Written by SportsDayDFW.com
TAPPS state basketball championships: A boys & girls sweep for Prestonwood
Boys squeak by rival John Paul II; Girls rally past Tomball school
ARLINGTON — D.J. McGee made two free throws with eight seconds remaining as the Plano Prestonwood Christian boys basketball team won its third consecutive TAPPS 5A state championship, beating district rival Plano John Paul II, 46-45, on Saturday.
John Paul II had a layup fall off the rim as time expired.
“We got what we wanted after that second foul shot and had a chance to win,” John Paul II coach Jacob Anderson said. “It just fell off the rim. It’s a tough way to lose, but I could not be more proud of my team and how they played tonight.”
Prestonwood (33-4) led most of the way, but trailed 45-44 with 18 seconds to play. After John Paul II missed a free throw, McGee was fouled going for a go-ahead shot. McGee finished with 14 points after making the game-winning free throws.
“D.J. McGee played such a tough ball game for us,” Prestonwood coach Chris Lovell said. “He has such great confidence, and we went to him when we needed that big play.”
The game featured two of the area’s top players in John Paul II’s Jackson Forbes and Prestonwood’s Schnider Herard. The Princeton-bound Forbes had 10 points and 17 rebounds, while Herard posted nine points and 10 rebounds and was named the tournament MVP.
Houston Westbury Christian 70, TC-Cedar Hill 54: Houston Westbury Christian won its second straight state title, beating TC-Cedar Hill in the TAPPS 4A boys final.
TC-Cedar Hill (26-10) played well at the start, including a rim-rocking dunk by Albert Owens for an 8-4 lead. But a 16-4 run by Westbury Christian in the second quarter had TC-Cedar Hill playing catch-up the rest of the way.
“That run hurt us, but we also had our chances to get back in it,” TC-Cedar Hill coach Tim Ferguson said. “We couldn’t make our shots, though, and you just can’t fall behind that much against a good team like Westbury.”
The loss came despite a big game from Owens, a four-year starter and Oral Roberts signee. Owens finished with a game-high 26 points and 10 rebounds, scoring most of his points against double and triple teams. TC-Cedar Hill also got 15 rebounds and nine points from Shaun Breland.
Plano Prestonwood Christian 53, Tomball Concordia Lutheran 43: Prestonwood rallied from an eight-point third-quarter deficit to win the TAPPS 5A state championship game.
The Prestonwood defense forced 10 turnovers in the second half, which helped key a 13-4 run. A late basket by Brooke Alexander gave Prestonwood (24-9) a 34-33 lead going to the fourth quarter.
“Our press has been our bread and butter all year long,” Prestonwood coach Sherry Ollison said. “And the press turned the game around for us. Everything started going our way after that.”
A putback by Prestonwood’s Addison Garcia pushed the lead to 40-35 with four minutes to play, and Prestonwood put the game away at the foul line. Garcia finished with 15 points and 12 rebounds.
Prestonwood’s final 13 points came from the free throw line, as the team hit 13 of 16 shots in the final four minutes.
“Our free throw shooting was amazing, and the girls did all the little things that you need to do to win,” Ollison said.
Alicia Blackwell (11 points, eight rebounds), Mariah Fluellen, Alexander (13 points) and Garcia all hit at least two free throws down the stretch. Blackwell and Alexander were both 4-for-4 in the final quarter.
Fluellen was named tournament MVP.