Written by Matt Wixon
Wixon: Berkner upends Richardson's senior night to clinch district title
RICHARDSON — A spirited crowd on Richardson’s senior night tried to keep the home team in the running Friday night. But with potent scorers at every position, Richardson Berkner kept sprinting away.
Led by five players who scored in double figures, Berkner (27-5, 13-0) broke open a close game at halftime and rolled to a 71-50 victory and clinched the District 9-5A title.
“We knew they were going to come out and play hard,” said Berkner forward Soma Edo, who scored 17 points and grabbed 12 rebounds. “They’re a playoff team and they haven’t been in the playoffs in like 14 years.”
Richardson (22-10, 10-3) has clinched its first playoff berth since 1999, but that was of no benefit against Berkner, which is No. 5 in SportsDay’s Class 5A area rankings. Keenan Evans scored 14 points, Kendal Yancy-Harris had 13 and Rishaard Jackson and Torey Everett each scored 12 for Berkner, which flourishes in the open court and is the highest-scoring 5A team in the Dallas area.
Richardson, which was led by Brandon Scott’s 17 points, hung in for a half. Richardson led 7-6 after a Scott 3-pointer three minutes into the game, but then it went ice cold for the next nine minutes spanning the first and second quarters. Richardson managed only one basket during that time, and Berkner pulled out to a 20-9 lead.
The half ended on a high note for Richardson as Scott swished a shot from beyond halfcourt at the buzzer. That cut Berkner’s lead to 27-23, but Berkner opened the second half on a 12-2 run. The final basket came when Yancy-Harris threw the ball downcourt to Edo, whose emphatic slam finished with his chin near the rim.
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