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Varsity Boys Basketball team Secures Spot in Final Four State Tournament

Vanessa Zuleta

Dallas Johnson, Staff Writer

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With a score of 45-44, the Varsity Boys Basketball team defeated the Waxahachie Indians becoming 10-5A Region 2 Champions on March 4 and securing a spot in the final four state tournament.

“We knew going into the game that a lot of people doubted us,” junior Isaac Likekele said. “Everyone expected our opponent to win, but my teammates and I knew that we had the talent and determination to prevail over them. Now everyone who doubted us knows too.”

The team was down by 12 points during the second quarter in Garland.

“We had two main focuses, defending and rebounding,” Head Coach Duane Gregory said. “Once we got both of those down, we slowly erased the deficit. It took every player handling their responsibilities on both sides on the floor for us to win.”

With the score tied under a minute left on the clock, senior Tim Johnson scored the winning free-throw.

“When I stepped to the line, my heart was racing,’’ Johnson said. ‘’I was so nervous that I missed my first attempt. I looked at my team and tried to gain composure. After I found that calm place I took the shot.”

Waxahachie tried to shot a last second three pointer but came up short, senior William Owens said.

“I looked at the ball praying that it wouldn’t find its way to the bottom of the net,” he said. “Once it hit the rim and bounced back as the buzzer sounded, I knew we had finally done it. The team goal of making it to state was accomplished. The feeling of achieving that goal is unreal right now.”

After the game, Likekele was named the Most Valuable Player of the Regional Tournament.

“Winning the award feels great but I couldn’t do it without my teammates,” he said. “I love my team and everyone involved in the program. I thank them all for helping me for this moment.”

The boys team hasn’t made state since 2009.

“I’m super excited for the team right now,” Gregory said. “It’s a great feeling for the players and the coaching staff to get an opportunity like this. A state tournament can add a lot of experience to a young team like ours.”

The Semi-Final game, for a spot to be in the State Championship 5A Final, is tomorrow at the Alamodome against Corpus Christi Veterans Memorial.

“We’re taking one game at a time right now,” Likekele said. “We’re just trying to stay focused on our next opponent and not look too far ahead into the future.”

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Varsity Boys Basketball team Secures Spot in Final Four State Tournament