Written by SportsDayDFW.com
What you need to know: South Grand Prairie, Berkner eye 5A state title
South Grand Prairie vs. Cibolo Steele
3 p.m. today
SOUTH GRAND PRAIRIE
District: 7-5A (second)
Coach: Brandon Bennett
State titles: None
Previous appearances (last): 1 (1975)
Playoff victories: 35-30 over Killeen Harker Heights; 64-43 over Colleyville Heritage; 45-44 over Killeen Ellison; 56-28 over Arlington Martin; 35-33 over Hebron
Top players: Ben Emelogu, 6-4, G, Sr.; Mark Howell, 5-11, G, Sr.; Trey Hall, 6-2, G, Sr.; Rick Curry, 6-8, C, Jr.
Notable: Under Bennett, the 2012 Dallas Morning News coach of the year, SGP has won 71 games over the last two seasons. Last season, it lost to eventual champ Flower Mound Marcus in the Region I final, 39-38, with current Oklahoma State star Marcus Smart blocking a last-second shot to seal the win. … Emelogu, a Virginia Tech signee, is the team’s leading scorer (13.2 points per game). Howell (11.6 ppg, 3.4 apg) is a 40-percent 3-point shooter. … SGP’s defense allowed just 46.6 points per game this season, and 35.6 points in the playoffs.
District: 28-5A (third)
Coach: Lonny Hubbard
State titles: None
Previous appearances (last): None
Playoff victories: 52-43 over San Antonio O’Connor; 61-58 over San Antonio Madison; 69-63 over Corpus Christi Carroll; 55-44 over Laredo United; 71-67 over San Antonio Brandeis
Top players: C.J. Siples, 6-2, G, Sr.; Austin Henry, 6-7, F, Jr.; Cody Wallace, 6-7, C, Sr.; Rashaun Kelly, 6-2, G, Jr.
Notable: Steele, in eight years as a school, had won only one playoff game until this season’s improbable run. It finished third in its district, swept by Corpus Christi Carroll, but came back and beat Carroll in a third-round matchup. … Siples, who leads the team in points (14.4 ppg), 3-pointers (67 3s) and assists (4.3 apg), is headed to play for Air Force. … The 6-7 duo of Henry and Wallace will provide points and rebounds inside. They combined for 20.1 points and 13 rebounds per game.
Richardson Berkner vs. Fort Bend Travis
8:30 p.m. today
District: 9-5A (1st). Record: 33-5. Coach: Jason Petty.
State titles: 0. Previous appearances (last): 1 (2006).
Playoff victories: 59-48 over McKinney Boyd; 81-54 over Mesquite Horn; 66-57 over Jesuit; 64-58 (OT) over Spring Westfield; 66-52 over Austin Anderson.
Top players: Soma Edo, 6-5, C, Sr.; Kendal Yancy-Harris, 6-3, G, Sr.; Keenan Evans, 6-3, G, Jr.
Notable: Berkner is on an 18-game winning streak. … Four Berkner players scored in double figures in its 66-52 win against Austin Anderson in the Region II final. … Edo averages a double-double, with 16.6 points and 10.5 rebounds. Evans averages 14.3 points, and Yancy-Harris chips in 12.8.
FORT BEND TRAVIS
District: 23-5A (2nd). Record: 31-5. Coach: Craig Brownson.
State titles: 0. Previous appearances (last): 1 (2012).
Playoff victories: 73-56 over Houston Clear Lake; 46-44 over Pearland; 79-40 over Friendswood Clear Brook; 78-68 over Houston Westside; 61-53 over Fort Bend Bush.
Top players: Andrew Harrison, 6-5, G, Sr.; Aaron Harrison, 6-5, G, Sr.
Notable: Travis is making its second consecutive appearance in the state tournament. It lost to Flower Mound Marcus in last year’s championship game. … Twin brothers Andrew and Aaron Harrison average 37 of Travis’s 60 points per game.