Written by SportsDayDFW.com
Whataburger Tournament: Richland is Texas' best, beating Plano West
Fast start fuels win in third-place game; title goes to Arkansas team
HALTOM CITY — When it comes to the high-powered Orange Division at the 54th annual Whataburger Basketball Tournament, finishing as the top team in the state still is considered a worthy trophy, even if it’s for third place. Richland took the honors with a 73-56 victory over Plano West at Thomas Coliseum on Friday.
Richland jumped to an 8-0 start and never looked back behind the speedy guard play of seniors Ricky Roberts and Tony Mayfield Jr., who combined for 47 points. Richland (15-2) posted a second-round victory over two-time defending tournament champion Flower Mound Marcus but was beaten in the semifinals by Milwaukee King.
“Coming in, I said I wanted a 3-1 [record] in three days. Maybe I should have said I wanted 4-0,” Richland coach Richard Bacon said. “We think we’re pretty good, but it’s only December, and we still have room for improvement.”
Ranked No. 13 and one of eight state-ranked teams in the 16-team field, Plano West (14-6) showed its playoff potential with the 6-8 senior duo of T.J. Cline and Holt Harmon, who combined for 21 points against Richland. Named an all-tournament selection, Cline had 17 points in West’s victory over DeSoto in the second round.
Marcus finishes strong with win over DeSoto: Two-time defending tournament champion and defending 5A state champion Flower Mound Marcus defeated DeSoto, 59-45, for fifth place.
Marcus, which defeated this year’s Orange tournament winner Little Rock (Ark.) Parkview on its way to winning the 2010 championship, hadn’t lost to a Texas team since Dec. 4, 2010, until its loss to Richland on Thursday.
Marcus’ Oklahoma State signees, Marcus Smart and Phillip Forte III, combined for 31 points against DeSoto, the state’s second-ranked team, while senior guard A.J. Luckey added 14. Marcus (19-2) also defeated Richardson Berkner to finish 3-1 in the tournament.
Out-of-state champion: Little Rock (Ark.) Parkview defeated Milwaukee Rufus King, 72-64, to become the tournament’s first out-of-state champion since Washington, D.C., Dunbar in 1992. Marcus defeated Parkview in the 2010 final and Long Beach (Calif.) Poly for the the 2009 title.
The defending Arkansas Class 6A state champ, Parkview (12-0) got 32 points from junior guard Imara Ready against King.
Blue Boys Division: At Haltom High School, senior guard Mario Garcia scored his team’s final nine points as Burkburnett edged Lovejoy, 55-48, in the championship game.
Joseph Gonzalez gave Lovejoy a 47-46 lead with 2:36 remaining, but Garcia hit a 3-pointer with 2:24 remaining to give Burkburnett a 49-47 advantage, then added four free throws and a runner in the final 30 seconds.
In the consolation championship game, Argyle Liberty Christian senior guard Ryan Wilkerson suffered an apparent concussion 35 seconds into his team’s 65-43 win against Clarksville. Wilkerson chased a loose ball out of bounds and hit his head against the wall. Wilkerson was carried out on a stretcher and taken to a hospital.