Written by SportsDayDFW.com
Kimball boys take on title-contender look in rout of Highland Park
LANCASTER - Kimball hasn’t yet started a roll comparable to the one that led to last year’s Class 4A boys state basketball championship, but the Knights looked a lot closer to a title contender with a 72-47 area round playoff over Highland Park.
Kimball junior guard Keith Frazier scored 18 of his 20 points in the second half while senior point guard Shannon Lilly Jr. added 17 with four 3-pointers to outscore Highland Park by 18 in the second half. Kimball plays District12-4A champion Woodrow Wilson in the Region II quarterfinals next Tuesday.
“We lost eight seniors from last year, so this team isn’t out there thinking about a repeat,” Kimball coach Royce “Snoop” Johnson said. “They have a little edge knowing they have something to prove and win one for themselves. If we keep playing like that second half, we have a shot to win it.”
Highland Park (28-3) was without its leading scorer, David Allen, who was still serving a disciplinary suspension. Highland Park defeated Carrollton Newman Smith in the first round without Allen. Highland Park ended a memorable season with a 14-0 District 10-4A championship and a mid-season win over South Oak Cliff, which defeated Kimball for the 11-4A championship.
Highland Park stayed within one in the first quarter and only trailed 26-19 at halftime before the 6-4 Frazier hit a 25-foot, 3-pointer to start a 13-point, third-quarter barrage. Frazier is a top prospect for 2013, one who drew Texas coach Rick Barnes to Kimball’s first-round victory over Hillcrest. Frazier hit another pair of 3-pointers in the third quarter to help Kimball lead 49-29 to start the fourth quarter.
“It just wasn’t flowing until the third quarter,” Johnson said. “But that’s part of the edge we’re getting. We’re coming out strong in the third quarter.”
As the 4A state final MVP last year, the 5-10 Lilly has begun to re-establish himself. His three, first-half, three pointers keyed Kimball’s early lead until more scoring kicked in.
“Shannon’s like the son who is still here after all the older brothers left for college,” Johnson said. “We couldn’t expect him to play all year like he did in the playoffs last year, but we knew what he could do. For this part of the season, we’re 2-0 (in the playoffs) and that’s right where we have to be.”