Written by SportsDayDFW.com
Boys basketball state final previews: Madison vs. Yates; Kimball vs. Amarillo; Ponder vs. Tatum
CLASS 4A FINAL
Kimball vs. Amarillo
Previous titles: 1 (1986)
Semifinal: def. Schertz Clemens, 60-46
Key players: F Braden Eggleston (20 points, 10 rebounds in semifinal); G John Hood (15 points, five rebounds, three assists); F Evan Wieck (eight points, four rebounds, two blocks).
Notable: Amarillo pushed its lead to 20 points early in the third quarter in its semifinal against Clemens. Amarillo made 26 of 36 free throws in the game. … Amarillo is making its sixth appearance at the state tournament, but only its second since 1948. It beat Kimball in the 1986 5A final. … Amarillo beat 5A state qualifier Allen early in the season, 61-59. It has won 18 straight games since a 56-54 overtime loss to Grapevine in December.
Previous titles: 5 (1990, 1996, 1997, 2011, 2012)
Semifinal: def. Beaumont Central, 60-56
Key players: G Jawun Evans (23 points, three assists in semifinal); F D’Angelo Allen (11 points, six rebounds, five blocks); Dondre Carter (11 points, three 3-pointers).
Notable: Kimball led by nine points early in the fourth quarter of its semifinal, but it needed a key block by D’Angelo Allen in the final minute to secure the win. … Kimball shot 48 percent from the field in the game. … Kimball has finished second in its district the last three years but is playing in the 4A title game for the fourth straight year.
CLASS 2A FINAL
Ponder vs. Tatum
Record: 31-7Previous titles: 4 (2001, 2008, 2009, 2010)
Semifinal: def. Aransas Pass, 51-47
Key players: G Chase Harris (20 points, five 3-pointers, 7 rebounds in semifinal); F Clay Morgan (15 points, 11 rebounds); C Josh Peterson (13 points on 6-of-9 shooting, four blocks)
Notable: The Lions’ senior class was in eighth grade when Ponder won its third straight state championship in 2010. ... Morgan needs 18 points to reach 2,000 for his career. ... Aransas Pass came in averaging 75 points per game in the playoffs, but Ponder’s defense held the Panthers to 31.6 percent shooting and forced 15 turnovers.
Record: 35-4Previous titles: None
Semifinal: def. Bushland, 58-41
Key players: G Chaston Brooks (15 points in semifinal); G Martin Williams (12 points, two 3-pointers); G Robbie Rockwell (10 points, six rebounds).
Notable: Tatum has now reached the title game in all three of its trips to state, but it lost in the final the previous two times. ... Klifton Willis provided a spark off the bench against Bushland with nine points and 10 rebounds. ... Tatum runs a full-court, man-to-man pressure defense almost exclusively.
Adam Boedeker, staff reports