Written by SportsDayDFW.com
A. Maceo Smith's impressive playoff run ends after 20-point loss in 3A state semifinals
AUSTIN — The final timeout came with just over a minute left and coach John Burley’s A. Maceo Smith team trailing by 17. Make no mistake, the game was over.
But Burley didn’t call the timeout for strategy — A. Maceo Smith would go on to lose the state semifinal game to Corpus Christi West Oso, 80-60. It was about the moment, about gratitude.
“I wanted to take a minute to recognize the support,” he said. “It’s been a long time, maybe never, in which A. Maceo Smith sports mattered.”
The basketball team had made A. Maceo Smith matter in the last month. After a string of bad losses earlier in the year, the team regrouped in the season’s stretch run, taking out top opponents like Madison and Argyle.
The first team to beat the Falcons in the playoffs would be the last team to ever defeat A. Maceo Smith. The school is transitioning into a technology magnet in the fall, and remaining students will go to Wilmer-Hutchins, South Oak Cliff and Roosevelt.
And West Oso was that first team. It featured a quick offense led by guards like Robert Watson and Willie Harper who could both drive and shoot.
For a while, A. Maceo Smith hung around. The teams matched three-pointers early in the game, and A. Maceo Smith trailed by five at halftime. West Oso continued to run in the second, pulling away and dismantling A. Maceo Smith’s recently impressive defense. Watson finished with 20 points. Fellow guard LaDaniel Marshall stole the ball six times.
“Maybe emotionally,” Burley said, “we ran out of gas.”
Burley has known some of the players on A. Maceo Smith’s team since the third grade. He talked about wanting to find colleges for his seven seniors.
His words and the slumping expressions of Micah Cooper, Justin Brooks and Jeremy Mobley contributed to a feeling of finality at the team’s press conference.
And it was the end.
The seniors’ season is over, and the players will represent new schools next season. But at least the end came in Austin, and A. Maceo Smith was proud of that.
“We got here because we worked hard,” Cooper said.
La Marque 72, Fort Worth Arlington Heights 61: Julien Lewis scored 21 points and La Marque used stellar free-throw shooting to pull away from Fort Worth Arlington Heights in the fourth quarter for a 72-61 victory in the Class 4A state semifinals.
DeQuentin Greer scored 20 points and was 13 of 14 shooting free throws for La Marque (33-4), which was 25 of 33 from the line as a team. In fact, the Cougars scored 16 of their 25 fourth-quarter points from the line to open up what had been a 47-42 lead after three periods.
Lewis was 7 of 15 shooting from the field, and the University of Texas signee hit two early NBA-range 3-pointers.
Marquis Jackson scored 22 points to lead Arlington Heights (32-4).