Written by SportsDayDFW.com
5A Region I boys: Marcus pulls away, will face Cedar Hill in final
Cedar Hill tops Bowie to reach final vs. Marauders
FORT WORTH — Flower Mound Marcus outlasted North Crowley, 49-43, in a physical Class 5A Region I semifinal at Wilkerson-Greines Activity Center.
Marcus (36-1), ranked No. 2 in the state, got a typically strong performance from junior Marcus Smart but also some key first-quarter points from senior Connor Taggart and a pair of fourth-quarter buckets from junior A. J. Luckey.
“Those two don’t get the accolades they deserve,” Marcus coach Danny Henderson said. “But we know what they can do. Connor can score, and A.J. guards the other team’s best player.”
The score was tied at 37 in the fourth quarter before Marcus pulled away, with Luckey’s four points and baskets from Smart and junior Nick Banyard making it 45-39 with two minutes left.
North Crowley, No. 3 in the state 5A rankings, was held to 17 second-half points.
Marcus got off to a quick start as Smart opened with a 3-pointer on the way to a 20-13 first-quarter lead. Taggart added six first-quarter points. But North Crowley pressed its way to a 26-25 halftime lead as Marcus struggled with full-court pressure.
North Crowley (31-6) was led by 6-7 forward Terrance Syon (15 points) and guard Andrew Guillory (12)
Cedar Hill 56, Arlington Bowie 45: Forward Thomas Gipson scored 11 consecutive points in the second half, helping Cedar Hill earn a date Saturday with Marcus for a state tournament berth. Tipoff is 1 p.m.
Gipson, who hit the game-winning free throws in the regional quarterfinal win over Colleyville Heritage on Wednesday, pushed Cedar Hill to a 48-40 lead by scoring every Cedar Hill point from late in the third quarter until 2:55 remained in the fourth. Gipson’s third dunk among his 24 points stopped a late run that had brought Bowie within six points.
“He’s a double-double kind of player, and he’s done that since the second half of district,” Cedar Hill coach Tim Thomas said of Gipson, a 6-7 Kansas State signee. “He’s been averaging 20 points and 10 or 12 rebounds every game, and we’re riding him as far as we can.”
Cedar Hill had taken a 42-31 lead after three quarters with solid outside scoring from guards Devonte Green, who scored 14 points, and Billy Johnson, who had 12.
Bowie (24-12) got a team-high 12 points from 5-10 senior guard Deon Willis, including a pair of high-flying dunks.