherspoon commented about his outstanding point guard, “He(Tezeno) handles the ball. We go to him.”

WOS was up 48-46 with 8 seconds in regulation on Tony Cleveland’s double pumping jump shot. Following a timeout, the Bees pushed the ball up court and Sallier tied things up from the corner as time was running out.

District 9-4A Standing-Pt. Arthur Lincoln(23-4) 12-0, West Orange Stark(24-10) 10-2, Silsbee(21-8) 6-6, Little Cypress-Mauriceville(18-11) 6-4, Jasper(13-15) 3-8, Lumberton(10-15) 3-7, Bridge City(7-20) 1-10.

All-District 9-4A - Pt. Arthur Lincoln News- 1st Team-6’2” Gary Hunt(18.9) Pt. Arthur Lincoln-MVP, 6’8” Bryan Sallier(13.6), 6’0” Gary White(13.8) Silsbee, 6’5” Gary Scott(15.8) West Orange Stark, 6’1” Brandon Tyler(8.0) Pt. Arthur Lincoln: 2nd Team- 6’3” Craig Turner(8.1) Pt. Arthur Lincoln, 6’3” Richard Salter(8.5) West Orange Stark, 6’1” David Maddox(16.4) Lumberton, 5’11” Quinton Tezeno(9.2) West Orange Stark, 5’10” Rex Pevento(13.3) LCM:

All-District-Coaches 1st Team- 6’2” Gary Hunt(19.3) Pt. Arthur Lincoln-MVP, 6’8” Bryan Sallier(13.7) Pt. Arthur Lincoln, 6’5” Gary Scott(15.8) West Orange Stark, 6’0” Gary White(14.5) Silsbee, 5’10” Rex Peveto(13.9) Little Cypress-Mauriceville, 5’11” Quinton Tezeno(9.2) West Orange Stark; 2nd Team- 6’3” Craig Turner(8.1) Pt. Arthur Lincoln, Craig Bailey(12.3) Jasper, 6’1” David Maddox(14.5) Lumberton, Andu Gardner-Silsbee, Richard Salter(8.5) Silsbee; Newcomer of the Year-B.J. Tyler(8.0)-Pt. Arthur Lincoln, Coach of the Year- James Gamble -Pt. Arthur Lincoln.

District 10-4A Standings: East Zone-Livingston(24-4) 9-2, Cleveland(19-11) 8-3, Oak Ridge(18-8) 9-2, Waller(22-9) 8-3, Brenham(16-12) 5-5, Tomball(15-11) 5-5, Willis(11-17) 3-7, Magnolia(12-16) 0-10:

District 12-4A Standings: East Zone-Houston Furr(16-10) 9-1, Dickinson(18-16) 8-4, Channelview(21-12) 6-5, Friendswood(13-16) 6-5, Galena Park(9-20) 2-8, Scarbourough(7-19) 1-9: West Zone- Bay City(27-4) 10-0, Wharton(11-13) 6-5, El Campo(12-17) 5-6, Brazosport(15-12) 4-6, Columbia(12-14) 3-7, Santa Fe(13-17) 3-7:


                Pt. Arthur Lincoln(23-4) opened the playoffs against an undermanned Houston Furr(16-10) squad. Furr coach, Deryl Glenn said before the game, “all I know is what I’ve heard, that they are big, strong, fast, quick and well coached, a typical James Gamble team.” Lincoln won easily 83-49 over Furr. Hunt led the charge for the Bees with 17 points and Sallier followed with 12 points. The Brahman’s were paced by Jarvis Green’s 17 points.

                Houston Furr(17-10) had entered the playoffs defeating Wharton(11-14) 58-54 in the 12-4A zone playoff. James Jones paced Furr with 10 points and Kenneth Phynon led Wharton.

                Waco Midway(29-5) advanced to the regional semis downing Cleveland(18-11) 79-71 in Waco. Rob Reagan was impressive putting up 28 points for Midway and Craig Lillie scored 36 points in a losing effort for the defending class 3-A state champions.

                Pt. Arthur Lincoln(23-4) had little trouble against Waco Midway(29-5) at Conroe Oak Ridge High School winning 89-71. Lincoln went on a 25-0 run in the 1st quarter which pretty much ended the game. Midway received six technical fouls for failing to raise their hand after a personal foul. Craig Turner finished the game for Lincoln with 18/8 and Sallier added 15/10. Gary Hunt put up 12 points for the Bees. Rob Reagan got his points, finishing the game with 26 points. Coach Ray Murphree of Midway left the contest with 1:09 remaining in the 3rd quarter. PA Lincoln led 66-38 at the time. “I’ve never seen anything like it in my 13 years of coaching,” Murphree said. Sallier and Hunt of Lincoln also received techs for not raising their hands.

                In 12-4A, Dickinson(18-16), Channelview and Friendswood ended in a tie for 2nd place and were forced to have a three team playoff. Dickinson(18-16) advanced to the Zone playoffs against Bay City(27-4).

Dickinson Coach Bobby Knotts commented about Smith, “LaBradford Smith is a great player, no doubt about it, but they also have 6’3” 250-pound Billy Dykes and Cory Hix and they are good ball players. So, you can’t concentrate on stopping Smith.”

The two teams met at Wheeler Field House in Sugarland. 6’1” Kevin Cooper(20.4) was the leader for Dickinson. Bay City had little trouble winning 91-66 with LaBradford coming away with 43 points in the Black Cats win. Following the game, Knotts was impressed, “we had to keep him under 20, he must have had 100. We can’t stop him, he outran us and out jumped us, he took over.” Smith ended the evening with one of his high-flying dunks. Dykes finished with 19/17 and Corey Hix was good for 11 points. Kevin Cooper finished with 26 points for Dickinson and Mark Truitt followed with 20 points.

                Bay City(29-4) struggled against West Orange Stark(24-10) winning 28-26 in Bi-District. Only two points were scored in the 4th period and that was the game winner by LaBradford Smith. Quinton Tezeno was the leader for the Mustangs with 10 points and LaBradford finished with 15 points for Bay City.

Livingston(25-4) was successful eliminating Pflugerville(20-11) 60-53 in Bi-District. Ron Gordon led Livingston with 23 points while Tony Watson led Pflugerville with 32 points.

                Bay City(30-4) had another close one against Livingston(26-4) in the regional semi-finals. With 42 seconds remaining the Black Cats led 74-72 over Livingston. The Lions had the ball with an opportunity to tie things up. LaBradford came up with a key steal and went in for a lay-up, which he missed. Teammate Corey Hix was there for the follow-up and was fouled. Hix knocked down the critical foul shot giving Bay City a 77-72 advantage. Foul shots extended the final to read 81-72. Bay City’s guard play only supplied 3 total points between Terry White and James Roberson. “Everybody’s been talking about our backcourt, but we’ve been making due all year with the ones we have back there. They are doing what we ask them to do,” Coach Nelson said.

Billy Dykes put up 19 points and 9 rebounds, while LaBradford finished with 25 points. 6’5” Corey Hix(10.9/10.4/2.1 asst) was outstanding finishing with 25 points and 11 rebounds.

                Livingston(26-4) was paced by Craig Davis with 25 points and Ron Jordon’s 18 points. Bay City had a big advantage at the line shooting 25 of 33. Livingston could only manage 4 of 11 on the evening. LaBradford was 11 of 11 from the stripe.  Livingston(23-4) finished the season at 26-5

Regional Finals

                Pt. Arthur Lincoln(25-4) faced Bay City(30-4) in the regional finals for the 4th year in a row.  The two top ranked teams in the state in class 4-A would settle regional matters once again. As mention numerous times, this was one of the great rivalries of the decade. “This is the one we’ve been waiting for,” Sallier said. “I don’t think they can match-up with us physically.” Sallier averaged 17/11/5 blocks playing about three quarters per-game.

                Some 6000 fans crammed into Autry Court on the campus of Rice University to watch the regional finals. LaBradford came away with 27 points in the 74-64 Bay City win. Both coaches agree the difference maker in the big game was a little-known sophomore guard from Bay City, Lance Evans. Evans scored 15 points hitting big shots. “The big key was the play of Evans,” Coach Eddie Nelson of Bay City said. “When he hit those three or four long ones in the 1st half that really gave us a big boost.”

                For Port Arthur Lincoln it was disappointing, as the Bees were in foul trouble. Lincoln had 25 fouls compared to 2 for Bay City. Hix hit four free throws late in the game to give the Black Cats a 69-58 lead with 54 seconds remaining. LaBradford said following the big win, “since the first day of practice, we prepared for this.” Gamble commented after the loss, “you have to give it to Bay City, they came ready to play and they did a great job.”

Region IV

                Region IV certainly didn’t strike any fear state wide in class AAAA basketball. Three teams made the final top twenty by TABC. Gregory-Portland(29-2) held down the #9 spot, San Antonio Alamo Heights(28-4) was viewed favorably at #12 and Kerrville Tivy(24-7) came in at #19.

                One of the closest races in class 4-A took place in 13-4A with Fredericksburg(23-8), Kerrville Tivy(24-7), New Braunfels(20-10) and Clemens(21-11). New Braunfels had a two-year run representing region IV in Austin at the state tournament. The Unicorns were thought to have little left with only one returning starter, Leon Sneed, and a new coach in Alan Luksa.

                Kerrville Tivy(24-7) looked to speed and quickness for their success, while Fredericksburg(23-8) ran a much more deliberate offense centered around District MVP 6’3” Darin Duecker(20.1).

Fredericksburg(23-8) handled Tivy(24-7) pretty easily in the two teams first round match-up 65-49. Coach Dennis Kaman of Fredericksburg commented, “Tivy’s press is not that good, not if you take your time. It’s not as relentless as they say it is.” Kaman continued saying, “For once there were some officials out there who weren’t afraid to make calls against their karate type of defense, they grab at anything.” The Fredericksburg coach said his defensive strategy was to change defenses almost every time down the floor.

                Coach Jim Jost of Tivy blamed himself for his ineffective full-court pressure. “We didn’t start enough up court. That was my fault, I was too cautious.” The Billies of Fredericksburg(23-8) scored 18 unanswered points in the first quarter to take a commanding lead. At one point the Billie’s led by 22 points. Thirman Dimery(14.9) paced Tivy(24-7) on a 9-1 run late to cut the Fredericksburg lead to nine points. The Antlers of Tivy were missing a key player in 6’1” Pat Baldwin(12.1), out with a bad ankle. Baldwin provided a strong inside threat for the Antlers. “We didn’t have the depth to make up for Pat not being there,” Coach Jost said. Also, Scott Delaney(19.5) missed most of school during the week due to illness and only came away with eight points. Lennie Franklin(7.0) replaced Baldwin and played well scoring 24 points. Thirman Dimery(14.9) ended up with 13 points. Tivy was 17 of 22 from the stripe and only managed to shoot 29% from the floor.

                Jason Hopkins was the leader for Fredericksburg(23-8) with 21 points followed by 6’3” Darin Duecker(20.1) with 16. The win put the Billie’s in a first-place tie with Tivy and New Braunfels at 6-1.

                The Unicorns of New Braunfels(20-10) took down Tivy for the Antlers second District loss 53-48. Tivy(24-7) had a great deal of difficulty shooting against New Braunfels zone defense. Leon Sneed was the Unicorns only real athletic player and only returning starter from their state tournament team. Tivy ended up with 24 turnovers, which limited their scoring opportunities. Tivy had led at halftime 22-18, but New Braunfels controlled the 3rd period with 15 straight points.

                Coach Jost of Tivy was very complementary of Thirman Dimery following the loss. “Dimery’s second, third and fourth efforts rebounding was the only thing that kept us competitive.” Wade Felker led the Unicorns with 15 points, followed by Sneed with 14. New Braunfels moved to 7-1 and 14-8 on the season, while Tivy dropped to 6-2 in District action. The Antlers schedule really hadn’t been very favorable playing seven of their first eight District games on the road.

                Tivy(24-7) finally got a big District win in their own gym defeating Fredericksburg(23-8) 59-44. Tivy led start to finish taking a 21-8 lead early and 31-17 advantage at halftime. Dimery(14.9) led Tivy with 17 points, Franklin(7.0) had 14 points and Baldwin(12.0) followed with 11 points. Standout Darin Duecker(20.1) of Fredericksburg, was slowed by a knee injury. New Braunfels stood in first place at 9-1, Tivy, Fredericksburg and Clemens were all tied for 2nd place with 9-2 marks.

                As New Braunfels(20-10) traveled to Fredericksburg(23-8), the Unicorns would have to overcome the Billies 9-0 home record. As you may be gathering, home court was a definite advantage in District action. Fredericksburg(23-8) continued their winning ways at home defeating New Braunfels(20-10) 47-45.

                Clemens(21-11) fell out of contention losing to New Braunfels(20-10) 51-41 and Fredericksburg(23-8) 54-53. District was now a three-team race with Fredericksburg(23-8), Tivy(24-7) and New Braunfels(20-10) still fighting for position.

Kerrville Tivy(24-7) moved up in the standings giving New Braunfels(20-10) their third District loss 54-46. Fredericksburg(23-8) and Tivy(24-7) now led District action with 10-2 records, while New Braunfels(20-10) and Clemens(21-11) came in at 9-3.

Daron Allen of Tivy was the difference for the Antlers against New Braunfels tough zone, with his outside shooting making the difference. Allen knocked down nine straight points in the first half for Coach Jost, and finished the evening with 13 points. “He’s really been a key against zone defenses,” Jost said. Once again, the Unicorns looked to Leon Sneed and Wade Felker. Sneed was very athletic having signed with Texas Southern to play football, and Felker led the scoring for New Braunfels with 17 points.

Kerrville Tivy(24-7) and Fredericksburg(23-8) finished at 14-2 a top 13-4A and co-champions. The top seed in the playoffs came down to a one game playoff in Boerne. Tivy had a lot of momentum coming into the contest and Coach Jost was confident. The Antlers had won nine in a row and 13 of the previous 14 games. “I feel good about tonight for three reasons,” Jost said. “Everyone is healthy, and that’s been a key to our late-season surge, we’ve got momentum, and number three, we’re playing in Boerne and my players love to play there.” Tivy was 5-0 in the Boerne gym.

Kaman said, “for the first time going into a game against Tivy I’m not nervous. We’ve accomplished one of our goals of reaching the state playoffs.” Duecker’s injured knee and Herzog’s ankle were “pretty close to 100%” according to Kaman.

Tivy(24-7) started 6’0” Scott Delaney(17.9), 6’0” Pat Baldwin(12.1), 6’0” Thirman Dimery(14.6), 5’10” Daron Allen(8.8), 6’0” Lennie Franklin(7.0) with 5’8” Troy March(2.8) and Scott Presley(4.4) coming off the bench.

Fredericksburg(23-8) and Coach Kaman looked to 6’3” Duecker(20.9), Jason Hopkins(15.5), David Herzog(6.0), Doug Ramsey(5.7), Tony Kaman(4.0) and Rusty Glover(4.0).    

                A standing room only crowd showed up to watch Kerrville Tivy(24-7) take the top seed in the state playoffs defeating Fredericksburg(23-8) 50-45. Coach Jost moved his personal record against Coach Kaman to 4-1 over two seasons. Jost discussed the big win saying there were several different stages during the contest. “We were down 11-2 early, but we didn’t get rattled,” Jost explained. Fredericksburg(23-8) proceeded to go eight minutes, from mid-way through the 1st quarter on into the 2nd period, not scoring a point during the eight-minute stretch. Tivy held a 28-18 lead at intermission.

                Jost felt he made a mistake getting greedy by not substituting during the 2nd period. Thirman(14.9) got in foul trouble and Delaney(16.9) got winded, the results of which resulted in Fredericksburg coming back to take a 41-40 lead late in the contest. Pat Baldwin(12.0) of Tivy stepped up and scored four straight points putting the Antlers up late 44-41. Dimery was able to return to the game and Coach Jost went to his spread offense.

                Tivy had a balanced attack in the big win with Delaney putting up 13 points, Baldwin had 12 points along with Dimery. Duecker finished with 14 points and Hopkins came away with 12 points for Fredericksburg. Both teams had similar numbers from the floor with Tivy shooting 48% and the Billies hitting 45 %. The foul line was similar as well.  

All-District 13-4A 1st Team-6’0” Scott Delaney(16.9)- Kerrville Tivy, 6’0” Thirman Dimery(14.9)-Kerrville Tivy, Jason Hopkins-Fredericksburg, Leon Sneed-New Braunfels, Craig Corporon-Clemens; 2nd Team-Ricky Johnson-Lockhart, Steve Sassman-Clemens, Wade Felker-New Braunfels, Neal Donop-New Braunfels, 5’10” Daron Allen-Kerrville Tivy, Honorable Mention-6’1” Pat Baldwin(11.8)-Kerrville Tivy, District MVP-6’3” Darin Duecker(20.1)-Fredericksburg; Coach of The Year-Dennis Kaman of Fredericksburg: 

All-City named by San Antonio Light- 2nd Team-6’5” Ed Hart(20.8/10.3) Alamo Heights, Honorable Mention-Tommy Green-Alamo Heights, Chris Senn-Alamo Heights, Ethridge Green-Edgewood, Juan Morales-Edgewood:

District 13-4A Standings-Kerrville Tivy(24-7) 14-2, Fredericksburg(23-8) 14-2, New Braunfels(20-10) 13-3, Clemens(21-11) 11-5, Lockhart(9-18) 7-9, Hays(8-23) 4-12, Smithson(11-21) 3-13, Boerne(11-20) 3-13, New Braunfels Canyon(11-20) 3-13:

                Alamo Heights(28-4) had one of the top teams in San Antonio and waltzed through District at 16-0. SA Edgewood(20-11) faced SA Southwest(16-11) for the runner-up spot in the playoffs. Southwest had made the playoffs two-years running and relied on football star, Ty Detmer. Edgewood had downed Southwest in the two teams first District meeting 71-68 without the services of Detmer. The talented quarterback had missed the game while on a recruiting visit to Brigham Young. Edgewood made a major turnaround considering they had finished 8-19 the previous season. Coach Henry Escobedo had been with the Red Raiders 28 years. 

