Written by Corbett Smith
Boys basketball 4A Region II: Keith Frazier shakes off bloody mouth, loose tooth and leads Kimball past Seguin to state tournament
GARLAND — It was Keith Frazier’s “Willis Reed” moment. But — perhaps fitting with Kimball’s tumultuous year — it was tinged with controversy.
Coming back from an elbow to his face that bloodied his mouth, dislodged one of his teeth and sidelined him for nearly 11 minutes of game time, Frazier was the spark in the closing minutes of Kimball’s 54-52 win over Arlington Seguin — propelling the two-time defending 4A champs back to the state tournament.
Checked and rechecked by trainers to see if he had a concussion, the McDonald’s All-American re-entered the game with his team trailing by three and less than three minutes remaining.
“I told him, ‘I might need three plays, but it doesn’t have to be you. Just create something,’” Kimball coach Snoop Johnson said.
He made a beautiful assist to Trent Brinkley to draw Kimball (22-9) within a point with 1:50 left. Then, after being subbed out and back in to avoid playing defense, Frazier made a spectacular spinning scoop shot with 30 seconds remaining, giving Kimball its first lead since soon after his departure with 3:42 left in the third quarter. With Frazier out, Seguin (33-5) had gone on a 10-4 run to finish the quarter, grabbing the lead.
“Amazing. Clutch,” Brinkley said about the shot.
Seguin’s Brandon Parrish missed a 3-point attempt on the next possession. Brinkley grabbed the rebound and passed quickly to Gabe Lilly, who was fouled. Lilly made one of two free throws, leaving Parrish a last-gasp effort, a 3 that glanced off the front of the rim as time expired.
The question after the game was whether Frazier, one of the nation’s most heralded recruits, should have been allowed back in the game. He appeared listless on the bench after returning back into the Curtis Culwell Center arena, occasionally rubbing his face and head and shaking his head, as if to clear the haze. Johnson said that after seeing him on the bench, he had the trainers recheck Frazier before putting him back into the game.
“I wasn’t going to put a game ahead … of a kid with a bright future,” Johnson said.
Dallas ISD athletic trainer Brian Welch would not comment to reporters.
At game’s end, Frazier left the court before the award presentation and had to be called back.
As he walked up the tunnel, Frazier said, “I’m not going to let my team down, man. I’m a senior. I wasn’t going to let that happen.” When asked what type of injury he suffered, he said, “I don’t remember. I don’t remember.”
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