Written by SportsDayDFW.com
Dunk galvanizes Plano East shooters in 79-46 rout of Rowlett
RICHARDSON — Inside or out, it didn’t seem to matter to Plano East shooters in Friday night’s 79-46 Class 5A area-round elimination of Rowlett.
With Plano East connecting on 18-of-21 field goal tries in the middle two periods, Rowlett never had a chance in front of a full house Friday night at Richardson Berkner.
The explosion actually began with a rim-rattling dunk by Plano East 6-4 senior guard Patrick Birt in the final minute of the first period. From that point until mop-up time in the fourth quarter, Birt and his teammates barely missed.
Plano East (29-5), ranked No. 5 in the state, opened an 18-point halftime lead that grew to 54-31 after three periods.
“If I made the play that gave us momentum, then I’m glad,” said Birt, who led all scorers with 23 points. “I surprised myself on that dunk. It really wasn’t my intention when I started to the basket. It just sort of happened.”
Guard Marcus Mathieu (15 points), post Sawyer Kipp (11) and guard Jarvis Pugh (10) joined Birt in double figures. Mathieu is a McNeese State signee and Pugh has signed with Santa Clara.
“Our good shooting was just confidence, I guess,” said first-year Plano East coach Jeff Clarkson. “All the exertion we used on defense loosened us up.” Plano East next will meet Richardson in a Region II quarterfinal.
Rowlett (26-4), No. 13 in the state, couldn’t crack the Plano East defense for good shots, going 8-for-22 with seven turnovers in the middle quarters.
Sophomore guard Michael Kolawole led Rowlett in scoring with 13 points, all in the second half. Jeffrey Carroll, an Oklahoma State signee, was held 10 points below his 22.3 scoring average.
Plano East avenged a 60-54 loss to Rowlett in December.
“We made a lot of mistakes in that game,” Birt said. “We’re a better team now. We practice our shooting a lot.”