SA Edgewood(20-11) defeated San Antonio Southwest(16-11) 87-79 to nail down a playoff spot. Sophomore Patrick Brothers paced the Red Raiders in their win over Southwest with 23 points. Pablo Arias added 16 points to the Edgewood cause and Ethridge Green put up 13 points. “We don’t have much height,” Coach Escobedo said. Southwest’s Ty Detmer finished with 32 points for Southwest. Daryl Davis added 16 points to the losing cause. For Edgewood it was their first playoff spot in 19 years. Edgewood(20-11) finished at 12-4 in District followed by Southwest(16-11) at 11-5.

                Coach Charlie Boggess of San Antonio Alamo Heights(28-4) felt his team needed a warm-up game in preparation for the playoffs. One of Alamo Heights major problems was lack of competition over the course of the season. The Mules averaged 76.6 points per game and allowed only 50.2 during the season. The Mules were the top defensive team in the Alamo city. The warm-up game was against 5-A Austin Lanier(17-12). Lanier won a close one 81-80 over the Mules. Alamo Heights Ed Hart put up 25 points in the loss, followed by Rob Stevens with 23 points. Brad Jowers missed the game for the Mules. Lanier played host to Alamo Heights in Austin.

                Alamo Heights other losses during the season came against SA East Central(30-3) 85-82, South SA(20-12) 65-59 and SA Madison(19-14) 73-67.

                Alamo Heights finished with their 6th straight 20-win season under Coach Boggess in his 9th season. Boggess was an assistant at Churchill for six years before coming to Heights. The Mules felt confident about the coming season after finishing 21-11 in 1986 and a 2nd round loss to Kerrville Tivy. Alamo Heights returned 4 starters and 7 lettermen. Key players for the Mules were 6’5” Ed Hart(21.4/10.1), Tommy Green, Chris Senn(12.6), John Shepperd, Brad Jowers and David Henry.   

District 14-4A Standings- Alamo Heights(28-4) 16-0, Edgewood(20-11) 12-4, SA Southwest(16-11) 11-5, Uvalde(18-10) 10-6, SA Kennedy(11-17) 7-8, SA West Campos(10-19) 5-10, Car. Springs(9-17) 4-12, Pleasanton(5-18) 3-13, SA Memorial(5-23) 3-13:


                San Antonio Alamo Heights(28-4) was highly thought of coming into the playoffs in 1987. Coach Charlie Boggess was still calling the shots for the Mules. Alamo Heights prepared for Fredericksburg(23-8), who had just lost a District playoff game against Kerrville Tivy. The Billies of Fredericksburg were paced by District MVP Darin Duecker. Alamo Heights was making their third straight playoff appearance.

In an upset of sorts, Fredericksburg(23-8) downed Alamo Heights(28-4) 59-54. Duecker showed why he was one of the top players in south Texas putting up 29 points. Daryl Kott hit an unorthodox 15-footer off the glass for the Billie’s late, to cushion their lead. Kott also banked in a foul shot. “When that kind of stuff starts going in, you’re talking about a day that’s doomed,” Coach Boggess of Alamo Heights said following the loss.

                Coach Dennis Kaman of Fredericksburg discussed Alamo Heights, “Heights has a hell of a ball club, I think we got them in a little bit of foul trouble early. I was afraid we were going to lose our composure.” Kaman continued saying, “I tell you were putting Fredericksburg on the map.”

                Heights(28-4) opened up the second half scoring seven straight points, pulling away from Fredericksburg. The Billie’s came back by the end of the 3rd quarter to take a 42-40 lead into the 4th quarter.

Alamo Heights saw Chris Senn(12.6) come away with 15 points, John Shepperd finished with 11 and 6’5” Ed Hart(20.8/10.3) was held to only 11 points. For Fredericksburg, Daryl Kott finished behind Duecker’s 29 points with 11 of his own. The game was played at the Blossom Center in San Antonio. Coach Boggess felt the eight-day layoff really hurt his team, whereas Fredericksburg had just played Tivy for the District’s top seed.

                Kerrville Tivy(24-7) entered the playoffs with a lot of momentum coming off the Fredericksburg(23-8) victory. San Antonio Edgewood(20-11) matched-up against Kerrville Tivy at the Blossom Center in San Antonio with Tivy winning 73-59. It was Tivy’s 15th win in the previous 16 games. The Antlers took the early advantage using their press to build a 36-21 lead. “I thought our defense was the key,” Coach Jost said. “Our press limited other team’s options, and because we’re so quick we spread them out. We’ve won 11-straight since 6’0” Thirman Dimery(14.9/10.0) moved to the wing because of his outside shooting.” Thirman Dimery and Scott Delaney(16.9) combined to score 16 of their teams first 20 points on the evening. Tivy was up by 24 points at one point in the second half.

Dimery set the tempo finishing with 21 points on 9 of 16 shooting and added 10 rebounds. Pat Baldwin(11.8/7.0) had a nice game with 15/7/5 steals, Delaney put up 14 points and Franklin added 9/10/4 steals. Tivy had a big rebound edge 41 to 27 and forced 23 Edgewood turnovers compared to 13 for Tivy. Juan Morales led Edgewood with 15 points and Etheridge Green followed with 12 points. Edgewood was the 14-4A runner-up behind Alamo Heights.

Coach Jim Jost of Kerrville Tivy was in his 2nd season with the Antlers having finished the previous season at 22-12 and lost out to Gregory-Portland in the playoffs. “A lot of our success has to do with our defense, we’ve been forcing about 25 turnovers a game. We feel like that will neutralize the height advantage some teams will have on us. But all five of our starters are leapers,” Coach Jost said. Jost came to Tivy from Illinois, where he had coached 13 years at the varsity level.

                Gregory-Portland(29-2) continued to impress defeating Edcouch-Elsa(20-12) 85-56 in Bi-District. For Gregory-Portland it was their 26th win in a row.

                Fredericksburg(23-8) took down Raymondville(23-9) in the regional semi-finals 68-44 to advance to the regional finals for the second time in three years. In 1985 the Billies had lost to New Braunfels in the regional finals. “When we lost the regional finals two years ago, I never thought I’d ever get another chance to go to the state tournament. I was very disappointed. But now with the help of the good lord, we have another opportunity,” Coach Kaman said. 

                Things didn’t look so promising for Fredericksburg against Raymondville(22-9) only leading by six points entering the final period. Coach Kaman went to his seldom used press and outscored Raymondville 28-10 in the final quarter. Jason Hopkins paced the Billies with 21 points, David Herzog added 13 points and Duecker was limited to only 11 points. 

                Tivy(25-7) faced Gregory-Portland(29-2) for the second year in a row having lost previously by two points, ending their 1986 campaign. Gregory-Portland(29-2) had a shorter version of their 1986 team, but still had a size advantage over Tivy. Inside the Wildcats looked to 6’5” Larry Welch, 6’4” Lance Ordner, 6’3” Brian Lauper, 6’2” Joey Deegan and 5’8” Ricky Russell. Deegan was considered a fine outside threat for the Wildcats. Tivy looked to have the quickness and speed advantage.

                Coach Jost of Tivy felt the turning point in the season was moving 6’0” Thirman Dimery from post to the wing, making room for 6’0” Lennie Franklin to move into the starting line-up. With Dimery(14.8) on the opposite wing, teams were unable to focus on 6’0” Scott Delaney(16.9).

                Gregory-Portland’s(29-2) record was somewhat suspect having not faced any 5-A teams all season. Tivy’s(24-7) record against 4-A competition was impressive as well at 22-2.

                Tivy advanced to the regional finals beating Gregory-Portland(29-2) 54-49 in Pleasanton. Gregory-Portland double-teamed Delaney in hopes of slowing down the Tivy attack. The talented senior only managed 4 points, but Thirman Dimery continued to play awesome basketball scoring 24 points. Joining Dimery in double figures was 6’0”Pat Baldwin with 13 points. Gregory-Portland put three players in double figures with 6’5” Larry Welch leading the way with 16 points, Ricky Russell joined in with 13 points, while Brian Lauper added 12. All-Stater Deegan only managed 8 points.

                On Gregory-Portland’s double teaming of Delaney, Coach Jost commented, “teams have been doing that to him lately; when they do that, I tell Scott to make his teammates better.”

                Kerrville Tivy managed 18 of 44 from the floor for 41% and 18 of 28 from the line. GP was 20 of 51 for 39% and only 8 of 17 from behind the stripe. GP had a slight rebound edge 30-28 over Tivy.



Regional Finals    

District 13-4A was well represented in the regional finals with Kerrville Tivy(24-7) and Fredericksburg(23-8) squaring off for the 4th time. Tivy held a 2 to 1 advantage coming into the critical contest. In the two team’s first meeting, Fredericksburg dropped Tivy, but Baldwin didn’t suit up if you recall. Tivy had won the District championship game 50-45 over the Billies.

Coach Dennis Kaman of Fredericksburg said prior to the regional finals game, “Tivy is confident they can beat us. With two teams this good, it will be hard to beat someone three times in one year. You’ve got to admit, we’re pretty even.” There’s no doubt in my mind that Tivy has the best individual talent when we match up each player,” Kaman continued. “We may have one player, Darin Duecker, that is better than any of theirs, but overall, Tivy has more talent than we do. We match up well and we’re both very disciplined teams.”

The Kerrville Tivy Antlers(24-7) defeated the Fredericksburg Billies(23-8) for a third time with a 53-52 win in overtime at Austin Westlake High School. With the win Kerrville Tivy(25-7) advanced to the state tournament. The two teams battled to a 48-48 tie with 26 second remaining, when Fredericksburg called a timeout to set up what they hoped would be a game winning shot. The Billies committed their third turnover within the last two minutes of the game to send the game into overtime.

                Thirman Dimery was key for Tivy in the win. Dimery sat out most of the 1st half due to foul trouble, but more than made up for it in the 2nd half. “He refuses to let us lose,” Coach Jost said. “He dominates the game with his anticipation, he does so many things people don’t notice.” Dimery finished the game with 16 points and 5 steals. Pat Baldwin put up 12 points and 5 steals, Lennie Franklin was big inside for the Antlers with 12 points and 12 rebounds. Scott Delaney(16.9) was double teamed and finished with only 6 points. Darin Duecker paced Fredericksburg with 17 points and Jason Hopkins came away with 15 points.

                Tivy was 20-54 from the floor for 37%. Fredericksburg shot it much better hitting 22 of 43 for 51%. The difference came from the foul line where Tivy connected on 13 of 20 attempts while the Billies only managed 8 of 14. Tivy had only 13 turnovers while Fredericksburg had 20.












State Tournament 4-A

                Cleburne               27-6        #18         53.8-46.7      +7.1    PR 77.26

                Bay City                 31-4          #1         72.3-60.8     +11.5   PR 80.94

                Dallas Hillcrest     22-10                     65.5-61.5       +5.0   PR 84.48

                Kerrville Tivy        27-7        #17         68.0-51.7     +16.3   PR 81.36

                                Top Players at the State Tournament 4-A

                6’4”        LaBradford Smith                26.1        Bay City

6’0”        Thirman Dimery                  14.9        Kerrville Tivy

                6’1”        Justin Traweek                     15.0        Cleburne

                6’3”        Quintin Washington           20.0        Dallas Hillcrest

                5’8”        Tyrone Maxey                      12.0        Dallas Hillcrest

                6’3”        Graham Hagood                   17.0        Cleburne

                6’0”        Scott Delaney                       16.9        Kerrville Tivy

                6’3”        Billy Dykes                            17.7        Bay City

Bay City(31-4) came into Austin with momentum and looked like a sure-fire state champion. Dallas Hillcrest(22-10) had pulled a nice Houdini act escaping region II with wins over Waxahachie(20-9) and Lancaster(29-3) by one and two points. Cleburne and Kerrville Tivy both advanced with one-point victories in regional action. Three of the four teams that made their way to Austin advanced with the smallest of margins. There was little doubt Bay City would capture their second title in three years. But Bay City had really struggled in the playoffs with close games with West Orange Stark and Livingston. The Black Kats relied heavily on All-American LaBradford Smith to carry the load. Bay City had some weaknesses, the lack of depth was the most glaring. This team was nowhere as strong as the Hart Lee Dykes squad that won state in 1985.

As I arrived in Austin, I had little knowledge about any of the teams in class 4-A. All I was really concerned with was getting another look at LaBradford Smith. To me it was a forgone conclusion Bay City would be taking home their second title in three years.

Cleburne(27-6) and Kerrville Tivy(27-7) looked very similar as they traveled to Austin for their semi-final game, but the two teams differed in their approach to the game. The Yellowjackets preferred a very deliberate attack while Tivy pressured opponents all over the court.

The Yellowjackets counted on 6’3” Graham Hagood(17.0/7.0), 6’1” Justin Traweek(15.0/9.0), 6’3” Billy Allen(7.0/7.0), 6’3” Lee Troy(6.0/5.0) and 5’10” Scottie Watson(7.0/4.0).

Kerrville Tivy had a really small line-up that included, 6’1” Pat Baldwin(11.8/7.0), 6’0” Thirman Dimery(14.9/10.0), 6’0” Lennie Franklin(8.0/5.0), 6’0” Scott Delaney(12.5) and 5’10” Daron Allen(9.0).

                Tivy had won 13 straight coming into the contest and Cleburne had won 18 in a row. 6’1” Justin Traweek was considered Cleburne’s most valuable player, averaging 15.0 points, 9.0 rebounds, 5 steals and 5 assists. Neither team looked to their bench for much help. Tivy Coach Jim Jost commented about Cleburne saying, “they’re very deliberate and with good outside shooting. They have a good inside player in Graham Haygood. I’ve been told universally that they’re deliberate on offense to the point where they’ll hold the ball in the first half. They play man defense and press some but not a lot.” Coach Jost continued, “they control tempo and don’t make turnovers, they hit their free throws. The teams we had heard about from Region I were Hirsch and Borger,” Jost said. “We had not heard much about Cleburne. They are mainly a man-to-man defensive team, they’re not big, they like to control the tempo.”

                We press constantly, and we press all over the court,” Jost said. “We combine man-to-man and zone presses and we trap and play the passing lanes. We do the same thing in our half-court defense. We pressure the ball all the time,” Jost explained. “We’re extremely quick,” Jost said. “All five of our starters have sprinters speed with quick hands.”

                Coach Jeff Cody discussed Tivy saying, “they’re a team with great quickness.” Tivy had forced opponents into an average of 25 turnovers per game. The Antlers returned four starters from the previous season, while Cleburne lost their entire line-up from a 23-9 team. Thirman Dimery(14.9) and Scott Delaney(12.5) were three year-starters for Tivy. Pat Baldwin and Daron Allen were two years starters for Coach Jost. Dimery was considered the leader of the Tivy team and would be a challenge for Cleburne to slow down. “Dimery started for three years, and he plays a lot bigger than 6’0”.

Yellowjackets Coach Cody said the season had been a surprise and didn’t know how to explain it. Cleburne had the playoff advantage having made the playoffs 7 of the previous 9 years and traveling to the regional finals five times. Cody was in his 15th year with the Yellowjackets.  

                A new policy at the Erwin Center in Austin was no shoot around the day before your game. “They cut that for everybody,” Cody said.

                Coach Stringfellow of Crowley commented on Cleburne advancing all the way to state. “I never thought they’d get as far as they’ve gotten,” Stringfellow said. “They’ve been beating teams all year that are better than they are. I thought Lancaster and Paris were toughest in Region II and Hillcrest beat Lancaster. I knew about Borger, Andrews and Hirschi in Region I. The problem is Bay City,” Stringfellow explained.

                Stringfellow continued discussing Cleburne saying, “There will be better athletes than Traweek and Hagood at the state tournament, but there won’t be any better leaders. That’s a team that’s gone as far as it has because of unselfishness and unity.” Stringfellow said, “Coach Cody took some players who weren’t that good and found the exact style of play they could win in.”

                Cleburne was making their second visit to Austin after advancing to the semis in 1984 paced by 6’3” Chris Hall. Hall was considered by many fans to be the best to ever come out of Cleburne. He signed with Mississippi State following high school.

                Cleburne struggled and found themselves down by 13 points to Tivy late when Coach Cody went to his 2-2-1 full-court press. 6’3” Graham Hagood missed his first 11 shots over the first 26 minutes of the game. He was 4 of 5 late and sank critical foul shots to give Cleburne a 45-42 win over Kerrvile Tivy. Hagood finished with nine points in the all important 4th quarter. Traweek put the clamps on Dimery in the 2nd half holding the talented junior to only 4 points and 1 rebound. Dimery had put up 18 points in the first half. The Yellowjacket’s Lee Troy finished with 11 points and 7 rebounds, 6’3” Lance Whitfill kept Cleburne close in the first half and finished the game with 10 points and 8 rebounds.

                Cody only went to the press late because he was forced too. “I wasn’t sure the press would be effective,” Cody said. Cleburne struggled offensively for three quarters. “They did a lot of the same things Mineral Wells did to us,” Cody said. “They trapped us all over the floor and disrupted the tempo,” Cody continued.

The Bay City(31-4)-Dallas Hillcrest(22-10) game was viewed as a total mismatch. Bay City was the #1 team in the state and led by All-American LaBradford Smith. Hillcrest was the “Cinderella” team of the tournament. But really, Tivy and Cleburne also claimed that title coming out of nowhere to advance to state.

