A thriller between Clear Falls and Houston Milby was among many highlights on Day 1 of the Carlisle-Krueger Classic boys basketball tournament, held on the high school campuses of Clear Lake and Clear Falls.
After an ultracompetitive first half that had 12 lead changes, Milby began the second half on a 7-0 run that saw the Buffaloes’ 33-31 halftime lead balloon to a 9-point advantage. Trailing 64-56 early in the fourth quarter, the Knights began to climb their way back into the game with an amped-up effort.
“In the second half, we started doing all those little things, winning those hustle stats,” Clear Falls head coach Clif Lyles said.
A steal by the Knights’ Christian Terry and dish to Dorian Mason tied the game, 72-72, with 23 seconds left in the game.
Brandon Buggs corralled a rebound following a Clear Falls defensive stand and was fouled with 7.4 ticks remaining. Buggs drained two clutch free throws to give the Knights their first (and final) lead of the second half, and Milby clanked a last-second 3-pointer, as Clear Falls emerged with the 74-72 win.
“It’s a good win because Milby is a much better basketball team than they’ve been the last couple years,” Lyles said. “I think it’s good for our confidence, especially being down and fighting from behind.”
Scoring leaders for Clear Falls were Terry with 17 points, Dorian Mason with 16 points and Tyler Valentine with 11 points. Milby got a whopping 33 points from Da’may Jones.
The Knights were edged in their second game by North Shore, 53-47, and will continue tournament play 6 p.m. today at Clear Lake’s Main Building Gym in the silver bracket.
In the game before the Clear Falls-Milby showstopper, Texas City utilized big runs and a depth advantage to pull away from Hitchcock for a 62-44 win.
“I think our depth paid off; I thought they got a little winded and tired, and we have 15 people that we can play,” Texas City head coach Chris Mason said.
A buzzer-beating put-back dunk by Hitchcock’s Ja’Marcus Martinez put an exclamation point on a quarter that ended with Texas City leading 15-12.
The Stings began the second quarter on a 6-0 streak highlighted by an Adrian Sherwood steal and coast-to-coast dunk. After the Bulldogs whittled Texas City’s lead down to 23-21, the Stings closed the first half on a 10-1 run, capped by a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from Caden McKenzie.
Leading 35-26 early in the third quarter, Texas City went on a 10-0 run for a 19-point advantage. Hitchcock got the score down to 54-42 in the fourth quarter, but the Stings ended the game on an 8-2 run for the decisive victory.
“I just got my kids back on Monday; that’s just part of being a small school — you’ve got football kids who play basketball and basketball kids who play football,” Hitchcock head coach Chris Jordan said. “We’re a little rusty, but I think we’ll be all right. The most important thing I want to see is effort and playing with some heart.”
Texas City was led by Sherwood with 15 points and Tee’shawn Garrett with 14 points. John Scott led Hitchcock with 16 points, while Tra’vonte Jones chipped in 10 points.
Texas City handled Clear Brook, 78-60, in its next game and will enter gold bracket play 6 p.m. today at Krueger Field House. The Bulldogs were edged by Clear Brook, 61-56, in their previous game. Hitchcock enters the bronze bracket 6 p.m. today at Clear Lake’s Ninth Grade Center gym.
Clear Springs continued its best start to a season in years, going 2-0 on Day 1 of the tournament with 70-57 win over Humble Summer Creek and a 76-34 rout of Fort Bend Clements.
Against Clements, the Chargers raced out to an 11-2 lead and never really looked back. With a 23-8 lead after the first quarter, Faite Williams benefited from back-to-back Clear Springs steals, cashing in with a layup and a dunk, to start the second quarter.
Clear Springs focused on its half-court defense in the second half with great success, holding Clements to just eight points in the final two frames.
“I thought we did a better job in the second half of talking and things like that, talking through switches and doing the things we want to do, defensively,” Clear Springs head coach Chris Hairfield said.
An emphatic Terrence Woodson block and a rim-rattling dunk on the other end from Kyle Burt set the tone early in the third quarter, and a steal and coast-to-coast dunk by Tylan Jackson did the same early in the fourth quarter.
Clear Springs will begin play in the gold bracket 3 p.m. today at Krueger Field House.
Clear Creek also was a perfect 2-0 on Day 1 of the tournament, as the Wildcats handled South Houston, 55-52, and made easy work of Houston Northbrook, 62-31.
Hunter Smith led the way against South Houston with 18 points, and Nate Jackson had a team-best 18 points against Northbrook.
The Wildcats enter the first round of the gold bracket, 1:30 p.m. today at Krueger Field House.