Galveston County’s field of six high school boys basketball teams in the playoffs got whittled down to three after the opening bi-district round of the playoffs, as Texas City, Hitchcock and La Marque forge ahead to the area round Friday.
Here is a look at the matchups.
Texas City vs. Humble
After taking down the co-champions of District 24-5A, Houston Furr, on Tuesday, Texas City faces the champions of District 21-5A, Humble, in the second round of the playoffs 6 p.m. Friday at Phillips Field House in Pasadena.
Emerging as the third place team in the ultra-rugged District 23-5A, the Stings’ strength will be a wealth of depth. The Wildcats, who swept through their district with an 18-0 record, are in their 25th consecutive postseason and will be led by guard Latrel Hill and forwards Joe Temple and Justin Lawson.
Humble survived an upset bid from Nederland in the bi-district round, winning 45-44, but not before Nederland had three close-range shots at the go-ahead basket rattle in and out of the rim. Texas City shed Furr, 59-46.
Hitchcock vs. Coldspring-Oakhurst
A pair of district champions clash in this area round game 7 p.m. Friday at Channelview High School when District 24-3A co-champions Hitchcock face District 21-3A champion Coldspring-Oakhurst.
The Bulldogs, led by forward John Scott and guards Earnest Triplett and Davanta Scott, will look to wear out their opponents with a consistently fast-breaking offense and pressure defense. The Trojans are likely to lean on the top-scoring young guard duo of Jacoby Bishop and Duke Lawniczak.
Both teams overcame tough first-round opponents to get here, as Hitchcock pulled away from a solid Buna team in the second half for a 69-56 win, and Coldspring-Oakhurst dropped Newton, 76-70.
La Marque vs. Crockett
In a rematch of last year’s area round game, La Marque and Crockett will tangle again 7 p.m. Friday at Conroe Oak Ridge High School.
The Cougars aren’t exactly the same team as last year, with a new coach and missing a talented class of 2017 core, but had another successful season as District 24-3A champions led by Jordan Ivy-Curry, Edward Robinson, Rha’Sean Booker and Willie Johns.
Players to watch for the Bulldogs, runners-up in District 21-3A, include their leading scorers, guards Marcus Shedd III and Alton Owens, and 6-foot-6 post Allen Horace Jr., who averages close to a double-double.
The No. 1 seed out of its district, La Marque cruised to a 70-50 bi-district win over Kirbyville, while Crockett carved up Woodville, 64-49.