Coach Steve Scott looked to 5’8” Tyrone Maxey(12.0), 5’7” Patrick Williams, 6’3” Quintin Washington(20.0), 6’6” Tim Smith and 6’1” Lonnie Fuller. Hillcrest had a 12-1 record with the addition of footballers, Patrick Williams and Fuller. Prior to their addition the Panthers were 10-9. This really put a different slant on the game.

Bay City countered with 6’4” David Carey, 5’9” Terry White, 6’4” Corey Hix, 6’3” Billy Dykes(17.7) and 6’4 LaBradford Smith(26.5).

                Bay City’s(31-4) record was deceptive, because LaBradford had missed four games during mid-season and the Black Kats were only 1-3 without their star. In his first game back from the ankle injury, Smith and Bay City loss to Victoria 70-65. Smith was playing at half speed and scored only 10 points in the team’s fourth loss. Coming into state, Bay City was on an 18-game winning streak.

                In one of the biggest upsets of the state tournament during the decade, Hillcrest eliminated Bay City 54-51. LaBradford finished the game with 21 points and 7 rebounds. Hillcrest balanced scoring attack was too much for the Black Kats. Patrick Williams and 6’3” Quintin Washington led the scoring for Hillcrest with 14 apiece, while 6’1” Lonnie Fuller added 13 points. “We respected them, but we weren’t afraid of them,” Coach Scott said. “LaBradford had his points, but we felt like one man couldn’t beat five. We felt like we belonged here. If we didn’t, we wouldn’t be here.”

Quintin Washington said following the semi-final game, “coach told us we had nothing to be afraid of. They had the big reputation and were the underdogs.” Williams came up big in the Panthers win once again with three steals and hit two key foul shots late. “We wanted to stop the rest and let LaBradford get his points,” Williams said. “We knew they had one man and we have five. If we played like a team, we felt like we could win.”

                Hillcrest led at halftime 35-28 converting 10 Bay City turnovers into 15 points. The Panthers extended their lead to 41-28 in the 3rd quarter. 

                Coach Eddie Nelson commented, “I think they were good and had a lot of talent. I’m not going to make any excuses. The best team won. They didn’t have a bad player out there.”

6’3” Billy Dykes finished with 16 points and 9 rebounds for Bay City. Hillcrest had brought to an end Region III’s domination of state in class 4-A winning eight of the last nine state titles. Waxahachie broke the streak in 1983 with their outstanding club.

The power rating numbers were revealing with Dallas Hillcrest being the favorite with 82.48 rating compared to Bay City’s 80.94. Of course, most viewers of the tournament focused on the same thing I did, the LaBradford Smith factor and Bay City’s five state appearances over a nine-year period. The numbers don’t lie but they don’t figure in the emotional factors, they just figure in if all things are equal, and teams play their average game.        

State Finals

                In front of 13,553 fans in the Erwin Center, Hillcrest took the state title home defeating Cleburne 51-42. The two unlikely teams squared off for the class 4-A state title. “I’ve tried to instill in my players just how that feels, to be a champion,” Coach Scott said. “At our stadiums in Dallas, they have pictures of me with the state championship baseball team in 1965 on the walls. I always tell them that could be you, if you work hard enough and believe in yourselves enough.”

                With wins over Bay City and Lancaster the Panthers had defeated the two top ranked teams in the state. Tyrone Maxey led the way for Hillcrest with 15 points, 5 steals and floor leadership against Cleburne. “Tyrone played so well,” Scott said. “And they fouled the wrong man when they fouled Quintin. Even though he wasn’t hitting his shots, he buried those free throws. He’s done that all season.” The inside outside combination of Washington and Maxey was tough to match.

                Hillcrest(24-10) hit 5 of 6 fouls shots down the stretch in front of 13,553 fans. With 2:32 left Coach Steve Scott of Hillcrest went into his delay game. Cleburne had no choice but to foul.

                “I knew they were good,” Cody said. “You have to be good to beat teams like Lancaster, Waxahachie and Bay City. They’re big, and they’re quick, and that’s a tough combination. We knew they had good people outside. They had five good athletes and were very well coached,” Cody explained.

                “We came into the game feeling like we had to stop Washington and we did a good job on him,” Cody said. “It was Maxey who hurt us, especially early.” Cody continued saying, “our strategy was to make them beat us from 18-feet.” “We got speeded up a few times,” Cody said. “We played faster than we needed to play and had some turnovers. We had to play aggressively.”

Justin Traweek finished with a game high 16 points for Cleburne. Cleburne went 17 of 39 from the floor for 43% and 8 of 13 from the line. Hillcrest finished with 18 of 40 from the field for 45% and 15 of 20 from behind the stripe. Maxey led the scoring for the Panthers with 15 points, Fuller added 12 points and Washington finished with his playoff low of only 9 points.

                Coach Steve Scott discussed the big win, “Maxey has always been our floor leader,” Scott said. “We don’t think we came out of nowhere, we played tough 5-A competition and our district is tough, we just had some rough times earlier in the season.” Scott continued saying, “a state championship is for life, not one year, but for life. They all said we want to come back in 25 years for the reunion.”

                “Everybody was disrespecting of us,” said Maxey. “They said we were no match for Bay City. We were a little angry. We had to prove that we could play,” Maxey said.

All-Tournament Team- Tyrone Maxey-Hillcrest, Lonnie Fuller-Hillcrest, LaBradford Smith-Bay City, Justin Traweek-Cleburne, Scott Delaney-Kerrville Tivy:

                                The AAAA Powers of the 1980s

                                                Pt. Arthur Lincoln

Year        Record   Ranked   Power    Class       Playoffs                  Coach

1980         24-9         #9        84.08      4-A(5-A) Regional Semis     Gamble

1981         36-3        #1        99.30     4-A(5-A) State Champs       Gamble

1982         21-9        #25                       4-A(5-A) Lost Dist. PO         Gamble

1983         24-8         #8                        4-A          Lost Zone PO        Gamble

1984         32-3         #1        91.88     4-A          State Champs       Gamble

1985         29-4         #2        94.70      4-A          Regional Finals     Gamble

1986         33-1         #1      104.97      4-A          State Champs       Gamble

1987         25-5         #3        90.27      4-A          Regional Finals     Gamble

                                                  Rankings are by McKee season ending ratings:


                                                            Bay City

Year        Record   Ranked   Power    Class       Playoffs                  Coach

1979         28-3         #7                        3-A(4-A) State Semis           Nelson

1980         27-8         #5                        3-A(4-A) State Semis           Nelson

1981         23-9                                      3-A(4-A) Dist. Runner-up    Nelson

1982         27-5        #16       80.18     3-A(4-A) State Semis           Nelson

1983         24-5         #5                        4-A          Bi-District               Nelson

1984         25-2         #2                        4-A          Regional Finals     Nelson   

1985         35-1         #1        89.70     4-A          State Champs       Nelson

1986         34-1         #3        86.36      4-A          Regional Finals     Nelson

1987         31-5         #2        80.94     4-A          State Semis           Nelson

                                                Rankings are by McKee season ending ratings:


                                                Wichita Falls Hirschi

Year        Record   Ranked   Power    Class       Playoffs                  Coach

1982                         #17                       4-A          Bi-District               Byers

1983          26-5        #4                        4-A          Regional Semis     Byers

1984          25-4        #6                        4-A          Regional Finals     Byers

1985          21-9       #17                       4-A          Bi-District               Byers

1986          24-2        #7                        4-A          Bi-District               Byers

1987          27-5        #10                      4-A          Regional Semis     Byers

                                                Rankings are by McKee season ending ratings:




Year        Record   Ranked   Power    Class       Playoffs                  Coach

1981          24-13     #13                      4-A          Regional Finals     Cody

1982          31-5        #9                        4-A          Regional Finals     Cody

1983          20-9        #19                      4-A          Bi-District               Cody

1984          30-5        #5        79.03     4-A          State Semis           Cody

1985          27-6        #13                      4-A          Regional Finals     Cody

1986          23-9        #12                      4-A          3rd place Dist.        Cody

1987          27-7        #8        77.26     4-A          State Finals           Cody

                                                Rankings are by McKee season ending ratings:



Year        Record   Ranked   Power    Class       Playoffs                  Coach

1980          28-4        #4                        3-A(4-A) Regional Finals     Hunt      

1981          27-4        #3                        4-A          Dist. Runner-up    Hunt

1982          26-7        #5                        4-A          Bi-District               Hunt

1983          29-7        #2        85.47     4-A          State Finals           Hunt

1984          15-15     #14                      4-A          Regional Semis     Hunt

1985          28-3        #16                      4-A          Regional Semis     Hunt

1986          25-4        #6                        4-A          Regional Finals     Hunt

1987          28-6        #10                      4-A          Regional Finals     Hunt

                                                Rankings are by McKee season ending ratings:



Year        Record   Ranked   Power    Class       Playoffs                  Coach

1982          26-6       #14                       4-A          Dist. Runner-up

1983          24-6       #13                       4-A          Bi-District               Roberts

1984          26-4       #15                       4-A          Bi-District               Roberts

1985          28-6        #4        80.86     4-A          State Finals           Roberts

1986          27-5        #5                        4-A          Regional Semis    

1987          26-6       #26                       4-A          Bi-District

                                                Rankings are by McKee season ending ratings



Year        Record   Ranked   Power    Class       Playoffs                  Coach

1982          30-5        #4                        4-A          Dist. Runner-up    Culley

1983          35-2        #3        90.95     4-A          State Finals           Culley

1984          27-4        #3                        4-A          Bi-District               Culley

1985          30-2        #3                        4-A          Regional Finals     Culley

1986          26-4        #4                        4-A          Regional Semis     Culley

1987          21-8       #16                       4-A          3rd Place Dist.        Culler

                                                Rankings are by McKee season ending ratings:



Year        Record   Ranked   Power    Class       Playoffs                  Coach

1979          26-5        #6                        3-A(4-A) Regional Finals     Aldridge

1980          32-4        #3        86.68     3-A(4-A) State Semi            Aldridge

1981          29-9        #4        85.84     4-A          State Semi            Aldridge

1982          30-7        #2        86.04     4-A          State Finals           Aldridge

1983          35-2        #1        93.23     4-A          State Champs       Nickols

1984          28-3        #4        79.60      4-A          Zone Playoff          Nickols

1985          17-11    #25                       4-A          3rd District              Nickols

1986          20-8       #17                       4-A          Regional Semis     Nickols

1987          20-9       #15       67.06      4-A          Regional Semis     Nickols

                                                Rankings are by McKee season ending ratings:



Year        Record   Ranked   Power    Class       Playoffs                  Coach

1980          27-5        #9                        3-A(4-A) Bi-District

1981          26-5       #27                       4-A          Dist. Runner-up

1982          32-3        #3        84.25     4-A          State Semis           F. Bice


1984          22-11    #17                       4-A          Bi-District

1985          18-14                                  4-A          Bi-District

1986          29-3        #9                        4-A          Bi-District

1987          30-4        #11                      4-A          Regional Semis    

                                                Rankings are by McKee season ending ratings:








1987 State Rankings AAAA {End of the Regular Season}: 

  1. Bay City 26-4 6’4” LaBradford Smith(26.5), 6’3” Billy Dykes(17.7)
  2. Pt. Arthur Lincoln 21-4 6’2” Gary Hunt, 6’8” Brian Sallier
  3. Wilmer Hutchins 23-8 6’3” Joel Donaldson(27.0), Briant Collier(25.0)
  4. Wichita Falls Hirschi 26-4 6’6” Darion Newsome(26.5), Keith Steveson(14.0)
  5. Lancaster 27-2 5’6” James Cain, 6’3” Thomas Hill
  6. Andrews 26-3 Bernard Williams(15.0), Damon Clay(20.0)          
  7. Paris 25-5 6’4” Darrell Mickins. 5’7” Dexter Williams
  8. Whitehouse 25-4 6’4” Chris Moran(14.0), 6’4” Chris Greenhouse(14.0)
  9. Gregory-Portland 26-2 Joey Deegan, 6’5” Larry Welch
  10. Borger 24-5 Don Coffer, Charles Walker(14.2)
  11. Lamesa 24-4
  12. SA Alamo Heights 26-3 6’5” Edward Hart(20.8), Chris Senn(12.6)
  13. West Orange-Stark 22-10 6’5” Gary Scott(15.8). Quinton Tezeno(10.0)
  14. Waco Midway 26-5 Rob Reagan
  15. Taylor 18-7
  16. Livingston 22-4 Craig Davis, Ron Jordon
  17. Kerrville Tivy 20-7 6’0” Thirman Dimery, 6’0” Scott Delaney
  18. Cleburne 20-6 6’1” Justin Traweek(15.0), Graham Hagood(16.0)
  19. Lubbock Estacado 18-10 Ryan Davis
  20. Waller 20-7


TABC All-State

1st Team- 6’4” LaBradford Smith(26.5/8.8/6.6 assists/4.5 steals)-Bay City, 6’4” Darrell Mickins(18.6/11.0)-Paris, Quinton Washington(19.3)-Dallas Hillcrest, 6’0” Thirman Dimery(14.8)-Kerrville Tivy, 6’6” Darion Newsome(26.5)-Wichita Falls Hirschi;

2nd Team- 6’3” Ryan Davis(29.9)-Lubbock Estacado, 6’2” Don Coffer(17.0)-Borger, 6’2” Gary Hunt(18.9)-PA Lincoln, 6’3” Joel Donaldson(27.0)-Wilmer Hutchins, 6’5” Edward Hart(20.8)-Alamo Heights;

3rd Team- 6’0” Bernard Williams(15.0)-Andrews, Craig Lillie-Cleveland, 6’2” Maurice Alexander(20.4)-Waxahachie, Darin Duecker-Fredericksburg, Joey Deegan-Gregory-Portland:

Sports Writers Association

1st Team- 6’0” Charles Walker(14.2)-Borger, 6’6” Darion Newsome(26.5)-Hirschi, 6’0” Stacey Moore-Denison, 6’4” LaBradford Smith(26.5)-Bay City, Darrell Mickens(18.6/11.0)-Paris;

2nd Team- 6’2” Ken Robinson-Carthage, 6’5” Duane McFadden-Denison, 6’6” Dennis Wright-Brenham, 6’5” Gary Scott(15.8)-West Orange-Stark, 5’6” James Cain(18.0)-Lancaster, 6’0” Jarvis Green-Houston Furr:

Top Scorers in the class 4-A playoffs: For the third year in a row we have kept playoff numbers in class 4-A. Who else, but LaBradford Smith. The Bay City legend hit 43 against Dickinson in the zone playoff, 15 vs West Orange Stark in Bi-District, 25 vs. Livingston, 27 against Pt. Arthur Lincoln and 21 in the state semis against Dallas Hillcrest. LaBradford came away with a 26.2 per game average in the tournament.



Power Ratings 1987 4-A

  1. Arthur Lincoln 25-5           90.27     Regional Finals 4-A loss Bay City 74-64
  2. Lancaster 31-3           36     Regional Semis 4-A loss Hillcrest 53-54
  3. Dallas Hillcrest 24-10         48     State Champs 4-A   def. Bay City 54-51
  4. Kerrville Tivy 27-8           36     State Semis 4-A      loss Cleburne 45-42
  5. Bay City 31-5           94     State Semis 4-A      loss Hillcrest 54-51
  6. Wilmer Hutchins 23-11         54     Ineligible 4-A
  7. Cleburne 28-7           26     State Finals 4-A       loss Hillcrest 54-42
  8. Waxahachie 20-9           06     2nd Round 4-A         loss Hillcrest 60-58


1987 4-A Playoffs

Region I Bi-Dist.        Borger(26-5) #10                      91            Lamesa(26-5) #11                     67

                                Andrews(29-3) #6                     82            Lubbock Estacado(19-11) #19    74

                                Cleburne(23-6) #18                   39            Mineral Wells(18-13)                32

                                Wichita Falls Hirschi(26-4) #4    91            Crowley(20-9)                          65

Region I Semi Finals  Cleburne(24-6) #18                   50            Andrews(30-3) #6                         41                           Borger(27-5) #10                      75                Wichita Falls Hirschi(27-4) #4    71

Regional Finals         Cleburne(25-6) #18                   58            Borger(28-5) #10                      57

Region II Bi-Dist.       Paris(26-5) #7                           93            Dallas Adamson(20-9)               60                            Dallas Hillcrest(18-9)                 80                Denison(18-11)                         72

                                Lancaster(27-2) #5                    68            Palestine(21-9)                         58

                                Waxahachie(19-8)                    75            Henderson(25-7)                      72

Region II Semi Finals Dallas Hillcrest(19-9)                 60            Waxahachie(20-8)                        58                           Lancaster(28-2) #5                    71                Paris(27-5) #7                           69

Region II Finals         Dallas Hillcrest(20-9)                 54            Lancaster(29-2) #5                    53

Region III Bi-Dist.      Waco Midway(26-5) #14           79            Cleveland(19-11)                      71

                                Livingston(25-4) #16                 60            Pflugerville(20-11)                    53

                                Pt. Arthur Lincoln(23-4) #2        83            Houston Furr(17-10)                 49

                                Bay City(28-4) #1                      28            West Orange Stark(24-10) #13   26

Region III Semis        Bay City(29-4) #1                      81            Livingston(26-4) #16                 72

                                Pt. Arthur Lincoln(24-4) #2        89            Waco Midway(27-5) #14           71

Region III Finals        Bay City(30-4) #1                      74            Pt. Arthur Lincoln(25-4) #2        64

Region IV Bi-Dist.      Kerrville Tivy(24-7) #17             76            SA Edgewood(20-11)                58

                                Fredericksburg(23-8)                59            SA Alamo Heights(26-3) #12      54

