Written by Corbett Smith
Allen continues white-hot streak, bouncing Atascocita and reaching 5A state tournament
WACO – Twenty minutes after the final buzzer, guard Myron Fisher still looked in shock.
“It’s unreal,” Fisher said. “We’ve been working so hard for months … to get here. Everything we’ve worked hard for, it’s coming to fruition.”
Coming into this playoff run, Allen hadn’t won a playoff game in 31 years.
After its 65-58 win over Humble Atascocita in the Class 5A Region II final, the Eagles are off to the UIL state basketball tournament for the first time in school history.
“It’s what we expected,” junior Nick Rutherford said. “It’s crazy. No one believed in us, not even at our own school.
“We’re going to get that respect now.”
Allen (27-8), the third-place seed out of District 10-5A, went on a 14-4 fourth-quarter run after Atascocita star and Oklahoma State signee Joe Burton fouled out midway through the period.
Burton — who scored 30 in the regional semifinal win over Richardson Berkner — was saddled with foul trouble for most of the second half. With Fisher in his hip pocket for most of the game, Burton scored just four points.
“We felt like — going in — that maybe the only weak link they had was [Burton] getting frustrated if you made things hard for him,” Allen coach Jeff McCullough said. “He’s a heck of a player. And I think Myron Fisher did a heck of a job on him all night long. And he’s done that all throughout the playoffs. He’s the best I’ve ever been around.”
Trailing 41-40 and with Oklahoma signee Jamuni McNease sitting with four fouls, Allen turned to Rutherford. He drained a 3-pointer and was fouled on his next time down the court, converting both free throws to give Allen a 43-41 lead.
Burton came back in at the next stoppage and almost immediately fouled out, called for a questionable over-the-back call on a scramble with 4:24 left in the game.
Rutherford scored 22 of his 27 points in the second half, going 13-of-14 from the free throw line after halftime.
“The bigger the stage, often, the bigger he plays,” McCullough said.