Brownwood Lions set to open basketball playoffs against Vernon

Mike Lee
Special to the Bulletin
Generic basketball photo.

The Brownwood boys’ basketball team, after winning its first six District 6-4A games, lost their final two games to Glen Rose 75-67 and Lampasas 86-80 and were forced to settle for second place in the district at 6-2 behind 7-1 Lampasas.

The Class 4A Lions beat 3A Dublin 101-89 Friday in a warmup game for the playoffs. The Lions (23-9) will face District 5-4A No. 3 seed Vernon (14-14) in bidistrict at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Graham.

“We were in a tough district, and our guys know that,” first-year Brownwood coach Will Parker said. “We were disappointed in the loss to Lampasas, but we did some good things. We rebounded well and played hard throughout the game.

“We have to move on to the playoffs now and try to prove something there. We have to figure out a way to leave our mark in the playoffs.”

In the loss to Lampasas, guard Jakob Hataway scored 22 points for the Lions. Nate Borchardt poured in 36 points for Lampasas.

In the 12-point win over Dublin, 6-foot-5 Christian Kinzler scored 23 points, Tristan Salinas scored 20 points in a rare start for the junior guard, and guard Bryson Monroe added 19 points.

“Tristan had to change his game throughout the course of the season,” Parker said. “We needed him to be more intentional on his dribbling and to play better defense. He had a great attitude and did those things. He earned the chance to start.

“He had been shooting lights out in practice. He has become our most vocal guy in practice and one of our leaders. That’s saying something for a junior on a team full of seniors.”

Parker scheduled the practice game against Dublin, his former team, as a chance for the Lions to enter the playoffs on a win after the two tough district losses.

“That was the idea; we’ll see if it pays off,” Parker said. “Dublin agreed to come here, so we didn’t have to travel. It was a chance to play a warmup game instead of just practicing for four days without knowing who our bidistrict opponent was going to be.”

Vernon beat Iowa Park 56-51 Friday to earn the No. 3 playoff seed from District 5-4A.

Around the area

The Brownwood girls shot 19 percent from the field and lost their bidistrict game to Graham 24-22 last week. The Lady Lions led 22-21 on a basket by forward Tessa Goodwin with 1:32 to play, but they couldn’t hold the lead. Brownwood had beaten Graham back in January.

On the All-District 6-4A girls’ team, Brownwood Goodwin was voted Co-Defensive Player of the Year, Kynslee Walker was selected to the first team and guard Mady Pyle was named to the second team. Brownwood had three honorable mention players in Jaylen Savage, Naysa Leach and Dakota Simpson.

The Brownwood girls finished 20-14.

The Early boys won their final four games of the regular season – including wins of 57-14 over Bangs and 47-41 over Comanche – to secure the No. 3 playoff seed from District 8-3A behind state-ranked powers Peaster and Brock.

The Longhorns (23-10) will play Holliday (22-9) in bidistrict at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Mineral Wells.

In the win over Comanche, forward Vic Cooper scored 16 points. In the win over Bangs, guard Jeremy Brown scored 13 points, and Cooper had 12 points.

The May boys already had secured the No. 2 playoff seed from District 13-1A, but the Tigers scored a big win over perennial power Eula during the second half of district. The Tigers will play Highland in bidistrict at 7:30 p.m. Monday at Merkel.

The No. 5-ranked Priddy girls beat Rochelle 56-26 in bidistrict, but the Lady Pirates lost to Lingleville 41-30 in the area round of the 1A playoffs. The Lady Pirates, champions of District 18-1A, finished 25-6. Priddy also was eliminated by Lingleville in last year’s area round.

In other 1A girls’ bidistrict games last week, Zephyr lost to Cherokee 43-27, and May fell to Highland 42-18.

The District 29-2A girls still have three teams alive in the postseason. Two of them – San Saba and Harper – will collide at 6 p.m. Monday at Llano in a regional quarterfinal game. Mason, the third team from 29-2A, will play Three Rivers on Tuesday. Three Rivers eliminated Goldthwaite, the fourth 29-2A playoff entry, 38-34 last week.

San Saba won the District 29-2A boys’ championship for the third consecutive year. The year’s Armadillos finished 11-1 in district and are 19-8 overall as they face Sabinal in bidistrict at 8 p.m. Tuesday at Schreiner University in Kerrville.

Goldthwaite finished 10-2 and grabbed the No. 2 seed from District 29-2A. The Eagles, 18-12 this season, are in the postseason for the 16th consecutive season – all under head coach Jeffrey Head. Goldthwaite will play Brackett (15-11) in bidistrict at 6:30 p.m. Monday at Sonora. It’ll be a rematch from last year, when Brackett won 38-33.