                                Gregory-Portland(28-2) #9        85            Edcouch-Elsa(20-12)                 56

                                Raymondville(22-9)                  79            Corpus Christi Calallen(17-12)    66

Region IV Semis        Kerrville Tivy(25-7) #17             56            Gregory-Portland(29-2) #9        48

                                Fredericksburg(24-8)                68            Raymondville(23-9)                  44

Region IV Finals        Kerrville Tivy(26-7) #17             53            Fredericksburg(25-8)                52

State Semi-Finals      Dallas Hillcrest(22-10)               54            Bay City(31-4) #1                      51

                                Cleburne(27-6) #18                   45            Kerrville Tivy(27-7) #17             42

State Finals               Dallas Hillcrest(23-10)               54            Cleburne(27-6) #18                   42









{After reviewing the entire season and the playoffs this would be my 1987 AAAA Top Teams

  1. Dallas Hillcrest 24-10       {state champion, def. Lancaster, Bay City, Waxahachie}
  2. Bay City 31-5         {State semis lost to Hillcrest, defeated PA Lincoln 74-64}
  3. Arthur Lincoln 25-5         {regional finals losing to Bay City, 3-1 vs. Bea. Central}
  4. Lancaster 29-3         {regional finals losing to Hillcrest 54-53}
  5. Cleburne 27-7         {defeated Borger, Andrews and Tivy}
  6. West Orange Stark 24-11       {losses to Lincoln in ot by 2 and Bay City by 2 in PO}
  7. Wilmer Hutchins 23-11       {split with Lancaster and Waxahachie, forced to FF 2 gm}
  8. Paris 27-6         {regional semis losing to Lancaster by 2}
  9. Borger                 28-6         {regional finals losing by one to Cleburne}
  10. Wichita Falls Hirschi 27-5 {regional semi-finals losing to Borger by 4}
  11. Andrews 30-3         {regional semis, dominated West Texas}
  12. Kerrville Tivy 27-8         {state semi-finals, defeated Kerrville 3 of 4 games}
  13. SA Alamo Heights 26-4         {upset by Fredericksburg in Bi-District}
  14. Fredericksburg 25-9         {finished 3-1 against Tivy during the season}
  15. Waxahachie 20-9         {split with Lancaster and Wilmer Hutchins}
  16. Silsbee 21-8         {finished behind PA Lincoln and WOS}
  17. Dallas Adamson 20-10       {lost in bi-district to Paris, 1-2 vs. Hillcrest}
  18. Gregory-Portland 27-3         {lost in regional semis to Tivy}
  19. Livingston 24-5         {loss in regional semis to Bay City}
  20. Dallas Madison 18-8         {tough district, lost to Hillcrest in Dist. By 1 and 2 points}
  21. Dallas Lincoln 11-9         {tough district, 1-1 against Hillcrest}
  22. Waco Midway 27-6         {regional semis lost to PA Lincoln, defeated Cleburne}
  23. Houston Furr 17-11       {lost in Bi-District to PA Lincoln}
  24. Cleveland 19-12       {lost in Bi-District to Waco Midway}
  25. Waller 22-9         {finished state ranked at #20}
  26. Lamesa 26-6         {lost in bi-district to Borger}
  27. Henderson 25-8         {lost in Bi-District to Waxahachie by 3}
  28. Whitehouse 25-5         {lost a zone playoff game after finished #8 in the state}
  29. Carthage 22-9         {strong East Texas team}
  30. Pleasant 19-11       {lost a district zone playoff game to Henderson}
  31. Crowley 20-10       {lost Hirschi in Bi-Dist. defeated Northside 78-76 zone PO}
  32. Denison 17-12       {lost in Bi-District to Lancaster}
  33. Lubbock Estacado 19-11       {lost in Bi-District to Borger}
  34. Levelland 22-9         {finished behind Borger and Estacado in District}
  35. Palestine 21-10       {lost in bi-district to Lancaster}
  36. Little Cyp-Maurice 18-11       {District competition was a blood bath with PA Lincoln}
  37. Dickinson 18-17       {runner-up in zone behind Houston Furr}
  38. Channelview 21-12       {finished 3rd in zone behind Furr and Dickinson}
  39. New Braunfels 20-10       {finished behind Fredericksburg and Kerrville Tivy}
  40. Raymondville 23-10       {lost in regional semi-finals to Fredericksburg}
  41. Pflugerville 20-12       {lost in bi-district to Livingston 60-53}
  42. McKinney 18-12       {lost in zone playoff to Denison 84-47.}
  43. Gainesville 13-17       {lost in zone playoff to Paris 66-55}
  44. Allen 21-9         {finished 3rd in zone behind Denison and Gainesville}
  45. Rockwall 17-10       {defeated Cleburne 52-49, Waxahachie 54-51, 3rd zone}
  46. Worth Northside 16-14 {won zone playoff over FW Poly and Carter-Riverside}
  47. Clements 21-11       {4th place behind Fredericksburg, Tivy and New Braunfels}
  48. Edgewood 20-12       {lost to Tivy in bi-district, runner-up to Alamo Heights}
  49. Edcouch-Elsa 20-12       {lost to Gregory-Portland by 29 in bi-district}            
  50. Taylor 18-7         {ranked in the state top 20}
  51. Mineral Wells 18-14       {lost in Bi-District to Cleburne}
  52. CC Calallen 17-13       {lost in bi-district to Raymondville}
  53. FW Carter-Riverside 12-15 {lost to Cleburne 52-49 in zone playoff}
  54. Canyon 19-13       {defeated Borger in District 65-64}
  55. Corsicana 13-16       {defeated Waxahachie 2 of their 3 meetings}


Best AAAA Teams 1980-87

#  Team    Season Average        Year         W-L          Playoffs                    Standouts

  1. PA Lincoln(70.8-46.4) +24.4 1986 33-1         State Champs +15.0  {Anthony Allen, K.Hall}
  2. Waxahachie(82.5-59.1) +23.4 1983 35-2 State Champs +17.0  {Alexander, Washington}
  3. Bay City (74.0-53.9) +20.2 1985 35-1         State Champs +13.0  {LaBradford, H.L. Dykes}
  4. Bea. Hebert(75.1-50.7) +16.3 1981 33-2         State Champs +21.5  {A. Boutte, Mickens}
  5. Bea. Hebert(76.0-53.7) +22.3 1980 35-2         State Champs +21.5  {D. Mickens, R. Samuels}
  6. Bea. Hebert(73.9-57.6) +16.3 1982 30-3         State Champs +7.8    {Rahn Bailey, Darkins}
  7. PA Lincoln(67.1-49.0) +18.1 1984 32-3         State Champs +9.6    {Kevin Bush, D. Young}

                                                Honorable Mention

Mansfield(69.6-55.6) +14.0        1986        31-2         State Finals +3.6       {Riley Smith, John Smith}

Bay City                                    1986        34-1         Regional Finals          {LaBradford, S. Jackson}

Port Arthur Lincoln                    1985        29-4         Regional Semis         {A. Allen, D. Henton}

Silsbee(66.5-46.4) +20.1            1983        35-2         State Semis +4.5       {D. Harper, L. McArthur}

Silsbee                                     1985        30-2         Regional Finals          {D. McArthur, K. Dodds}

Dallas Hillcrest(65.5-61.5) +4.0   1987        24-10       State Champs +4.6    {Q. Washington, Maxey}

Bay City(72.3-60.8) +11.5           1987        31-5         State Semi +4.5         {LaBradford}            

Port Arthur Lincoln                    1987        26-5         Regional Finals          {Sallier, Gary Hunt}

Lamesa(80.5-64.0) +16.5           1985        28-6         State Finals +5.8       {Jerry Mason, C. Mason}

Borger(66.4-52.4) +14.0             1983        29-7         State Finals +3.0       {T. Sheppard, Kevin Willis}

Silsbee                                     1986        26-4         Regional Semis         {D. McArthur, F. Ruckett}

Bay City                                    1984        25-2         Regional Finals          {Carl Jackson, Hart Dykes}

Silsbee                                     1984        27-4         Bi-District                 {D. McArthur, F. Artis}

Canyon                                     1981        28-9         State Finals +11.2      {Ken Walling, D. Harbin}

Waxahachie(71.2-57.4) +13.8     1982        30-6         State Finals +4.5       {T.Alexander,D.Alexander}

Andrews(75.6-57.6) +18.0          1982        32-3         State Semis +1.7       {Keith Brooks, M. Murry}

Lamesa                                     1986        27-5         Regional Semis         {Cedric Mason, J. Mason}

                Pt. Arthur Lincoln(4), Bay City(4), Silsbee(4), Beaumont Hebert(3), Waxahachie(2):


Top Players AAAA 1980-87

Ht.                  1st Team              Pts.          High School              College                    Pro

6’7”         Anthony Allen(86)     17.5         PA Lincoln                Georgetown

6’4”         LaBradford Smith(87) 26.5         Bay City                    Louisville                  Bullet NBA#19

6’7”         Riley Smith(86)         21.0         Mansfield                 Idaho                       USBL #17

6’3”         Jerry Mason(86)        30.4         Lamesa                     Texas Tech

5’11”       Todd Alexander(84)   21.0         Waxahachie             Minnesota/SMU

                      2nd Team

6’4”         Hart Lee Dykes(85)    20.0         Bay City                    Oklahoma St.(Foot)   N.F.L.

6’3”         Darrell McArthur(86) 24.0         Silsbee                     Houston

6’8”         Jimmie Gilbert(82)    16.3         Huntsville                 Texas A&M               Bulls NBA #98

6’7”         Coyle Winburn(84)    20.9         Pampa                      SMU

6’4”         Carlton Cooper(81)   21.2         Paris                         Texas                        MavsNBA #132



                    3rd Team

6’2”         Reggie Roberts(80)    22.0         McKinney                 Texas A&M

6’3”         Mike Nelson(83)       23.1         Pampa                      Texas Tech

6’4”         Darrell Mickens(87)   16.5         Paris                         Houston

6’0”         James Stern(81)        28.0         Waxahachie             Baylor

6’6”         Randy Samuels(80)   17.0         Beaumont Hebert     Oklahoma

                Bay City(2), Waxahachie(2), Paris(2), Pampa(2):


Class AAAA Power Ratings 1980-87

  1. PA Lincoln(86) 33-1      97        State Champs          Anthony Allen
  2. Bea Hebert(81) 33-2         60       State Champs          Donald Mickens
  3. PA Lincoln(85) 29-4         70       Regional Finals       Anthony Allen
  4. Mansfield(86) 31-2         12       State Finals             Riley Smith
  5. Waxahachie(83) 35-2         23       State Champs          Todd Alexander
  6. Bea Hebert(80) 35-2         95       State Champs          Randy Samuels
  7. PA Lincoln(84) 32-3         88       State Champs          Kevin Bush
  8. Silsbee(83) 35-2         95       State Semis             Lloyd McArthur
  9. Bea Hebert(82) 30-3         81       State Champs          Rahn Bailey
  10. PA Lincoln(87) 25-5         27       Regional Finals       Gary Hunt
  11. Bay City(85) 35-1         70       State Champs          Hart Lee Dykes
  12. Waxahachie(80) 32-4         67       State Semis             Vance Hughes
  13. Bay City(86) 34-1         36       Regional Finals       LaBradford Smith
  14. Waxahachie(82) 30-7         04       State Finals             Todd Alexander     
  15. Waxahachie(81) 29-9         84       State Semis             James Stern
  16. Borger(83) 28-7         47       State Finals             Terrance Sheppard
  17. Corsicana(85) 29-4         23       Regional Finals       Lamar Wadley
  18. Andrews(82) 32-3         25       State Semis             Jerry Alaniz
  19. Lancaster(87) 31-3         36       Regional Finals       James Cain
  20. Dal Hillcrest(87) 24-10       48       State Champs          Quincy Washington
  21. Kerrville Tivy(87) 27-8         36       State Semis             Thirman Dimery
  22. Bay City(87) 31-5         94       State Semis             LaBradford Smith
  23. Lamesa(85) 28-6         86       State Finals             Chris Mason
  24. Braunfels(85) 19-13       80.46       State Semi              Tilo Schmidt
  25. Bay City(82) 27-5         18       State Semis             Ivan Pettit
  26. CC Flour Bluff(84) 32-4         10       State Finals             Roger Durden
  27. Jacksonville(84) 22-9         84       State Semis             Kenneth Brown
  28. Waxahachie(84) 28-3         60       Zone Playoffs          Todd Alexander
  29. Wil Hutchins(87) 23-11       54       Ineligible                 Joel Donaldson
  30. Cleburne(84) 30-5         03       State Semis             Chris Hall
  31. Palestine(86) 29-5         75       State Semis             Alonzo Stephens
  32. CC Flour Bluff(83) 30-5         90       State Semis             Roger Durden
  33. Braunfels(86) 21-10       77.66       State Semis             Tilo Schmidt
  34. Cleburne(87) 28-7         51       State Finals             Justin Traweek
  35. Seagoville(85) 20-12       84       State Semis             John Tenison

Waxahachie(5), Lincoln(4), Bay City(4), Hebert(3):





1987 AAA

                Class AAA was dominated by traditional powers; Sweeny(26-2), Hughes Springs(27-0), Dimmitt(19-11), West Oso(25-6), and Gonzales(26-3). The single high school towns dominated the AAA landscape unlike today.

Region I

The Dimmitt(19-11) Bobcats ruled West Texas basketball in class AAA.

Coach Ken Cleveland had a dynasty the likes of which few had ever seen in the Lone Star state. The Bobcats were definitely going to be challenged in the ’87 season with Marlin(24-4) and Decatur(28-1) in Region I. Dimmitt had traveled to Austin four out of the previous five seasons, winning two state titles.

                Dimmitt opened the playoffs after going undefeated in District 2-3A. Sanford-Fritch(17-11) met the Bobcats at Amarillo Civic Center in front of an estimated 1450 fans. Coach Cleveland’s crew struggled early until changing defenses to come away with a 64-48 win. Coach Cleveland explained, “their guards are good shooters and they just bombed it on us.” With the 1-3-1, Coach Cleveland’s crew was able to cover the outside shots much better than in the familiar 2-3 zone.

                Jad Morgan was the leader for Fritch with 16 points, all from a distance. Jim Morgan, the Sanford-Fritch coach, counted on 6’6” Shawn Thames for 10 points and 10 rebounds and 6’3” Dickey Durr for 8 rebounds.

                The Bobcats were fueled by James Alexander with 17 points and 6 rebounds and Warren McDonald’s 28 points and 9 rebounds. Jeremy Warren was good for 17 points as well.  

                The Bobcats continued their winning ways in the regional quarterfinals defeating and old rival Seminole 62-40. 6’6” David Williams led the Seminole attack and finished with 20/14 on the evening. The Indians fell apart in the second half hitting only 2 of 22 from the floor after trailing 28-21 at intermission. For the game, Seminole shot a dismal 13 of 53 for the field for 24%. Bobby Jenkins added 14 points for the Indians attack and David Williams put up 15 points.

                For Dimmitt, Warren McDonald finished with 17 points and James Alexander(20.0) added 12. The game was played in Levelland at South Plains Texas Dome.

                At regionals, Dimmitt(23-11) faced their most challenging regional schedule in years. Two of the top four ranked teams in the state awaited the Bobcats, Marlin(29-4) and Decatur(32-1). The regional tournament was held at the Lubbock Municipal Coliseum on the campus of Texas Tech. Dimmitt starters were 6’3” James Alexander(20.0/6.5), 6’1” Warren McDonald, 6’0” Jeremy Warren, 6’6” Marc Bennett and 6’3” Jim Nelson.

                In looking at the scouting report on Decatur(32-1) you realized everything revolved around 6’2” 190 pound, Lance Aldridge(18.1/9.3). Aldridge was an exceptional athlete who played in the secondary in college at Mississippi State. In high school he played running back, linebacker and punter on the gridiron. He also excelled in track and was the defending district champion in the shot put and long jump. That’s right, unusual combination. He definitely made his presence known on the basketball court.

                Coach Cleveland commented, “our scouting report on them is they’re a good pressing team and they like to press and run.” Coach Cleveland continued saying, “we’re just going to try and do what we’ve done all season, push the ball up court, press and play defense. They’re 32-1, so they’ve got to be good.”

                Dimmitt(24-11) pulled away from Decatur(32-1) winning 62-43 and advancing to the regional finals in front of 1500 fans. The Bobcats led at half 32-26 and Coach Cleveland came away with his 726th career victory.

                Aldridge was held to 12 points and 9 rebounds in the loss. “They had a super post man in Lance Aldridge, but I thought my big post man probably had his best defensive game of the year as far as helping shut down Aldridge.” Coach Cleveland was referring to 6’6” Marc Bennett. “Aldridge is a super athlete and a super basketball player. And I felt like stopping him was the key,” Cleveland said. Bennett not only put up 12 points, but kicked in 14 rebounds. Mike Piche was the leader for Decatur with 14 points. Dimmitt placed four players in double figures in their balanced attack. Dimmitt easily out rebounded Decatur 41-30.

                The Bobcats prepared to face Marlin(30-4) in the regional finals. Marlin(26-4) was the #3 ranked team in the state and took out Idalou 57-44 in the other semi-final match-up. Coach Cleveland was impressed with their overall size. “We can’t afford to give them three and four shots at the basket.”

                James Alexander(20.0) had been struggling with his shooting coming into the regional finals. Alexander awakened in the 2nd half leading the Bobcats of Dimmitt to a 63-58 victory over Marlin(30-4). Alexander was 9 of 13 in the 2nd half and ended up with 22 points. The win put Dimmitt in Austin for the fifth time in six years. It was also Dimmitt’s 14th overall trip to state, which was a state record in class 3-A.

