Written by Corbett Smith
Berkner falls short as Humble Atascocita's Joe Burton drops 30 in Region II showdown
Coach Tubby Smith came to Baylor’s Ferrell Center, a half-day before Texas Tech’s Saturday matinee against Baylor, in order to see one of his signees, Richardson Berkner senior guard Keenan Evans.
If Smith stuck around, he caught a glimpse of a future Big
12 headache on the opposing team.
Humble Atascocita 6-7 forward Joe Burton – an Oklahoma State signee – exploded for a game-high 30 points and nine rebounds, bouncing Berkner from the playoffs in the 5A Region II semifinals, 71-49.
Berkner (24-8), a 5A semifinalist last season, couldn’t find its rhythm, despite starting the game on a 7-1 run. Berkner shot 19 percent in the first half, and 33 percent in the second, trailing Atascocita (29-6) by as many as 26 points.
Berkner tried to make a late run, with Josh Francis and Evans hitting 3-pointers on consecutive possessions to start the fourth quarter, cutting a 20-point deficit to 54-40 with 7:18 remaining. But Atascocita answered with a 14-4 run over the next five minutes to end the threat.
Evans led Berkner with 22 points, making 13 of 16 free throws.
Humble Atascocita: 18 22 14 17 - 71
Richardson Berkner: 13 8 13 15 - 49
Atascocita: Joe Burton 30, Zach Haney 12, Nolen Bilbo 4, Jai Edwards 3, Greg Shead 4, Anthony Connor 1, Nick Mason 6, Carson Edwards 11.
Berkner: Josh Francis 10, Quinton Gillette 4, Torey Everett 4, Robert Johnson II 4, Keenan Evans 22, Michael Weaver II 3, Trevis Gipson 2.