Playoff fever will be in full swing as six Galveston County boys basketball teams enter the fray, while one girls team remains looking to reach the deep waters of the postseason.
Here’s where everyone stands:
Last week in review
In 24-6A, Dickinson secured a co-district championship (its third straight season with at least a share of the crown) Tuesday when the Gators closed out their season with a 79-65 win over Clear Brook. Clear Springs couldn’t help Dickinson get an outright 24-6A title, as the Chargers fell to co-champion Clear Lake, 88-72. Clear Creek logged a 64-47 win over Clear Falls to snap a losing skid.
Texas City couldn’t keep up with District 23-5A co-champion Fort Bend Elkins in a 59-35 loss in Tuesday’s regular season finale. Santa Fe got its first and only district win of the season with a huge upset win, 52-48, over defending state finalists Fort Bend Marshall, which knocked the Buffaloes out of the playoff picture. Ball High’s season ended the previous week.
Hitchcock and La Marque each recorded wins to put the final touches on the two teams’ co-District 24-3A championship seasons.
Top playoff matchups
Dickinson vs. Alief Taylor — Losing a tiebreaker to Clear Lake, Dickinson (29-8 overall, 12-2 in district) enters the playoffs as 24-6A’s No. 2 seed and will face District 23-6A third-place finisher Taylor (21-11, 8-4) in this Region III-6A bi-district contest.
The Gators will be led by the guard play of Tramon Mark, Deuce Guidry and Quante Julien, while Taylor will try to utilize a significant size advantage over Dickinson. The Lions boast eight players listed at 6-foot-4 or taller, while Dickinson has just two on its roster: Mark and fellow starter Jalen Wydermyer.
Dickinson comes into this matchup on a five-game winning streak, which includes impressive wins over fellow playoff qualifiers Clear Springs and Clear Creek. Taylor is 3-2 in its last five games, most recently defeating Richmond George Ranch.
Game time is set for 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Pearland Dawson High School.
Clear Creek vs. Pearland — By way of winning a tiebreaker with Clear Springs, Clear Creek (20-11, 10-4) got 24-6A’s No. 3 seed and will tangle with defensive-minded 23-6A runner-up Pearland (20-12, 8-4) in a Region III-6A bi-district game.
In what could turn out to be a close, low-scoring game, the Wildcats will look for leading scorers Donta Smith, Nate Jackson and Hunter Smith to put points on the board. Clear Creek’s defense will try to lock down Pearland’s top offensive weapons: co-captains Ovidio Perez and Javonne Lowery. The two teams are similar in size, with no player on either roster listed as taller than 6-foot-5.
Pearland enters this matchup red-hot, riding a six-game winning streak that saw the Oilers sweep the second half of their district schedule. Clear Creek went just 4-3 in the second half of 24-6A play after a surprisingly strong start, but got a momentum-building win in its season finale.
Game time is set for 6 p.m. Tuesday at Pasadena ISD’s Phillips Field House.
Other playoff matchups:
• Region III-6A bi-district — Clear Springs (No. 4, District 24-6A) vs. Pearland Dawson (No. 1, District 23-6A), 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Phillips Field House
• Region III-5A bi-district — Texas City (No. 3, District 23-5A) vs. Houston Furr (No. 2, District 24-5A), 7 p.m. Tuesday at Barnett Field House
• Region III-3A bi-district — Hitchcock (No. 2, District 24-3A) vs. Buna (No. 3, District 23-3A), 6:30 p.m. today at East Chambers High School
• Region III-3A bi-district — La Marque (No. 1, District 24-3A) vs. Kirbyville (No. 4, District 23-3A), 7 p.m. today at Dayton High School
Last week in review
Out of the county’s five playoff qualifiers, only Hitchcock’s week didn’t end with its season coming to a close.
Hitchcock had a subpar but ultimately successful 55-35 bi-district win over Anahuac on Monday and had an impressive 67-51 area round win over a solid Crockett team Friday.
After winning their respective bi-district games, the Ball High Lady Tors had Kingwood Park squeak by them, 33-29, and Clear Springs saw Humble Summer Creek put together a come-from-behind 64-63 win in the area round Friday.
In the bi-district round Tuesday, Clear Creek was edged by Alief Elsik, 35-34, and High Island fell to Prairie Lea in overtime, 47-40.
Hitchcock vs. East Chambers — District 23-3A champion East Chambers (30-4, 11-1) brings an impressive record into this Region III-3A quarterfinal game, while Hitchcock (20-6, 10-0) boasts an 11-game win streak stretching back to Dec. 29.
Against the favored Lady Bulldogs, the likely strategy for the Lady Buccaneers will be to slow the pace of the game to a crawl and turn the game into a half-court contest, as evidenced by them holding their last 13 opponents to 36 or fewer points (including Friday’s 58-33 area round win over New Waverly).
The Lady ’Dawgs led by guards Irish Winn and Taivionna Daniels and post Majesty Otems, will have other plans, however, as their strategy centers on a high-pressure, up-tempo defense creating turnovers and fast-break points — either overwhelming the opposition early or wearing them out late.
Game time is set for 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Baytown Sterling High School. If Hitchcock gets past East Chambers, the team will face the winner of a matchup between Little River Academy and Marlin at the regional tournament in the early game 6 p.m. Friday at Waco Midway High School.