                Marlin coach, Leo Green, felt comfortable after three quarters leading 48-43. Coach Green decided to slow things down and went into a delay game by holding the ball. The results of which were three straight turnovers and the Bobcats grabbed a 51-50 lead with 4:18 remaining in the game. Soon Dimmitt extended the lead to 56-50 with just 3 minutes left on the clock.

                Dimmitt shot 54% on the evening, while Marlin only managed 36%. The Bobcats were struggling from the line hitting only 7 of 17 for the game. Jeremy Warren, Warren McDonald and Marc Bennett all found double figures for Dimmitt, while Terrance Bailey paced the Marlin attack with 17 points and Johnny Parker joined in with 12.

Region II

                Hughes Springs(27-0) had two of the best players in class 3-A basketball in 6’4” Eddie Jones(20.4) and 6’5” Darrin Terry(19.3). Both were named to the All East Texas squad by the Longview News. The team included players of all classifications. Jones and Terry were both named to the 1st team and Terry was also named “Player of the Year” by the media. Terry was one of the top athletes to ever come out of East Texas. He high jumped 6’8”, rushed for 980 yards on the football field, ran a 48.32 quarter mile, intercepted 16 passes in one season in football and was named 1st team all-state on the gridiron. Following graduation, Terry played wide receiver at Tyler Junior College, moved on to play basketball at Carl Albert Junior College in Oklahoma. The talented Terry finally played six games at Texas A&M on the basketball court before being ruled academically ineligible. Terry transferred to one of the top NAIA programs in the country, Oklahoma City University. While at Oklahoma City, Terry helped his team win 51 straight and two national titles under Coach Darrel Johnson. Abe Lemons had put Oklahoma City on the national map with two coaching tenures at OKC from 1955-74 and 1987-90.

Terry(13.0/8.6) was a member of the 1992 national championship team along with 5’11” Tony Terrell(14.7) from S.A. East Central, 6’2” Smokey McCovery(13.5) from LaPorte, 6’7” Eric Manuel(14.6) from Macon Southwest from Georgia and 6’9” Keith Stewart(13.2/9.2). Manuel was a Parade and McDonalds All-American and signed with Kentucky following high school. He was declared ineligible following a questionable ACT score. Oklahoma City University had a power house.

                During the regular season the Hughes Springs Mustangs were really only challenged once defeating District rival, Queen City(20-2) 65-62 in overtime. Terry hit a jumper with 19 seconds left in regulation to tie the game, and put the game into overtime. Doug Thomas hit a one and one situation to give Hughes Springs the big win in OT.

                In the much anticipated rematch in front of 1200 fans, Hughes Springs clipped Queen City(20-2) 81-65. Both of Queen Cities losses came at the hands of the Mustangs. Terry was impressive hitting 15 of 25 field goals, which included a big slam dunk. Terry ended up with 34 points and 12 rebounds. Jones finished 13 of 18 with 29 points and 21 rebounds. Hughes Springs dominated inside with a 49-33 rebound advantage. Queen City(20-2) was paced by 6’5” Tim Collier(19.0). The Mustangs had the game well under control at halftime 45-23.

                In Bi-District in Marshall the Bulldogs of Jefferson challenged Hughes Springs to no avail losing 76-57. Jefferson’s line-up was made up of four scholarship football athletes. 5’10” Kenneth Henderson, 5’10” Keith Smith, 5’10” Kevin Smith and 6’2” Terry Johnson. The Mustangs countered with 6’5” Darrin Terry(19.3), 6’4” Eddie Jones(20.7), 6’4” Maurice Jones and 6’5” Rusty Clark. Outside shooting by Kenneth Henderson kept Jefferson in the contest. Eddie Jones paced Hughes Springs with 30 points, followed by Terry with 12 and Maurice Jones with 11. Terry Henderson was high man for Jefferson with 23 points.

15-3A All-District Team 1st Team- 6’5” Darrin Terry(19.3)-Hughes Springs, 6’4” Eddie Jones(20.7)-Hughes Springs, 6’3” LaRoderick Richardson-Queen City, Jason Boston-Hooks, Eric Johnson-Hooks, Dwight Jones-New Boston, Ricky Casteel-New Boston, Randy Henderson-Pleasant Grove, 6’5” Tim Collier-Queen City, Tommy Cook-Atlanta, Ronnie Pruitt-DeKalb; Maurice Jones-Hughes Spring and Kenneth Betts-New Boston were both named “Sophomore of the Year.” Mark Owens of Hughes Springs and Tommy Thomas of Queen City were named “Coach of the Year.”

                Clarksville(23-7) always presented a problem to opponents because of the tremendous athletes produced by the East Texas community. Clarksville eliminated Brownsboro in Bi-District 66-56. Brownsboro(19-9) had a strong program advancing to the state finals in 1985.

Clarksville(23-7) and Hughes Springs(27-0) had faced off earlier in the season with Hughes Springs winning 64-50 in the Commerce Tournament. “I think that game was a turnaround game for our team,” Coach Willie Colter of Clarksville said. “That game gave us the confidence and we started playing well.” I coached against Willie in later years while he was at Terrell and I was at Richardson Pearce.

                Clarksville had an enormous line-up: 6’7” 280 pound Stacey Dillard*(15.0), 6’3” sophomore DeSean McPherson(17.0), 6’1” sophomore Brad Barley, 6’4” sophomore Tyrone Washington and 6’0” Steve Williams. “They have a very large team,” noted Coach Owens of Hughes Springs. “They’re probably as big as any team we’ve played all year.”

(*) Dillard played for the University of Oklahoma in football and later with the Giants in the NFL.

                Coach Colter of Clarksville was most concerned with containing Eddie Jones. “Terry is a good player, he’s gonna get 16 or 18 a game,” Colter explained. “Jones is the real key. We have to stop him, he shoots within three feet of the bucket and high percentage shots,” Colter said. “Terry shoots from 12 to 15 feet.” Coach Colter was excited about-facing Hughes Springs and commented, “how do you know who’s the best unless you play the best.”

                The Mustangs handled Clarksville(22-8) 58-50 in Gladewater. The win put Hughes Springs in the regionals played in Commerce on the campus of East Texas State University. Waiting for the Mustangs was home town, Commerce(24-9), who had defeated Lindale 73-65 to advance.

                Coach Owens was real disappointed in his teams win over Clarksville saying, “I don’t want to take anything away from Clarksville, they played great but we started about as slow as we’ve ever started.”

Darrin Terry said, “we can play a whole lot better than this.” Terry was held to only 10 points. “This is probably the worst game we’ve played this whole season. Nothing was falling for me.”

                The Mustangs had a comfortable lead 58-45 with 1:00 remaining in the game against Clarksville. Jones finished with 16 rebounds and Terry added 14 for Hughes Springs. Clarksville was fueled by McPherson and Dillard with 12 points apiece. Steve Williams led the Tigers with 17 points. Eddie Jones was good for 30 points to lead Hughes Springs with 11 coming in the critical 4th quarter. The Mustangs dominated inside with a rebound edge 45-22 despite the large Clarksville team.

                At regionals, Hughes Springs(32-0) opened competition against Commerce High School(22-8). The two schools had met the previous year in the playoffs with the Mustangs dominating Commerce 63-30, led by Eddie Jones 32 points. Jones was incredible hitting 14 of 18 from the floor leading his team to victory. “I don’t mind saying they embarrassed us last year,” Commerce coach Ken Task said. “That was probably the worse game of the year.”

                Referring to last year’s game Coach Owens of Hughes Springs commented, “I don’t think we have much of an advantage. Last year was a different team and now a new season. I know Hillsboro had a good team and Commerce beat them. I expect a tough game.” Commerce(22-9) had advanced out of the first round defeating a strong Hillsboro(21-12) team 53-51.

                Commerce(22-9) starters: 6’2” Steve Harrison(17.5), 5’9” Corey Turner, 6’2” Bad Phelps(10.0), 6’3” John Wilson, and either 6’1” sophomore Phil Brown or 6’1” Garry Martin.

The Mustangs had turned the ball over 20 times against Clarksville in one of their weakest performances of the year. “I hope we can recover and get back on top of our game,” Owens said. “We’ve worked on somethings to improve.” Owens continued saying, “I think the experience of playing here the last two years is gonna be an advantage for us, but once you get here you have to play your best.”

Hughes Springs returned three players from the state tournament squad the previous year. Eddie Jones, Darrin Terry and 5’10” Darrin Bolden. Owens felt his ’87 team was better than his state semi-finalist squad because of their added depth. Maurice Jones, who was Eddie’s brother, and freshman Pat Stanton were solid coming off the bench for Coach Owens. “We have more depth than last year and a little more versatility. Fundamentally better,” Coach Owens commented.

Commerce(22-9) was no match for Hughes Springs(33-0) once again losing 74-49. Hughes Springs(33-0) cruised to a 41-22 halftime lead over Commerce(22-9) paced by Eddie Jones. The talented senior finished with 20 points and 17 rebounds. “Every game that’s our game plan, to get Jones the ball,” Coach Owens said. “He got a lot of easy buckets on the baseline.” Darrin Terry was also impressive chipping in 17 points and 13 rebounds. “We knew they were going to try to stop Eddie since he had two 30-point games in the playoffs,” said Darren Bolder. “So, we thought we had to come out shooting.”  

                “We just raised our intensity level,” said Coach Owens of Hughes Springs. “We played much better tonight. Terry’s defensive effort was impressive blocking four shots in the first half and intimidating the Commerce players.” The Mustangs controlled the inside game with a 61-32 rebound advantage. Steve Harrison paced Commerce(22-9) with 18 points.

                Queen City(24-2) opened the state playoffs with a 67-49 win over Sabine(16-10). LaRoderick Richardson and 6’5” Tim Collier combined for 42 points in the winning effort. Eddie Malott led Sabine with 21 points.

Queen City matched up against Lindale in the 2nd round. Lindale had advanced with a 64-61 win over Pittsburg. Lindale’s coach, Mike Smith, was well aware of the task at hand trying to contain the Collier twins and the talented LaRoderick Richardson. “They’re loaded with talent,” said Smith. “They rebound well offensively and move the ball very fast. Plus, they’re also deep.” Lindale and Coach Smith would count on 6’4” Casey Neal and 260-pound Damon Griffin to handle Queen City on the inside.

                Queen City came away with an impressive 73-65 win over Lindale despite Pat Mahomes(*) 27 points. Mahomes kept Lindale in the game with his timely scoring. Queen City had a balanced attack with Tim Collier finishing with 19 points and Richardson and Stephen Collier scoring 14 each.

(*) Yes, this is the father of Pat Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs. Pat Mahomes Sr. was an outstanding athlete in basketball and football as well as playing major league baseball from 1992-2003.


                Queen City(24-2) faced off against Kaufman(25-8) in the other regional semi-finals game opposite Hughes Springs. Queen City(24-2) was coached by Tommy Thomas of The Colony fame. Queen City(25-2) also had little trouble with Kaufman(25-8) winning 52-40.

The regional finals saw Hughes Springs(33-0) and Queen City(25-2) come together for the third time to see who would advance to Austin. Hughes Springs(33-0) handled Queen City(25-2) once again taking control in the second half and came away winning 71-55. The game was close at halftime, with the Mustangs up only 27-23. The Mustangs finally pulled away leading 41-30 with 2:57 left in the 3rd quarter. Eddie Jones put up 8 points and Terry followed with 6 points during the run. In the 4th quarter the Hughes Springs fans began chanting, Austin, Austin. The Mustangs were advancing to state for the second year in a row.

                Once again Hughes Springs had a big advantage inside out rebounding Queen City 52-34. Terry pulled down 18 rebounds and ended up with 20 points, while Jones had 21 points and 13 rebounds. Queen City was led by Darrell Dowden with 14 points and Tim Collier could only manage six points.  

                Coach Mark Owens of Hughes Springs said following the big win, “we’re going down to Austin with the idea to win, last year we were just glad to be there, this year, we’re going to win, not just to play.”

Region III

                Sweeny(28-2) was on a mission as they marched through the playoffs defeating Columbus 89-60, Cold Springs 63-49, Kountze 76-46 and Diboll(29-5) 56-49 for an average margin of victory of 20 points. Diboll, ranked 5th in the state, posed the only real problem for the Bulldogs in their run to state.

Sweeny took out Diboll(29-5) in the regional finals 56-49. As for District competition there was little for Sweeny, as they won by an average margin of 24.1 per game. The closest anybody got in District was Needville, losing by 13 points.

                Sweeny started 6’4” Benford Williams(21.0), 6’4” Avery Helm(21.0), 6’4” Nick Bess, 6’1” Derrick Jackson and 5’9” Dale Lemon. Sweeny’s only losses during the regular season came at the hands of 5-A programs, Terry(23-8) 57-50 and Brazoswood(25-7) 77-69. Terry as you will recall was paced by 7’1” All-American Johnny Pittman. The Bulldogs owned a win over Brazoswood(25-7) early in the season 67-58. Sweeny downed several 5-A and 4-A programs over the season. The Bulldogs took down Wharton(11-13) 85-57, Cypress-Fairbanks(15-14) 66-50, Katy Taylor(7-23) 72-56, Aldine MacArthur(21-11) 66-55, Galena Park(9-20) 59-39, Katy Mayde Creek(14-18) 63-56, Angleton(14-18) 56-45 and LaMarque(9-19) 69-66. That’s a 9-2 impressive mark against 4-A and 5-A competition.


Region IV

                West Oso(25-6) was always a big factor in region IV in class AAA basketball. The region IV title always ran through West Oso. The 1987 season was no different, as the Bears appeared to be the front runner according to the TABC rankings. At #8, the Bears were the top ranked team in the region.

                Looking back, West Oso tradition was impressive. They advanced to state in 1976(30-6), 1977(27-8) and 1978(33-4) led by the greatness of 6’6” Jerry Davis(37.0). In 1980(21-7), 1981(23-8) and 1985(28-4) the Bears advanced to the regional finals. In 1986(31-4), West Oso lost in the state finals to Dimmitt by one point. 

                Gonzales(29-3) also had a tradition of winning basketball dating back to their 1974 state championship team. Gonzales defeated Hallettsville(18-6) 70-53 to wrap up the District 28-AAA title. John Lewis was the leader for the Bulldogs with 18 points and Ricky Wilson threw up 17 points, followed by 6’4” Leonard Chapman’s 16 points. Gonzales(29-3) finished District at 9-1 and Hallettsville(18-6) came away with an 8-2 mark.         

Gonzales(29-3) took down the Tigers of Dripping Springs in Bi-District 57-54 in a close one. Leonard Chapman paced the Apaches of Gonzales with 18 points followed by 6’3” Ricky Wilson, who put up 13 points and 5’7” Lee Ibarra came away with 12 points.

Balanced scoring led Gonzales(29-3) in the regional quarterfinals with the Apaches defeating Odem(19-13) 53-45. Ricky Wilson, John Lewis and Lee Ibarra all finished in double figures for Coach Vic Salazar. Jon Whatley led Odem with 17 points.

In the regional finals Gonzales(31-3) had to get by Corpus Christi West Oso(29-6) to advance to state. West Oso(28-6) took their normal position in the regional finals by defeating Smithville(27-5) 54-51.

The Gonzales Apaches starters were 6’3” Leonard Chapman(17.0), 6’3” Ricky Wilson(13.0/12.0), 6’3” Eddie Washington(11.0/11.0), 5’11” John Lewis(13.0) and 5’7” Lee Ibarra(11.0). 6’6” Darrell Remschel was a key reserve.

Eddie Washington exploded for 23 points to lead Gonzales(31-3) to a 64-55 victory over West Oso(25-6). Leonard Chapman followed Washington with 18 points. All-Stater Lance Harper paced West Oso’s effort with 20 points. The game was played at Texas A&I University.

Coach Vic Salazar was in his 13th season at Gonzales and was attempting to lead the Apaches back to state for the first time since 1974. “I look at the banner every day,” Salazar said. “It’s been frustrating and disappointing these past years. It was like we had all this weight on our shoulders.”

Coach Salazar considered his team a defense first mentality holding opponents to only 41.3 points on the season. “Our key to winning is our defense,” Salazar said. “We’ll run man to man press or zone, it depends on who were playing. If we play a team with more speed than us that likes to run, we’ll do the opposite. Or if we play a team that slows it down, we’ll run,” Salazar commented. Offensively, Gonzales put up 60.1 on the season.

State Tournament

                Hughes Springs(34-0) had a talented group as they traveled to Austin for the 2nd year in a row. The Mustangs were once again led by four-year starter, Darrin Terry(19.3), and three-year starter Eddie Jones(20.7). “We’ve got a lot of experience on this team,” Coach Owens said. “Just like a lot of teams that made the state semi-finals, we played a tougher pre-district schedule to be ready for the state tournament,” Coach Owens explained. “Our offense is set to where we can play the half-court game when we have too,” Owens continued, “we’re not one of those teams that live or die by the fast break.”

                In discussing his semi-finalist opponent, Dimmitt(25-11), Coach Owens said, “They’re always there, they like to press and play zone.”

Dimmitt(25-11) rolled into Austin once again with plenty of state tournament experience. Hughes Springs(34-0), as the top ranked team in the state in class AAA, would be favored. The Mustangs returned four starters from a state tournament team the previous season. Dimmitt(25-11) was unfazed by Hughes Springs ranking having knocked off the #3 and #4 teams in the state in Marlin and Decatur. The Bobcats had also faced one of the most demanding schedules in the state in pre-district. “We really don’t get to caught up in records,” Coach Ken Cleveland said. Four of Dimmitt’s 11 losses came at the hands of eventual class 2-A champions Morton, and class A champions Paducah. Early in the season, Dimmitt(25-11) dropped six games in a row against Morton, Borger, Amarillo Tascosa, Midland Lee, Paducah and Plainview. The Bobcats recovered winning sixteen in a row to advance to their 9th state tournament under Coach Cleveland. “We just matured and got better as the season went along,” Cleveland said. The Bobcats returned three starters from a state finalists’ squad.

