Written by SportsDayDFW.com
Argyle looks for the perfect end to season in 3A final
Program aims for its first state title in second trip to Austin
AUSTIN — Clarke Overlander is used to playing in big games.
After Argyle’s state semifinal win over Lubbock Estacado on Thursday, Overlander, a North Texas signee who also plays for the AAU Texas Assault, pointed out that he is the only player on his Argyle team to have played on national television.
He also tried to tell his teammates to curtail their emotion on the grand stage of Austin’s Frank Erwin Center.
“I told [shooting guard] Connor [York] before the game that it’s just another game,” Overlander said. “Big games for me, they’re just another game. It’s not a big deal.”
But Overlander knows the next step is among the biggest he’s taken.
“Saturday’s a big game, this wasn’t a big game,” Overlander said after Thursday’s 41-34 win over Estacado. “Saturday’s is big. Big games aren’t that bad.”
Argyle (30-8) meets Corpus Christi Miller (30-9) in Saturday’s Class 3A state final.
Argyle will try to win its first state championship in boys basketball after losing in overtime in its only other tournament appearance, in 2004.
This is coach John King’s first state appearance. He had reached the regional final seven times as a player, assistant coach and head coach.
“It’s a feeling like no other,” King said of having the chance to play in the final. “The feelings you have in this spot are unbelievable. We’ve just been telling the kids, ‘Just don’t be satisfied. Don’t do it. Play for one more.’”
Argyle’s victory over Estacado was another in a long line of playoff wins over teams ranked in the final Texas Association of Basketball Coaches Class 3A state poll.
Estacado finished the regular season No. 2. Argyle, which was No. 11, also defeated No. 6 Wilmer-Hutchins, No. 7 Madison, No. 16 Texarkana Pleasant Grove and No. 17 Lovejoy in this postseason.
No. 13 Miller knocked off the state’s top-ranked 3A team, Waco La Vega, in Thursday’s other semifinal.
King said the Buccaneers remind of him of all the teams Argyle has beaten recently — quick and athletic.
“They’re a lot like the four other athletic teams we’ve played,” King said. “They’re a lot like Madison, Wilmer, Pleasant Grove and certainly Estacado.
The winning formula for Argyle against those teams has been to slow the pace. The Eagles held Estacado, which averaged 67.7 points, to a season-low point total. They did the same thing in holding Wilmer-Hutchins to 34 points.
“They don’t want it to end,” King said of his players. “They want it to end the way they want it to, and that’s of course with a win.
“Every team wants one more [game] except one. We want to be that one team.”