Written by SportsDayDFW.com
Richland, Plano West boys basketball teams score upset wins Thurs. in Whataburger Tournament
HALTOM CITY – Richland held on to defeat two-time defending Orange Division champion Flower Mound Marcus, 58-55, in the second round Thursday morning at Birdville’s Thomas Coliseum.
Marcus is the defending Class 5A state champion and ranked No. 1 in the state. But the Marauders couldn't contain No. 9 Richland, which also took advantage of some controversial calls in the fourth quarter.
"Richland is a better team than we are and better coached," Marcus coach Danny Henderson said. "That's it."
Richland (14-1) got its first six points in the fourth quarter from senior guard Ricky Roberts, a 6-2 guard who played on Marcus' junior varsity last season. Roberts ended with a game-high 27 points.
After Roberts gave Richland an edge to break a 38-38 tie to start the fourth quarter, Marcus got called for an unusual technical foul when Marcus 6-8 senior Nick Banyard dunked to pull the Marauders within 46-43 with 5:06 left. It also sent Banyard, a New Mexico signee, out with his fifth foul. Richland’s Tony Mayfield Jr. hit the bonus free throws to give his team a 48-43 edge.
Marcus seemed to have notched another rally as guard Marcus Smart hit two free throws for a 49-48 lead with 2:48 left. But Mayfield Jr. answered with a long-range 3-pointer for a 51-49 lead Richland never relinquished. Marcus made it 54-53 on a basket by senior guard Phillip Forte III but Roberts and forward Leyton Hammonds went 4-for-4 from the line in the final 36 seconds for Richland to hold off a Marcus comeback.
An Oklahoma State signee, Smart ended with 19 points and Forte with 12. Marcus plays Richardson Berkner (15-5) at 12:30 p.m. Friday needing to win twice in the final day to finish fifth in the 16-team field.
In another second-round Orange Division upset, Plano West (14-4) used its height to thwart the high-pressure defense of DeSoto (15-3) in a 63-46 victory.
West's 6-8 senior duo of Holt Harmon and T.J. Cline were able to pass over the DeSoto press, which had wreaked havoc in a 77-39 victory over Coppell in the first round.
The Cornell-bound Harmon and Cline also combined for 30 points as West, ranked No. 13 in the state, took a 33-26 halftime lead and steadily increased throughout the second half without allowing DeSoto to score in transitional flurries off turnovers.
"We've been a program that's been wanting to get a win over a quality program like DeSoto," West coach Anthony Morgan said. "They probably are the top team in Region II of the state playoffs but we finally played for four quarters like we have been wanting to play. This is a win that could turn the page for us."
DeSoto (15-3) struggled shooting from the field. Terry Mason scored 16 points, and Matt Jones, a Class of 2013 commitment to Duke, scored four points.