                “They’re real solid in almost every area,” Coach Ken Cleveland commented. “But we can look at film and we can get scouting reports, but we need to worry about what we’re doing. We don’t want to make any drastic changes. We just need to keep doing the things we’re doing, and try to do them better.”

                Dimmitt(25-11) came out with their worst state tournament performance in the schools long history. Dimmitt took it on the chin by 30 points in front of 7800 fans at the Frank Erwin Special Event Center on the campus of the University of Texas. The Bobcats hit only 2 of their first 13 shots. Dimmitt only managed 21% from the floor in the humbling loss. The Mustangs advanced to the state finals with a 59-29 victory. “It’s a real mystery,” Coach Cleveland said, “We’ve had good workouts, and we came here ready to play, I thought. But we didn’t get it done.” Dimmitt finished the game with a dismal 11 of 53 performance. James Alexander struggled mightily shooting only 3 of 20 from the floor.

                Hughes Springs took control 23-12 at halftime over Dimmitt. At the 6:35 mark of the 4th quarter, 6’6” Marc Bennett of Dimmitt fouled out. Bennett made a comment as he left the court that the officials disagreed with. Bennett was hit with a technical foul. The Mustangs saw a big momentum change, as Hughes Springs outscored Dimmitt 20-2 the remainder of the game. “That technical foul really helped,” Rusty Cook said following the big win. “The momentum shifted.”

The Mustangs came away with a 43-36 advantage on the glass as well and blocked six shots. “They had no inside game,” said Eddie Jones of Hughes Springs. “They could move the ball and penetrate, but they just didn’t have an inside game.” Dimmitt only managed to put up five points in the first quarter. Terry’s slam dunk early in the second half set the tempo for the 3rd quarter. 

                Hughes Springs defense might have had a little to do with the lack of shooting by Dimmitt during the game. With 6’5” Darrin Terry, 6’5” Rusty Clark, 6’4” Eddie Jones and 6’4” Maurice Jones, the Mustangs had a big height advantage. Several of Dimmitt’s attempts were blocked by the talented crew. “We haven’t been intimidated very many times,” said Coach Cleveland, “but we seemed to be today. If we weren’t, we sure got a lot of shots blocked. Hughes Springs probably had something to do with it, but obviously we didn’t play well,” Cleveland explained. “We played hard but not well. Everyone today knew who the best team was, but I don’t think they’re 30 points better.”

                “We couldn’t get anything to fall,” Dimmitt’s junior guard Warren McDonald said. Hughes Springs jumped out to a 23-12 advantage despite missing 20 of their first 25 attempts. The Mustangs dominated the glass 57 to 36 over the Bobcats. Eddie Jones put up 22 points to lead Hughes Springs finishing 9 of 15 from the floor. Terry managed 12 points on 6 of 14 and pulled down 13 rebounds. McDonald and Alexander paced Dimmitt with 10 and 12 points respectfully. McDonald, Alexander and Warren were only a combined 9 of 43 for 20% on the evening.  

                Gonzales(32-3) was making their first appearance since their glorious run to the state title in 1974 led by Texas Legend, 6’4” Dennis Tealer. Tealer was one of the greats of the decade. This time Gonzales would be at a big disadvantage against the gifted Sweeny crew. The Sweeny Bulldogs had an imposing team which proved too strong for the Apaches of Gonzales. Coach Salazar of Gonzales commented before the big game, “what we’ll not need to do is put the ball up quickly. When you are as big as they are, you can do whatever you want to do.” Salazar continued saying, “we can’t allow ourselves to be intimidated. We have to get there thinking to win.”

Sweeny(32-2) advanced to the state finals with a 48-30 victory over Gonzales(32-3). Nick Bess put up 16 points, followed by 8 apiece by Benford Williams and Avery Helm. Sweeny(32-2) ran a 1-3-1 zone, which forced the Apaches to seek shelter on the perimeter. Unfortunately, Gonzales had little success hitting 2 of 26 in the first half and trailed 21-5 at halftime. The Apaches had limited success penetrating the zone as well. Sweeny dominated inside with six blocks and out rebounded the Apaches 43 to 36. “We’ve had our shots blocked before and we’ve blocked other teams’ shots, but those guys were just physically strong,” Coach Vic Salazar of Gonzales said. “I don’t think we were intimidated. What was frustrating was that, we were unable to hit the outside shot.”

The Bulldogs took control early leading 16-4 with their 1-3-1 zone. Sweeny jumped into a half-court trap only to abandon the defense with little success. “When something doesn’t go right for us, we won’t stay with it for long,” Coach Ray Washington of Sweeny said.

                6’3” Ricky Wilson sparked a light run late as the Apaches closed the gap to 38-28 with only 3:22 remaining. Sweeny responded with six straight points. “I knew they were going to make a run at us,” said Sweeny coach Ray Washington. “I just told the team to slow it down on offense and stop their momentum,” Gonzales had an opportunity, but failed to take advantage missing two front ends of one and one situations late.

Leonard Chapman(17.0) struggled for Gonzales hitting only 2 of 14 shots and finished with a disappointing 4 points. The Bulldogs sagging 1-3-1 zone defense only allowed one point in the 2nd quarter and that was due to a technical foul by Sweeny for hanging on the rim. Gonzales finished the afternoon shooting only 12 of 57 from the field for 21%.

                Coach Raymond Washington of Sweeny and Coach Salazar were old friends having worked together for two seasons at Gonzales. Washington served as assistant coach from 1977 to 1979. “It was exciting meeting coach Salazar. We’re old friends,” Washington said.

State Finals

                Sweeny(33-2) came rambling into the state championship game with one of the most physically imposing teams seen at the class 3-A level. Sweeny had won the state title in 1985 defeating Brownsboro in the finals 48-30. In the semi-finals game against Gonzales, Sweeny held their opponent to only five first half points.

                In what could be the two most talented class 3-A state finalists of the 1980s, Sweeny(33-2) defeated Hughes Springs(35-0) in a close one 66-64. The Mustangs trailed Sweeny 66-60 after Sweeny’s Dale Lemon hit two free throws with 24 seconds on the clock. Darrin Terry of Hughes Springs proceeded to rip a 20-footer closing the gap to just two points. Dale Lemon of Sweeny was fouled and missed the front end of a one and one situation, giving the Mustangs one more chance. Terry came away with the miss by Lemon and went coast to coast hitting an 18-footer. The basket put Hughes Springs within two points at 66-64 with two seconds remaining. Hughes Springs, Doug Thomas, stole the inbounds pass when the buzzer immediately sounded. Hughes Springs was adamant that Thomas had been fouled. The referees headed for the exits with their escorts and the game was over to a loud chorus of boos. Sweeny had won their second title in three years.

Thomas felt he had been fouled. Sweeny coach Raymond Washington responded, “I thought it was a good call.” Avery Helms, Benford Williams and Nick Bess proved to be the difference in the game for Sweeny. Helms and Williams both came away with 23 points apiece and Bess followed with 15 points. The trio combined for 61 of the team’s total 66 points. Williams and Bess also created problems for the Mustangs Eddie Jones inside blocking a combined five shots. Hughes Springs could only manage to shoot 28% from the floor on 9 of 32 shooting. Eddie Jones, the Mustangs leading scorer, finished with only 9 points. Jones could only find the basket one time out of 10 attempts from the field in the first half. Many felt that was the difference, as Jones missed several close shots and had two shots blocked. Even with Jones struggling, Sweeny only led at halftime 34-23. Some 10,685 fans were in attendance for the title game.

Darrin Terry was a one-man recking crew in the second half for the Mustangs hitting 11 of 12 from the floor and finished with a game high 28 points. 

Although Sweeny seemed to control the contest, Hughes Springs took their first lead at 58-57 with 4:05 to play on Jerry Martin’s layup off a steal. The success was short lived, as Sweeny came back to take the lead scoring eight straight points. The Bulldogs led 65-58 with only 1:13 remaining.

Hughes Springs hit 29 of 60 from the floor and Sweeny managed 29 of 51. Hughes Springs hit 6 of 9 from the line and the Bulldogs hit 8 of 16. Helms came away hitting 11 of 17 shots finishing with 23 points, while Williams was 10 of 15 for 23 points. Bess hit 6 of 10 from the field. The talented crew combined for 26 of 42 for 62 % shooting.

Eddie Jones of Hughes Springs had his poorest showing of this career hitting only 3 of 15 from the floor and Terry countered with 14 of 24. Jones and Terry finished a combined 17 of 39 on the day.  

When comparing the 1987 Sweeny state champions with their 1985 counterpart, it’s tough comparing any 3-A club to the ‘87 Sweeny squad. Benford Williams was one of the top players to ever come out of class AAA ball and a four-year starter at Sweeny. At the University of Texas, the 6’5” Williams averaged 15.8 per game his senior season. Avery Helms went on to play at Stephen F. Austin and Nick Bess played for Southwest Texas State University in San Marcos. All three obtained success at the next level. That’s impressive for a class 4-A or 5-A team, let alone a smaller school such as Sweeny. Coach Randy Miksch coached the 1985 title team and was assisted by Raymond Washington. Washington took over and guided the 1987 team to the championship.

The 1987 Bulldogs also played a much tougher schedule than the ‘85 team with a 9-2 mark against class 4-A and 5-A teams. The ‘87 team averaged an impressive 16.1 in their run through the playoffs, while the 1985 Bulldogs averaged 9.1. On the season, the ’87 crew averaged 71.7 points per game and allowed 55.8 for a difference of 15.9. The ’85 team came away with a larger margin of 23.7.  They averaged 69.7 points per game and allowed 46.0, but played a much weaker schedule.

All-Tournament Team- Avery Helms, Nick Bess and Benford Williams of Sweeny, Darrin Terry and Eddie Jones of Hughes Springs:



1987 State Rankings AAA {End of the Regular Season}: 

  1. Hughes Springs 27-0 6’5” Darrin Terry(19.3), 6’4” Eddie Jones(20.7)
  2. Sweeny 26-2 6’4” Benford Willams, 6’4” Nick Bess   
  3. Marlin 24-4 Johnny Parker, Terrance Bailey
  4. Decatur 28-1 6’2” Lance Aldridge, Mike Piche
  5. Diboll 24-5 6’5” Frank Lane
  6. Queen City 21-2 6’5” Tim Collier(19.0)
  7. Ferris 23-4 6’4” Terry Walls
  8. West Oso 25-6 Lance Harper
  9. Smithville 24-3
  10. Dimmitt 19-11 6’3” James Alexander(20.0), Warren McDonald
  11. Gonzales 26-3 6’4” Leonard Chapman
  12. Hearne 22-7 6’0” Bernard Williams
  13. Abilene Wylie 21-5
  14. Navasota 26-2
  15. Zapata 26-4 6’8” Jerry Neal
  16. Hillsboro 20-11 6’9” Andrew Fowler
  17. Kaufman 20-6
  18. Brownsboro 19-9
  19. Palestine Westwood 19-7 5’10” Hunky Cooper
  20. Clyde 20-4

All-State AAA TABC

1st Team- 6’5” Darrin Terry(19.3)-Hughes Springs, 6’4” Eddie Jones(20.7)-Hughes Springs, 6’3” James Alexander(20.0/6.5)-Dimmitt, 6’4” Avery Helms-Sweeny, 6’4” Leonard Chapman(17.0)-Gonzales;

2nd Team- Frank Lane-Diboll, Terrance Bailey-Marlin, 6’5” Benford Williams(21.0)-Sweeny, 6’5” Tim Collier(19.0)-Queen City, Lance Harper-West Oso:

3rd Team- Hunky Cooper-Palestine Westwood, Eddie Maloff-Sabine, 6’2” Lance Aldridge(18.8/9.3)-Decatur, 6’8” Jerry Neal-Zapata, Wesley Dawson-Idalou:

All-State AAA Sports Writers

1st Team- 6’4” Eddie Jones(20.7)-Hughes Springs, 6’8” Randy Laird(30.0)-Kountze, 6’4” Avery Helms-Sweeny, 6’5” Darrin Terry(19.3)-Hughes Springs, 6’0” Randy Acord(27.0);

2nd Team- 6’3” James Alexander(20.0/6.5)-Dimmitt, 6’7” Stacey Dillard-Clarksville, 6’9” Andrew Fowler-Hillsboro, 6’5” Benford Williams(21.0)-Sweeny, 5’10” Hunky Cooper-Palestine Westwood;

3rd Team- 6’4” Terry Walls-Ferris, 6’5” Tony Williamson-Pittsburg, 6’5” Frank Lane-Diboll, 6’5” Royd Graham-Divine, 6’0” Bernard Williams-Hearne:


1987 3-A Playoffs

Region I Bi-District    Littlefield(21-7)                        66            Childress(18-7)                         62

                                Dimmitt(20-11) #10                  64            Sanford-Fritsch(17-11)              48

                                Waco Connally                         76            Burnet                                     65

                                Marlin(23-4) #3                        71            Marble Falls                             57

                                Seminole(19-11)                       71            Clint                                         64

                                Decatur(27-1) #4                      61            Ballinger                                  40

                                Idalou                                                      Kermit

                                Bowie                                                      Abilene Wylie                         

Region I Quarters     Dimmitt(20-11) #10                  62            Seminole(20-11)                       40

                                Littlefield(22-7)                                        Idalou

                                Marlin(24-4) #3                                        Bowie

                                Decatur(28-1) #4                      73            Waco Connally                         67

Region I Semi Finals  Dimmitt(23-11) #10                  62            Decatur(28-1) #4                      43

                                Marlin(25-4) #3                        57            Idalou(23-11)                           44

Regional Finals         Dimmitt(24-11) #10                      63            Marlin(26-4) #3                        58

Region II Bi-Dist.       Ferris(23-4) #7                          76            Carroll                                      66

                                Lindale                                     64            Pittsburg                                  61

                                Clarksville(22-7)                       66            Brownsboro(19-9) #18              56

                                Queen City(20-2) #6                  67            Sabine                                      49

                                Hughes Springs(27-0) #1           76            Jefferson                                 57

                                Hillsboro(20-11)#16                  55            Diamond Hill                            51

                                Commerce(21-9)                      60            Canton                                     57

Kaufman(23-8)                         47            Coppell                                    45

Region II Quarters    Hughes Springs(28-0) #1           58            Clarksville(23-7)                       50                            Queen City(21-2) #6                                  Lindale

                                Commerce(23-9)                      53            Hillsboro(21-11) #16                 51

                                Kaufman(24-8)                                         Ferris(24-4) #7

Region II Semis         Hughes Springs(28-0) #1           74            Commerce(24-9)                      49

                                Queen City(22-2) #6                  52            Kaufman(25-8)                         40

Region II Finals         Hughes Springs(29-0) #1           71            Queen City(23-2) #6                  55

Region III Bi-Dist.      Newton(14-11)                         52            Pt. Arthur Austin(16-3)             51

                                Diboll(26-5) #5                                         Crockett

                                Kountze                                                   Anahuac

                                Palestine Westwood #19                          Huntington

                                Sweeny(28-2) #2                      89            Columbus                                 60

                                Madisonville                                            Shepherd

                                Rice Consolidated                                     Van Vleck

                                Cold Spring                               55            Navasota  #14                          45

Region III Quarters    Diboll(27-5) #5                                         Newton(15-11)

                                Kountze                                                   Palestine Westwood

                                Sweeny(29-2) #2                      63            Coldspring                                49

                                Madisonville                                            Rice Consolidated

Regionals Semi         Sweeny(30-2) #2                      76            Kountze                                   49

                                Diboll(28-5) #5                         71            Madisonville                            57

Regional Finals         Sweeny(31-2) #2                      56            Diboll(29-5) #5                         49

Region IV Bi-District  SA Randolph                             62            Pearsall                                    58

                                Devine                                                     Medina Valley

Smithville(26-3) #9                   75            Hallettsville                             54

                                CC West Oso                                             George West

                                Freer                                                        Santa Rosa

                                Gonzales(29-3) #11                   57            Dripping Springs                       54

                                Odem(17-13)                                            Mathis

                                Zapata                                                      Hidalgo

Region IV Quarters   Smithville(26-3)                        84            SA Randolph                             82

                CC West Oso(27-6)                                    Freer

                Gonzales(29-3) #11                   67            Devine                                     50

                Odem(18-13)                                            Zapata

Region IV Semis        Gonzales(30-3)                         53            Odem(19-13)                            45

                                West Oso(28-6)                         54            Smithville(27-4)                        51

Region IV Finals        Gonzales(31-3)                         64            West Oso(29-6)                         55

State Semi-Finals      Hughes Springs(34-0) #1           59            Dimmitt(25-11) #10                  29

                                Sweeny(32-2) #2                      48            Gonzales(32-3) #11                   30

State Finals               Sweeny(33-2) #2                      66            Hughes Springs(35-0) #1             64


{After reviewing the entire season and the playoffs this would be my 1987 AAA Top Teams}

  1. Sweeny 34-2         {State Champions, defeated unbeaten Hughes Spring}
  2. Hughes Springs 35-1 {State finals losing by a bucket to Sweeny}
  3. Diboll 29-6         {regional finalist losing to Sweeny}
  4. Queen City 23-3         {regional finalist, all three loses to Hughes Springs}
  5. Dimmitt 25-12       {state, defeated Marlin and Decatur in the playoffs}
  6. Gonzales 32-3         {state semi-finals}
  7. Kaufman 25-9         {regional semi-finals}
  8. West Oso 29-7         {regional finals losing to Gonzales}
  9. Decatur 28-2         {loss in the playoffs to Dimmitt}
  10. Clarksville 23-8         {loss to Hughes Springs in the playoffs}



