Written by SportsDayDFW.com
TAPPS boys state tournament: Arl. Grace Prep rallies to win TAPPS title
Timely free throws, good defense key late surge for Grace Prep
MANSFIELD — For Arlington Grace Prep, the first half belonged to Jamal Branch, and the second half belonged to Emmanuel Mudiay.
Mudiay scored 14 of his game-high 16 points in the second half to lift Grace Prep to a 42-37 victory over Houston Westbury in the TAPPS 4A boys state championship game Saturday at Mansfield Legacy.
Branch, a Texas A&M signee, kept Grace Prep (30-6) in the game in the first half by scoring 13 points — including 11 straight for his team at one point. Branch was injured with 17 seconds left in the first half when he was whistled for a charging foul, his second foul of the game, and he had to be helped off the court.
Branch returned in the second half but picked up two fouls in the first two minutes of the third quarter. He fouled out with 2:34 left in the game and finished with 15 points.
Cody Glenn led Westbury (37-2) with 14 points, and his basket early in the fourth quarter gave his team a 34-29 lead. That would be the last field goal Westbury made.
Mudiay made a pair of free throws to give Grace Prep the lead for good at 38-37 with 1:27 left. Drake Thomas added a free throw for Grace Prep with 51 seconds left, and following a Westbury turnover, Jacob Dean hit a pair of free throws with nine seconds left to give Grace a 41-37 lead. Mudiay added another free throw with one tick left.
Houston St. Thomas 76, Prestonwood Christian 57: St. Thomas opened the second half with a flurry of 3-pointers and took advantage of two Prestonwood technical fouls in the decisive third quarter en route to winning the TAPPS 5A championship at Mansfield Summit.
Chase Brogna, Christian Sanders and Ian Hurley combined for 60 points for St. Thomas (29-10). Brogna led all scorers with 25 points, including a 3-pointer with five seconds remaining in the second quarter that tied the score at 27-27.
Sanders, who had 22 points, made a 3 early in the third to give St. Thomas a 36-30 advantage.
Julius Randle scored a team-high 14 points for Prestonwood (24-11), with eight coming in the first quarter as his team raced to a 14-4 lead.