Gatesville’s long wait has finally come to an end.
After clinching a second consecutive playoff berth on Feb. 8, the Hornets were isolated in limbo for a full week, waiting to learn who they would face in their postseason opener. Friday evening, the anticipation came to an end, and Gatesville found out its trek toward a state title would begin with Glen Rose.
The Tigers (17-13 overall) enter the playoffs having won six of their last eight games, including a 78-64 win against Alvarado on Friday evening to determine the final District 7-3A standings. During that span, Glen Rose has won each of its games by an average of 17.3 points, and its 78-point outburst against Alvarado was a season high.
Led by senior Ben Coppock’s standout performance of 25 points, 10 rebounds, three assists and two steals, the Tigers finished with three double-digit scorers, while three other players posted at least eight points in the victory.
Like the Hornets, who finished the regular season with an overall record of 17-13, Glen Rose is a team capable of making lots of 3-pointers, and the Tigers proved it Friday, sinking 10 against the Indians.
The teams play Tuesday at Waco Midway at 8 p.m.
Knights’ luck going downhill heading into postseason
Harker Heights head coach Celneque Bobbitt has had an unlucky month of February.
First he watched as his Knights were blown out of the gym in an 80-58 loss at Copperas Cove on Feb. 5.
Then he helped eliminate his alma mater Killeen with an ugly 57-42 win over the Roos — who still hold a special place in his heart — in the regular season finale Tuesday.
Now, after losing a coin flip for the No. 2 seed with rival Shoemaker, who finished tied with Heights following a regular season-ending loss to the Bulldawgs, the Knights (23-9) must take on District 7-5A No. 2 seed — and the fifth-ranked team in Class 5A — South Grand Prairie (30-3) in their bi-district playoff game Tuesday as the second game of a doubleheader with the Grey Wolves and Cedar Hill beginning at 6:30 p.m. at Hillsboro High School.
South Grand Prairie continues to be one of the state’s best teams, having won 12 of its last 13 games since a second district loss to top-ranked DeSoto.
And with his talented Knights playing so inconsistently recently, having just seen the return of starting point guard Josh Delaney from a several-week absence for an injured wrist, Bobbitt hopes his luck turns quickly before Heights goes one-and-done for the second straight season.
Grey Wolves having trouble putting teams away
The Shoemaker Grey Wolves had already been playing with fire and got burned Tuesday by a Copperas Cove team that was backed against a wall.
They let an 11-point fourth-quarter lead against Ellison dissipate and struggled against last-place Temple after that. Shoemaker’s hope for winning a stake in the District 8-5A championship went up in smoke in the regular season finale against Copperas Cove.
Shoemaker (26-8) led the Bulldawgs by 13 points at halftime, but Cove, needing a win to clinch 8-5A’s final playoff berth, clawed back and snapped the Grey Wolves’ eight-game winning streak 73-72 on Montre’ Williams buzzer-beating 3-pointer in overtime.
The Grey Wolves play 7-5A No. 3 seed Cedar Hill on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at Hillsboro High School in the first round of the 5A playoffs, where a loss is season-ending.
Shoemaker can ill-afford another late-game letdown.
The Grey Wolves led Ellison by 11 in the fourth quarter, but needed a putback from Nykolas Dawson at the buzzer to capture a share of the district lead with two games left. They followed that with an uninspired 56-49 win over last-place Temple and the loss to Copperas Cove.
Now every team is backed against the wall, Shoemaker included.