Best AAA Teams 1980-87(Class AA in 1980)

#  Team    Season Average        Year         W-L          Playoffs-Diff.            Standouts

  1. Dimmitt (79.2-51.1) +28.2 1983 32-0         State Champs +30.0  {Watts, Cleveland, Smith}
  2. Sweeny(71.7-55.8) +15.9 1987 34-2         State Champs +16.2  {Helm, Williams, Bess}
  3. Hughes Spr(68.8-46.6) +22.2 1987 35-1         State Finals +14.3      {D.Terry, Eddie Jones}
  4. Sweeny(69.7-46.0) +23.7 1985 31-3         State Champs +9.2    {Fields, Donald Lemon}
  5. Cleveland(72.2-57.7) +14.5 1986 32-3         State Champs +16.2  {Brian Davis, Clyde Davis}

                                                           Honorable Mention

Abernathy                                 1980        26-7         State Champs +4.8    {Joey Garcia, R. Mitchell}

Coleman                                  1980        32-1         State Semis +5.8       {Reggie Childress}

Altair-Rice                                 1981        27-10       State Champs +11.4  {Larry Haynes, Grammer}

Dimmitt(68.1-57.1) +11.0          1982        31-10       State Champs +8.6    {Cleveland, Jeff Watts}

Linden-Kildare                          1982        33-4         State Finals               {Donald Craver}

New Boston(63.7-44.8) +18.9     1984        32-0         State Champs +6.1    {Reggie Austin, C Brewer}

Dimmitt(62.7-52.0) +10.7          1984        20-14       State Semis +7.2       {B. Holcomb, McDonald}

Hardin-Jeff                                1984        39-5         State Finals +1.8       {S.Williams, Rocquemore}

Newton                                    1984        27-8         Regional Finals          {James Gulley}

Hitchcock                                 1985        28-10       Regional Finals          {Keith Boyd, C. Davis}

Dimmitt(69.5-54.2) +15.3          1986        31-6         State Finals +13.2      {P.McDonald, Alexander}

West Oso                                  1986        31-4         State Semis              {Freddy Fillmore, Harper}

Columbus                                 1986        27-5         Regional Finals          {Percy Waddle, G.Waddle}











Top Players AAA 1980-87(Class AA in 1980)

Ht.                  1st Team              Pts.          High School              College                    Pro

6’3”          Reggie Childress(81)  27.0         Coleman                  Texas A&I

6’8”         James Gulley(84)       26.0         Newton                    Lamar University

6’5”         Darrin Terry(87)        19.3         Hughes Springs         A&M/Okla. City

6’5”         Benford Williams(88) 21.0         Sweeny                    Texas

6’1”         Wayne Thomas(84)                   Columbus                 Texas

                      2nd Team

6’6”         Merritt Williams(81)  24.0         North Lamar             North Texas St.

6’5”         Sam Williams(84)      25.8         Hardin-Jefferson       Lee College

6’3”         Bennett Fields(85)     22.3         Sweeny                    East Texas State

6’0”         Keith Boyd(85)          28.0         Hitchcock                 Panola J.C.

6’3”         Rocky Rocquemore(85)31.4       Hardin Jefferson       Odessa J.C.

6’6”         Reggie Austin(84)      20.0         New Boston             



1987 AA

The Morton(29-5) Indians were back at the state tournament again in 1987 as the top ranked team in the state in class 2-A. Coach Tony Mauldin continued his aggressive pressing style of play and scheduled the toughest teams West Texas had to offer. The Indians schedule was incredible for a school their size. Morton defeated 5-A Plainview(18-10) 78-74, Midland Lee(11-18) 60-52, Lubbock High(13-18) 81-77 along with class 4-A Andrews(30-4) 75-69, Lubbock Estacado(19-11) 92-82 and 103-98. Losses came at the hands of 5-A Amarillo Tascosa(17-12) 76-59 and Temple(19-12) 83-70. Class 4-A schools that took down the Indians were Estacado(19-11) 81-75 and Pampa(9-21) 53-49. The only other loss was against class A state champion Paducah(33-2) 78-57.

Morton(29-5) had three impressive wins over rival Dimmitt during the regular season. The Bobcats of Dimmitt advanced to the class 3-A state semi-finals as you will recall. District action was pretty much a walk in the park, with only one single digit win over Shallowater(29-6) 70-61. Coach Mauldin’s crew also faced Shallowater(29-6) in the regional finals and came away with a 64-51 win.

Morton(29-5) took on Stratford(20-11) in the regional quarterfinals. Coach Roger Whiteside of Stratford said prior to the game, “they are as good a team as we’ve seen, by far. That’s for sure.” Morton(29-5) starters were 6’5” Jerry Joyce(28.0/10.0), 6’4” Tony Joyce(9.8/10.0), 6’0” Kenneth Johnson(12.2), 5’8” Anthony Hawkins(11.0) and 6’0” Rob Shields(10.7).

The Indians on the season averaged 83.3 points per game and gave up 63.9 per contest. Stratford looked to 6’3” Malcolm Waters(20.4/9.3) and 5’10” Judd Butler(14.7/7.7) to carry the load. Morton outscored Stratford 23-2 off 15 turnovers in the 3rd quarter, which ended any hopes Stratford may have had for the upset. Morton came away with a convincing 69-46 victory.

Coach Whiteside said following the loss, “we knew coming into the year we would have to go through Morton sooner or later, we did work hard on the press, but we couldn’t simulate their press in practice.” Jerry Joyce finished with 29 points and Kenneth Johnson kicked in 15 points in the Indians victory. “We believe the 3rd and 4th quarter are ours,” Coach Mauldin said. Morton finished 31 of 65 for 47 % from the floor, while Stratford managed only 36% shooting. Waters was high man for Stratford with 20 points and 9 rebounds.

Shallowater’s march to the regional finals was not quite as easy as Morton’s. Shallowater(27-5) had to get by Olton(19-6) 80-70 in double overtime in Bi-District. Rob Johnson(16.7/14.2) provided the inside game for Shallowater with 23 points, while 6’1” Scott Chamberlin(21.1/9.9) led the scoring with 28 points. Brett Johnson followed with 13 points and Miles Ables threw in 12 points.

Next up for Shallowater(28-5) in the regional quarterfinals was Stinnett(17-11). 6’3” Tybo Thompson(18.2/11.2) and 6’1” Kevin McDonald(14.8) were key to Stinnett’s success during the season. Shallowater advanced with a 66-61 win over Stinnett. Once again, the combo of Chamberlin and Johnson put up a combined 52 for Shallowater. Chamberlin led the scoring with 30 points. Stinnett(17-12) was paced by Freddie Tucker with 21 points and Tybo Thompson with 17.

In regionals, Shallowater(29-5) got their third attempt at defeating Morton(30-5) in the finals. Shallowater downed Hawley(26-7) in the semi-finals 80-76 and Morton easily beat Coleman(24-9) 85-57 to advance. Morton had defeated Shallowater in District easily both times by 13 points and 19 points. The Indians had little trouble once again in the regional finals advancing to state with a 64-51 win.

At state, Morton(31-5) faced Archer City(32-3) in the semi-finals. Archer City had a strong line-up with the size to match-up against Morton. 6’5” Eric Powell, 6’5” Billy Dugan, 6’5” Tony Pollack, 6’3” Nicky McCorkle and 6’1” Mark Crelia.

Morton(31-5) advanced forcing 28 turnovers in the 75-66 win over Archer City. The Archer City Wildcats shot an impressive 59% from the floor and were 16 of 22 from the floor in the first half. Coach Mauldin’s game plan called for denying 6’5” Billy Dugan and 6’6” Eric Powell the ball inside. Dugan finished 13 of 17 for 32 points and Powell was 6 of 10 for 16 points and 12 rebounds. Despite the impressive shooting, the score was tied 44-44 at intermission. Morton shot 49 % from the floor in the early morning contest.

Awaiting Morton in the finals was the surprising Panthers of Liberty Hill(34-3). Liberty Hill was a team made up of all juniors and was ahead of their state tournament time table reaching Austin as juniors. Coach Rusty Segler was the son of a coach and new the meaning of making the state tournament. Segler’s father had taken Rockport to state 20 years earlier when Rusty was only eight years old. It left an impression on Coach Segler and the dream of returning to State. As a player at Rockport, he and his teammates never traveled to Austin despite finishing 104-28 over his high school career. “It’s just excitement that comes from a dream becoming reality,” Segler said. “What it all boils down to is that it’s something you can never understand until you’ve been there.”

Segler was in his 2nd season at Liberty Hill after going 14-14 his first year starting four sophomores and one senior. He had previously coached two years at Aransas Pass.

Before the magical run by Liberty Hill in 1987 the school had never won a District title or a playoff game. The big win for Liberty Hill came in the regional finals against 2nd ranked Snook 41-39. Liberty Hill’s scoring machine, Phillip Lenox, put up 25 points to propel Liberty Hill to state. The come from behind win made it look truly like Liberty Hill was a team of destiny.

The Panthers line-up consisted of 6’2” Phillip Lenox(29.0), 6’3” Steve Smets(10.0), 6’2” Corby Davis(15.0), 6’0” Clay Cole(11.0) and 5’10” Darren Masur(7.0). Lenox was clearly one of the top talents in the state shooting 58% from the floor and 80% from the line. Point guard, Darren Masur, was considered a key player for Coach Segler. “Darren was in charge of the offense, we wouldn’t be going to Austin if he hadn’t moved in here,” Coach Segler explained. Masur transferred in from Austin Westlake after his father took an assistant principal’s position at Liberty Hill. Masur introduced warm-up music and pre-game introductions to his new school. The school also introduced the name “Runnin Panthers.”

Clay Cole was the hero against Snook hitting the team’s final two points with three seconds on the clock. Corby Davis and Steve Smets did an amazing job guarding 6’9” Walter Martin of Snook and holding him to 19 points. Snook actually led and looked comfortable entering the 4th quarter with a 29-23 lead. Lenox was key in the team’s comeback tying everything up at 39 apiece with 49 seconds left on the clock. Lenox fouled Walter Martin with 25 seconds remaining and left the game with his fifth foul. Martin came up empty at the line, setting up Clay Cole’s late game heroics. 

In the state semi-finals, Liberty Hill(33-3) faced off against Paris Chisum(27-6). Chisum team leaders were 6’6” Cory Sims and 6’3” Kelvin Battle. Chisum had previously eliminated #3 Shelbyville(23-2) from the regional semi-finals 68-65.

Liberty Hill jumped out to a nice 22-6 early lead in the 2nd quarter over Chisum, but only led 40-28 at halftime. Chisum continued to apply pressure creating 10 turnovers and got the Liberty Hill lead down to five points late. Liberty Hill proceeded to miss four of six free throws late in the contest, compounding the problem. The Panthers of Liberty Hill managed to escape with a 74-68 win over Chisum. Lenox carried his team with 28 points and 10 rebounds and Cole kicked in 20 points.

Coming into the title game, Lenox commented about facing Morton in the finals, “if we can beat Morton’s press, we’ve got a good chance.” Lenox had a strong family history with his father and two uncles having all played college basketball.(*) Coach Segler went on to coach three more decades and years later called Lenox, “the purist shooter he ever coached.”

Morton(32-5) faced off against a strong Liberty Hill(34-3) team in the finals and took advantage of their size inside winning 84-72. “We were able to go inside,” Coach Tony Mauldin commented. The Indians finished the game with 20 offensive boards. Liberty Hill stayed in the game from the line hitting 24 of 30 free throws and shot 48% from the field.

Jerry Joyce(28.0) was too much adding 26 points on the inside. “Our strength has been in shooting and enough shots just didn’t fall,” Liberty Hill Coach Rusty Segler said. “We knew we were giving away size on the boards, Joyce in particular just kept putting it up until it went in.”

Lenox(29.0) managed 22 points, mostly from the outside for Liberty Hill, while Cole(11.0) hit 18 points and Corby Davis(15.0) followed with 17. Lenox was forced mainly to the perimeter due to the Morton zone.

At halftime, Liberty Hill was only down 38-35 thanks in part to hitting 15 of 16 from the charity line. “We told our people they had to cut down on the fouls in the 2nd half,” Coach Maudlin said. In the 3rd quarter, Morton took advantage of several Liberty Hill turnovers to open up a 15-point advantage. “Morton is awesome on its ability to run the press,” Coach Segler said. “Most teams can be effective with it after they’ve scored and can set-up. But Tony has his players so well-drilled, they can get into it after a missed shot.”

Coach Mauldin felt coming into the game Morton had the size advantage as well as depth. “We had to force Lennox outside, not let him get our inside people off their feet and then get the shot,” Mauldin explained. “The free throws kept them in the game in the first half.”

All-Tournament Team- Jerry Joyce of Morton, Clay Cole and Phillip Lenox of Liberty Hill, Billy Dugan of Archer City and Kelvin Battle of Paris Chisum:

(*) Phillip Lenox was one of the greatest scorers in Texas High School basketball history. Lenox carried on the family’s basketball lineage. Phillip’s father was Dwayne “Curley” Lennox, who paced Clear Creek to three state trips from 1961-1963. “Curley” led Clear Creek to their first state title in 1963, averaging 20.7 points on the season and 24.0 during their playoff run. He also hit 28 points in the state title game. “Curley” took his talents to Texas A&M following graduation and tried to live up to the exploits of his famous brother, Bennie. “Curley” later transferred to Southwest Texas State where he set several scoring records.

Bennie Lenox was a 6’2” shooting guard for the Aggies and Phillip’s uncle. Bennie was twice named Southwest Conference MVP and led A&M to the NCAA tournament for the first time in 41 years. Bennie put up 53 points in college against Wyoming and was drafted by the NBA with the 37th overall pick. As the top recruit in Texas his senior year at Clear Creek, Bennie averaged 25.0 points a game in 1960 and led his team to the state tournament with a 39-3 record. Bennie hit 36 points at state against Belton. Legendary Clear Creek coach, Buddy Carlisle, commented on Bennie’s talents, “he was one of the best pure shooters I have seen and a tremendous person as well.” Following his basketball career, he was an assistant at the University of Texas from 1968 to 1973. Bennie’s coaching career was short as he retired to go into business.

Joe “Scooter” Lenox was also Phillip’s uncle. “Scooter” had a fine career at the University of Texas, and was named all-state while at Clear Creek, averaging 21.3 per game for the Wildcats. Sorry to say, Bennie passed in 2016 and “Curley” passed in 2018. The “Lenox” family is the First Family of Texas Basketball, Texas Legends.

In 1988 Phillip Lenox finished his high school career with 3093 points and became the 5th member of his family to play in the TEXAS HIGH SCHOOL all-star game. Other family members that were so honored include, Bennie in 1960, Curley in 1963, Jimmy Dale in 1964 and Scooter in 1969. Upon his graduation in 1988 from Liberty Hill, Phillip ranked 4th on the Texas basketball all-time scoring list behind Chuck Hall(3550) of Krum, Reggie Childress(3246) of Coleman and Jerry Davis(3129) from West Oso. This was according to the National Federation of State High School and the Texas State High School Record Book. Recruiters were slow to offer Phillip a scholarship even though he had high jumped 6’6” and long jumped over 20 feet at the District track meet. His career high game in high school was a 53-point performance against Lampasas. Lenox signed with East Texas State University in Commerce out of high school.

