Written by Corbett Smith
King McClure-less Triple A Academy bows out of the 3A playoffs with loss to Frisco Lone Star
Talking with Triple A Academy founder Leroy McClure on Monday, it was clear that his school's program - featuring his son, junior guard King McClure, one of the best junior prospects in the area - had expectations beyond the first few rounds of the playoffs.
Triple A was facing forfeiting four district wins after an unfavorable 11-3A DEC meeting, which would have put them up against defending 3A champ and 11-3A winner Madison in the third round. That decision was overturned by the UIL's State Executive Committee on Monday - and put Triple A back as the second seed, moving a potential rematch with Madison back to the regional final.
That delay was big, because - as Leroy McClure explained to me - King McClure would be out for the first few rounds of the playoffs after suffering a bone bruise in the season finale against Madison. King McClure was itching to get in the playoffs, his father said, but would have to wait a few games to do so. The younger McClure has never played in a UIL playoff game. Triple A was an independent in his freshman season, and prior to last year's playoff run to a Class 1A Division I title, McClure dislocated his kneecap in practice and shutdown for the whole playoffs. This season, McClure was putting up nice averages in one of the state's toughest 3A districts, averaging 21 points, five rebounds and two assists.
Well, Frisco Lone Star threw a wrench into those plans on Friday night. Behind 16 points by junior guard Preston Schilling, Lone Star (24-6) bounced the defending champs out in the area round, 59-58. Playing without McClure, Triple A (21-7) led for most of the second half. But Lone Star took its first second-half lead with 3:38 remaining in the fourth quarter, and finished with a game-winning, last-second field goal.
Despite Triple A's championship credentials, its not as big an upset as it might seem. While Triple A finished the regular season No. 4 in the final TABC state rankings, Lone Star was too far behind, at No. 12. It had played a tough non-district schedule, with some nice wins against 4A and 5A opponents, such as Wylie, Frisco Liberty, and Flower Mound. Also of note, it had a two-point win over Roosevelt in the Princeton Invitational. Triple A - with McClure - had beaten Roosevelt in their last meeting, Feb. 7, by seven.
In the regional quarterfinals, Lone Star will face Decatur - which eked by Roosevelt, 45-44.