Written by Corbett Smith
Madison's depth, fast-break tempo wear down Houston Yates en route to 3A boys basketball championship win
AUSTIN — Madison kept swarming, sending player after player screaming down the court at breakneck speed. Houston Yates’ vaunted trap defense didn’t stop them; it hardly slowed them.
And as the game progressed, it became abundantly clear that the Dallas squad wasn’t going to stop.
Hoisting 73 shots while forcing 24 turnovers, Madison beat Yates at its own game in an 85-72 win in the Class 3A state final.
Championship game MVP Derrick Smith had 27 points and 14 rebounds, and sophomore Admon Gilder scored 19 as Madison won its second 3A state title in five years.
“Our game plan was to break down the press and get the ball out of our hands quick,” Smith said. “We practice it every day of the week. … Everything we practiced was there in the game.”
Known for its trapping, high-tempo attack, Yates (32-5) had dominated 3A opponents, scoring over 100 points eight times in district and the playoffs. Yates was ranked No. 1 in the state all season and was the prohibitive favorite for the title after finishing as the 4A state runner-up to Kimball in 2012 before moving down to 3A.
Ahead of the tournament, there were predictions that no one, not even No. 2 Madison, could challenge Yates.
“We heard that,” Gilder said. “We just worked hard and try to get better.”
Yates, which led by as much as four in the third quarter, used a three-point play by Melvin Swift to cut its deficit to a single possession, 62-59, with 6:36 left in the game. Madison (32-4) went on a 16-4 run over the next 4:30 to clinch the win.
Madison coach Damien Mobley said that by game’s end, it was clear his team’s depth had worn on Yates. Yates coach Greg Wise agreed.
“They’re probably used to kind of playing just like we are,” Wise said.
Mobley said he had figured his team’s abundance of guards would allow them that advantage. What Madison needed in order to win was solid play by his posts, seniors J.D. Wallace and Devonte Robinson.
“We just had to neutralize, or at least mutually go back and forth, with their bigs in rebounding, not turning over the ball and protecting our basket,” he said.
Wallace and Robinson combined for 23 points, 15 rebounds and five blocks, turning the ball over just twice.
Late in the fourth quarter, hustling as he had all game, Smith sprinted to chase down a loose ball and slapped a quick touch pass to Robinson for a dunk.
“Effort, energy, athleticism, tenacity and heart,” Mobley said of Smith. “He did his job.”
Follow Corbett Smith on Twitter at @corbettsmithDMN