The TAPPS boys basketball playoffs are underway and local teams are heavily involved. St. Thomas, St. Pius X, and Lutheran North all clinched postseason berths and they each immediately began their elimination games with Bi-District activity across the state last Tuesday night.
St. Pius X and St. Thomas closed the year in a tie for second place in Division 1, District 3-6A with 8-4 records after the Panthers topped the Eagles, 64-53 last Friday night on their home floor in the season finale for both teams.
The game was tight for three quarters before the home team got their offense rolling in the fourth quarter, tallying 27 points in the final eight minutes to pull away. The Panthers led just 37-36 to start the fourth before outscoring the Eagles, 27-17.
Once again, as they have done all season, the Panthers got balanced scoring with senior Markeith Williams leading the way with 19 points while Stanley Asiegbu notched 15 points and Chad Graham tossed in 13 more. The Eagles also had three players in double figures as Philip Everst paced them with 16 points. Max Vosloh had 12 points and Everett Vaughn added 10 on a losing cause.
The visitors got out to an 11-6 lead after the first period and were still up on St. Pius X at the half, 21-20. Williams had eight of his points in the first to lead the home team and Vosloh had six of his dozen for the Eagles, but SPX tallied 17 points in the third to go in front by a point after three periods.
Both teams finished second in the district behind top-ranked Concordia Lutheran, which went 12-0 in the district. However, under the tiebreaker process, the Eagles are the league’s two seed in the playoffs while the Panthers are the three seed. The Panthers needed a win over St. Thomas, which they got, last Friday to have a chance to be the league’s two seed but they needed to beat the Eagles by 13 points or more and they won by 11.
It appeared, depending on if there were any late results last weekend, that St. Pius would begin the playoffs on the road at Brownsville St. Joseph while St. Thomas’s opponent would be someone from the Dallas area with exactly who still to-be-determined.
Both teams won their games before their matchup last Friday to set up a showdown for second place with St. Thomas defeating Beaumont Kelly, 71-57 to stay a game ahead of the Panthers going into the last game on the schedule. The Bulldogs hung around with their hosts for threequarters before the Eagles went on a 24-14 scoring spree in the fourth period to break the game open.
At the same time, St. Pius knocked off St. John’s XXIII, 58-45, to stay within a game of the second place Eagles. Graham scored 16 points to set the pace while Williams and Jeremy Garcia had 10 points apiece. Asiegbu just missed double digits with nine points.
Lutheran High North
The Lions finished the regular season in third place in TAPPS 4A District 5 and were waiting to see who they would open against in the playoffs. With a big win over Northland Christian, the Lions ended the year last Friday night at 6-6 in district behind league champion The Woodlands Christian Academy and second place Logos Prep Academy. TWCA finished 11-1 in the league and Logos Prep was 9-3.
Northland Christian was in fourth place with 5-7 mark.
Senior guard Evans Butts led the district in scoring averaging 24.3 points per game in 12 league games and they are hoping he can continue that hot hand through the postseason.
The Lions had two other players also finish district play in double figure scoring with Jaxon Wolf averaging 11.8 points an outing while Nick Grant scored at 10.5-point pace.
Lutheran High North closed out the 2017-2018 regular season at 15-10 overall.