Morton Indians Dynasty: State 70, 72, 73, 76, 77, 83, 84, 85, 86

Year         Record     Rank        Playoffs                   Last Game                               Coach

1983        28-8         #3            State Champs          def. Bartlett 91-69                  Mauldin

1984        27-3         #1            State Semis             loss Somerville 72-71              Mauldin

1985        26-10       #6            State Finals             loss Grapeland 63-56              Mauldin

1986        32-7         #1            State Champs          def. Dripping Sp. 73-59           Mauldin

1987        33-5         #1            State Champs          def. Liberty Hill 84-72             Mauldin  






1987 State Rankings AA {End of the Regular Season}: 

  1. Morton 27-5        
  2. Snook 23-5        
  3. Shelbyville 23-1        
  4. Archer City 26-3        
  5. Liberty Hill 28-2        
  6. Paris Chisum 24-5        
  7. Honey Grove 26-3        
  8. Krum 24-4        
  9. Cross Roads 26-3        
  10. Edgewood 26-4
  11. San Antonio Cole 16-4
  12. Shallowater 25-4        
  13. Dublin 22-7        
  14. Frankston 18-9        
  15. Refugio 16-5        
  16. Waskom 19-5
  17. Woden 23-5
  18. New Waverly 16-4
  19. Italy 16-5
  20. Olton 19-6


All-State AA TABC

1st Team- 6’5” Billy Dugan(17.8)-Archer City, 6’2” Phillip Lenox(29.0)-Liberty Hill, 6’4” Jerry Joyce(28.0)-Morton, Rodney Hatton-Frankston, Randy Hall-Krum;

2nd Team-6’2” Kendrick Benton-Waskom, 6’2” Keith Hornbuckle-Kerens, Hunter Cooley-Hawley, 6’8” Walter Martin-Snook, Rob Johnson-Shallowater;

3rd Team-6’1” James Becker-Alvord, Todd Cartwright-Shelbyville, Billy Day-Paris Chisum, 6’2” Harold Hale-Broaddus, Kenneth Johnson-Morton:

All-State AA Sports Writers

1st Team-5’10” Sammy Moore-Dublin, 6’1” James Becker-Alvord, 6’4” Jerry Joyce(28.0)-Morton, 6’8” Walter Martin-Snook, 6’2” Kendrick Benton-Waskom;

2nd Team- 6’2” Willie Johnson-New Diana, 5’11” Randy Hall-Krum, 6’2” Keith Hornbuckle-Kerens, 6’2” Phillip Lenox(29.0)-Liberty Hill, 6’2” Harold Hill-Broaddus;

3rd Team- 6’1” Billy Day-Paris Chisum, 5’9” Greg Ashlock-Cross Roads, 6’2” Hunter Cooley-Hawley, 6’5” Billy Dugan-Archer City, 6’6” Bart Beasley-Eustace, 6’4” Allen Austin(Soph)-Troop:    









1987 2-A Playoffs

Region I Semi Finals  Morton(29-5) #1                       85            Coleman(24-9)                         57

                                Shallowater(28-5) #12              80            Hawley(26-7)                            76

Regional Finals         Morton(30-5) #1                       64            Shallowater(29-5) #12              51

Region II Semis         Archer City(30-3) #4                  77            Buffalo(23-11)                          71

                                Krum(27-6) #8                          68            Hubbard(24-4)                          61

Region II Finals         Archer City(31-3) #4                  58            Krum(28-6) #8                          44

Regionals Semi         Paris Chism(26-5) #6                 68            Shelbyville(25-1) #3                  65

                                Honey Grove(28-3) #7               81            New Waverly(18-4) #18            63

Regional Finals         Paris Chism(27-5) #6                 48            Honey Grove(29-3) #7               43

Region IV Semis        Liberty Hill(31-3) #5                  45            Nixon Smiley(23-3)                   42

                                Snook(28-5) #2                         50            San Antonio Cole(21-4)             33

Region IV Finals        Liberty Hill(32-3) #5                  41            Snook(29-5) #2                         39

State Semi-Finals      Liberty Hill(33-3) #5                  74            Paris Chisum(28-5) #6                68

                                Morton(31-5) #1                       75            Archer City(32-3) #4                  66

State Finals               Morton(32-5) #1                       84            Liberty Hill(34-3) #5                  72


{After reviewing the entire season and the playoffs this would be my 1987 AA Top Teams}

  1. Morton 33-5         {Back to Back State titles}
  2. Liberty Hill 34-4         {state finalist, defeated #2 Snook in regionals}
  3. Snook 29-6         {regional finals losing to Liberty Hill by 2}
  4. Archer City 32-4         {State semi-finalist losing to Morton 75-66}
  5. Paris Chism 28-6         {defeated #3 Shelbyville in the regional semis}
  6. Shelbyville 25-1         {lost in regional semis to Paris Chism by 3 points}
  7. Nixon Smiley 23-4         {lost in regional semis to Liberty Hill by 3 points}
  8. Honey Grove 29-4         {lost in the regional finals to Paris Chism}
  9. Krum 28-7         {lost in the regional finals to Archer City}
  10. SA Cole 21-5         {lost out to Snook in the regional semi-finals}


                                                Best AA Teams 1980-87(Class A in 1980)

 Team       Season Average        Year         W-L          Playoffs-Diff.            Standouts

                                                                The Best

Gladewater-Sabine                   1980        30-2         State Champs +17.0  {J. Stone, Mumphrey}

Gladewater-Sabine                   1981        34-0         State Champs +18.6  {G. Grissom, M. Johnson}

Gladewater-Sabine                   1982        31-2         Regional Finals          {J. Mumphrey, Allen}

Shelbyville(66.3-49.6) +16.7       1982        32-1         State Champs +9.2    {Jeff Chumbley, M. Suell}

Morton(75.8-62.5)  +13.3          1983        28-8         State Champs +18.0  {Robert Johnson, Kuehler}

Shelbyville(77.3-49.3) +28.0       1984        33-0         State Champs +12.8  {Chumbley, D. Martin}

Grapeland(68.0-48.1) +19.9       1985        32-3         State Champs +15.8  {Tony Jones, Tillis}

Morton(83.3-65.5) +17.8           1986        32-7         State Champs +20.0  {J. Joyce, Keith Hawkins}

Morton(83.3-63.9) +19.4           1987        33-5         State Champs +22.5  {Jerry Joyce, K. Johnson}

                                                          Honorable Mention

Morton(72.7-61.6) +11.1           1982        25-11       State Finals +19.0      {R. Patton, Cadenhead}

Coppell(72.8-47.9) +24.9           1983        31-2         State Semi +11.4       {Barry Adams,  Schones}

Sanford-Fritch                          1985        32-1         Regional Finals          {Eddie Cunningham}

Morton(78.5-65.6) +12.9           1985        25-10       State Finals +11.5      {Ricky Johnson, Hawkins}

Paducah                                   1986        30-3         Regional Finals          {Will Flemons}





                                Top Players AA 1980-87(class in A in 1980)

Ht.                   1st Team              Pts.          High School              College                    Pro

6’6”        Will Flemons(86)          23.8         Paducah                   Texas Tech

6’5”        Carlton McKinney(83)   27.6         Nixon                       Tulsa/SMU

6’6”        Calvin Tillis(86)             20.0         Grapeland                Drake

6’5”        Jeff Chumbley(84)         22.0         Shelbyville                Angelina/Wiley College

6’1”        Darryn Shearmire(82)   25.0         Archer City                               Abilene Christian

                       2nd Team

6’8”        Eddie Cunningham(85)  29.8         Sanford-Fritch          Texas(Foot)               N.F.L.

5’8”        Tony Jones(85)             24.0         Grapeland                Texas(Foot/Track)     N.F.L.

6’7”        David Grissom(83)        22.3         Gladewater-Sabine   San Diego State

6’10”      Greg Grissom(81)         15.0         Gladewater-Sabine   North Texas State

6’2”        Phillip Lenox(88)           29.0         Liberty Hill                East Texas State



1987 A

In 1987 Paducah(27-2) had one of the most dominating class A schools in state history, led by Will Flemons. The 6’6” junior later went on to make All-Southwest Conference at Texas Tech and played professionally in Europe. Flemons was a tremendous talent regardless of classification in 1987. Teams at the class A level were not used to playing against such a gifted talent. The bad news for opponents was he was just a junior.

Paducah lost two regular season games, both to Dimmitt(25-12). The Dragons faced a strong pre-season schedule defeating several class 4-A and 5-A programs. Ft. Worth Richland(21-11) fell to Paducah 68-58, Denison(18-12) lost 72-52, Wichita Falls Hirschi(27-5) lost 65-54. Hirschi was one of the top ranked teams in class 4-A. Paducah(27-2) downed Ft. Worth Paschal(25-9) 83-64 as well. Remember Paschal won the Optimist Tournament in San Antonio. Denison, Richland and Hirschi were all playoff teams. Morton(33-5), the class 2-A state champions, lost as well 78-57. Dimmitt(25-12), the class 3-A state semi-finalist, also went down 64-57 to the Dragons. Coach Randy Byers of Hirschi called Paducah, “the best Class A team I’ve ever seen, and that’s including some of the Snook teams.”

Paducah was overwhelming favorite to take home the state title. Coach Randall Ryan had lost only one starter from a 30-3 campaign the previous season, and welcomed two transfers to blend into his already strong line-up. Also, the Dragons dropped down from class 2-A to 1A. The transfers were 6’6” Bryan Barnes and 5’9” Chris Hurd. Others starters included, 6’6” 245 pound Will Flemons(21.0/13.0), 6’4” 200 pound James Alexander and 6’3” Stan Burns. Flemons and Barnes were both returning all-state players from the previous year. During Flemons’ three seasons with the Dragons, Paducah had a 92-7 record.

Nazareth was the defending state champions in 1987 in class A and had another strong team ranked #7 in the state polls. Coach Johnny Hampton was in his 2nd year with Nazareth and faced top ranked Paducah(27-2) in the 2nd round of the playoffs.

It was the second meeting of the season between the two powerhouses. The Dragons held and earlier season win over Nazareth 48-40 in the finals of the Reese Air Force Base tournament. Plainview High School was the site of the Nazareth-Paducah playoff game.

Coming into the Nazareth game, Paducah was coming off a 100-36 Bi-District win over Harold. Barnes put up 18 points and Hurd added 16 points. “They’re definitely the favorite,” Nazareth Coach Hampton commented. “They’re so big and they play a lot of tough teams this year and beaten most of them.” The Swifts of Nazareth would look to 6’2” Kenny Kern(18.0), Todd Hill(14.0) and Chris Schmocker(10.0) to carry the load against Paducah. Nazareth had defeated Silverton in Bi-District 81-29.

At Plainview High School a standing room only crowd of 2000 watched as Paducah(27-2) downed Nazareth(23-8) 66-52. Paducah shot an amazing 74% from the floor hitting 27 of 37 field goals. 6’6” Will Flemons put up 19 points on 9 of 9 shooting from the field. Sophomore Bryan Barnes added 15 points. Flemons was known for playing big in big games having finished 10 for 10 against state ranked 4A power Wichita Falls Hirschi earlier in the season.

“That was definitely the game plan,” Paducah Coach Randall Ryan explained getting Flemons the ball. “It’s hard for me to say whether we’ll face any tougher teams, this is probably the most disciplined team we could possibly run into.” Nazareth shot 50% from the field and the Swifts were paced by Chris Schmucker with 15 points.

The Swifts were able to cut into the Paducah lead at 46-40 with 6:50 left in the contest. The Dragons outscored Nazareth 11-4 over the next 4:28 to go up 57-44. “They were just a little too tough inside for us,” Coach Hampton of Nazareth said. “It’s not too hard to shoot 84% from three foot away. Our defense was partly to blame. We let them get inside, and once you do that, you can’t stop them unless you’re a college team.” Hampton continued saying, “We had hoped to play a sagging man-to-man defense, but I think we got caught up in the excitement of the game and forgot to do some of the things that we practiced. We got beat by a better team, and that’s all we can say about it,” Hampton said.  

Next up for Paducah(28-2) was Farewell(24-8) at Wayland Baptist University at the Hutcherson Center in front of 1500 fans. The Dragons easily walked away with a 41-point victory 97-56. Paducah placed four players in double figures with Barnes finishing with 16 points, Hurd had 15, Alexander came away with 14 and Flemons followed with 13 points.

At the Texas Dome in Levelland, Paducah(29-2) prepared for Vega(30-2), the surprising 75-52 winner over state ranked Phillips(25-3) in the 2nd round. Vega(30-2) was ranked #11 in the state polls and were paced by 6’6” Tracy Walker, 6’3” Lauren Mason, 5’10” Lynn Pulliam and 6’2” Doug Carvin. Vega(30-2) was coached by Wayne Potter. “Our goal for a successful season was just to get to the point where we’d play Paducah,” Coach Potter said. “We’ve accomplished that goal.”

Paducah(29-2) eliminated Vega(30-2) 82-69 to advance to the regional finals against Sudan(21-11). Vega was powered by Lynn Pulliam’s 19 points and Lauren Mason’s 20 points. Flemons(21.0) was the focus of Vega’s defensive effort and held to only seven points, while Stan Burns finished with 20 points and Bryan Barnes added 17 points.

Sudan(21-11) got past Dell City(23-4) 47-39 in the other regional semi-final match-up. In the regional finals, Sudan(21-11) attempted to go into a stall but with little success. The Dragons only led 2-0 at the end of the 1st quarter, but took command in the 2nd period leading at halftime 21-3.

Paducah(30-2) advanced to state for the second time with a convincing 60-20 victory. Sudan(21-11) had nobody in double figures and Paducah(30-2) was paced by Barnes putting up 15 points followed by Flemons(21.0) with 11 points. Only one other team had attempted the slowdown tactics against Paducah during the season and that was Nazareth in a 42-31 losing effort.

As the state tournament approached many future opponents of Paducah(30-2) were contacting Dimmitt. They wanted to know how the Bobcats had defeated the Dragons two times during the regular season. Coach Ken Cleveland said, “what do you tell a coach other than they’re a college team out there on the floor.”

Big Sandy(33-4) had the unenviable task of facing Paducah(31-2) in the state semi-finals. Big Sandy(33-4) was fueled by 6’1” Kevin Foster, 6’2” Bryan Dickens and 5’11” Garreth Abbey. The other semi-final game pitted Avinger(23-10) against Bronte(29-3). Bronte called on 6’1” John Morrow, 6’2” Stephen Lee, 5’11” Jamie Powers and 5’11” Kirby Hartman. Avinger was looking to 6’5” Bill Jones, 6’3” Shawn Laster and 6’2” Craig Carter to carry the load for the Indians.

In the early morning game in front of 4250 fans at the Erwin Center,  Paducah(31-2) advance to the finals with a 74-59 win over Livingston Big Sandy(33-4). “I think we took them a little too lightly,” Flemons said following the big win. The Dragons had only led 37-29 at halftime. Kevin Foster was the key for Big Sandy hitting 16 points from the perimeter. Paducah shot 61% from the field and Flemons was his usual impressive self, hitting 10 of 12 field goals and finished with 22 points. Barnes followed with 6 of 6 shooting for 16 points. The rebound totals were very surprising with both teams pulling down 30 rebounds apiece.

Bronte(29-3) advanced to the state finals defeating Avinger(23-10) 61-57.

Bronte(29-3) had to come from behind after trailing at intermission. Bronte(29-3) out rebounded Avinger 44 to 37 on the day. Stephen Lee paced Bronte with 17 points and 10 rebounds, while Avinger(23-10) was led by Bill Jones with 15 points and 11 rebounds. 6’2” Stephen Lee only managed to hit 7 baskets on 25 attempts during the game for 28%.  

The state finals was a rematch of an earlier game between Paducah(31-2) and Bronte(29-3), in which the Dragons came away with a 57-47 advantage. Coach Rocky Rawls commented coming into the title game against Paducah, “we lost to Paducah late in the season after all of our district games were completed, we know we hadn’t played well, and my players said they wanted another shot at them.”

The title game was nothing like the two team’s first meeting, as Paducah(32-2) easily defeated Bronte(29-3) for the state title 71-39. Flemons, Barnes and Alexander combined for 44 of the total 71 Dragon points. Flemons(21.0) hit 10 of 13 field goals for 21 points, while Barnes only managed 7 of 16 from the floor. Paducah was an impressive 33 of 61 shooting for 54% and held a 50-34 rebounding edge. Bronte was dismal from the floor shooting 19 of 62 for 30% and only managed 1 of 10 free throws. Stephen Lee led the Longhorns with 12 points and was the only Bronte player in double figures. It was the 2nd largest margin of victory in the class A championship since they began playing the game beginning in 1953.

All-Tournament team- Will Flemons, Bryan Barnes and Stan Burns of Paducah, Stephen Lee of Bronte and Kevin Foster of Big Sandy:


1987 State Rankings A {End of the Regular Season}:

  1. Paducah 25-2
  2. Fannindel 30-1
  3. Apple Springs 20-2
  4. Frost 26-2
  5. Big Sandy 25-4
  6. New Summerfield 23-2
  7. Nazareth 20-7
  8. Phillips 25-3
  9. Eula 25-4
  10. Saltillo 25-5
  11. Munday 16-5
  12. Leggett 21-2
  13. Bronte 23-2
  14. Southland 23-5
  15. Lohn 21-2
  16. Irion County 23-4
  17. Valley 20-4
  18. Vega 24-2
  19. Axtell 20-4
  20. Santo 24-5



TABC All-State

1st Team-6’6” Will Flemons(21.0), Paducah; Kevin Foster, Livingston Big Sandy; Stan Burns, Paducah; Jeff Moore, Frost; Tracey Walker, Vega:

2nd Team- David Navarro, Leakey; Anthony Stinnett, Munday; Bill Jones, Avinger; 6’0” Vic Lemiey(25.7), Phillips; Tony Mungula, Avalon:

 3rd Team- Pete Tueniez, Bronte; Randy Hurd, LaPoynor; LeRoy Jefferson, Leggett; Kenny Kern, Nazareth, Brent Kirkland, Sudan: 

Sports Writers All-State

1st Team- 6’8” Shaun Davis, Maud; 6’6” Will Flemons(21.0), Paducah; 6’4” Jeff Moore, Frost; 6’1” Kevin Foster, Livingston Big Sandy; 6’2” Kirk Saul, Valley;

2nd Team- 6’4” Tony Rawlins, Chillicothe; 6’5” Bill Jones, Avinger; 6’6” Jeff Boggas, Triniday; 5’10” David Navarro, Leakey; 6’2” LeRoy Jefferson, Leggett:

3rd Team- 6’3” Hardin Camp, Thorndale; 6’7” Clark Moore, Frost; 6’6” Tracey Walker, Vega; 6’0” Vic Lemley(25.7), Phillips; 5’8” Tony Munguia, Avalon; 6’6” Bryan Barnes, Paducah; 6’3” Stan Burness, Paducah:  


{After reviewing the entire season and the playoffs this would be my 1987 AA Top Teams}

  1. Paducah 33-2         {dominating state champ}
  2. Bronte 29-3         {lost in the state finals to Paducah}
  3. Big Sandy 33-5         {advanced to the state semi-finals}
  4. Nazareth 23-8         {lost in the 2nd round to Paducah}
  5. Avinger 23-11       {lost in the state semi-finals to Bronte}
  6. Munday 22-6         {lost to Bronte in regional semis 45-42}
  7. Roxton 24-12       {lost to Avinger in the regional finals 64-61)
  8. Frost 30-4         {went down to Roxton 74-70 in regionals}
  9. Vega 30-3         {lost to Paducah by only 13 point in regionals}
  10. Graford 25-8         {regional finalist losing to Bronte}

                                                Best A Teams 1980-87(Class B in 1980)

 Team       Season Average        Year         W-L          Playoffs-Diff.            Standouts

Snook(70.3-40.3) +30.0 (B)         1980        42-1         State Champs +23.8  {Mike Junek, H. Carter}