Written by SportsDayDFW.com
Wixon: Travis' Kentucky-bound twins deny Berkner a shot at title
Lead doesn’t hold up as Kentucky-bound pair rolls after halftime
AUSTIN — With a little more than two minutes left Friday, Andrew Harrison threw a lob pass that his twin brother, Aaron Harrison, grabbed and slammed through the hoop. Fort Bend Travis’ stars had risen, and Richardson Berkner’s season had set.
Despite leading for more than half of the Class 5A semifinal, Berkner couldn’t hold on in a 60-52 loss to Travis in front of 11,241 at the Frank Erwin Center.
Aaron Harrison finished with 19 points, eight rebounds and two assists for Travis (32-5), which will face South Grand Prairie (37-3) in the 5A championship game at 8:30 p.m. Saturday. Andrew Harrison had 18 points, five rebounds and seven assists.
The duo was 19-of-23 from the free throw line, taking advantage of a game in which 43 fouls were called.
“We just didn’t stop penetration,” Berkner coach Jason Petty said. “We knew we needed to do it, but we just didn’t do it well enough.”
Berkner (33-6), which was making its second state appearance, was led by Kendal Yancy-Harris, who finished with 11 points and eight rebounds. Tory Everett, Josh Francis and Keenan Evans each added nine points, but forward Soma Edo, who averaged nearly 16 points per game in the regular season, had only four.
Travis double-teamed the 6-5 Edo every time he caught the ball in the post. He didn’t attempt a shot in the second half and fouled out with 3:45 left.
“We were trying hard to get the ball to him,” Petty said. “But they were trying hard to keep it from him.”
Berkner knew exactly whom it needed to focus on to make its first title game. But it could only slow down the Harrison twins, a pair of 6-5 guards who are McDonald’s All-Americans, for a half.
The twins made only one of 15 field goals in the first half. They were often able to get into the lane, but they usually had a hand in their face, and the long reach of Edo forced adjustments around the basket.
But in the second half, they sliced and diced their way to the basket.
“It’s hard for a team to guard us man-to-man all game,” Aaron Harrison said. “We know shots will fall eventually. We just had to keep taking them.”
Berkner led the entire first half, but Travis stayed close with outstanding free throw shooting. It sank 14 straight during a 12-minute span of the second and third quarters when it made only four field goals.
Travis’ first lead came with 2:15 left in the third, when Aaron Harrison drove along the baseline and dunked to make it 36-34. That was part of a 14-2 run that made the score 40-34 early in the fourth quarter. Berkner never got closer than four points after that.
“We came here with the expectancy of winning, so obviously the kids are disappointed,” Petty said. “But when they step back, I hope they think of it as something they were glad they had a chance to do.”
Follow Matt Wixon on Twitter at @mattwixon.