basketball Edit

TexasHoops' 6A Regional Tournaments Preview

It seems like district play was just starting a week or two ago, but here we are flying towards the business end of another HS basketball season in the Lone Star State. It's regional tournament weekend once again, with some mouthwatering matchups set to be played over the course of the next 2 days. With a few potential "Round 3" games from heavyweight districts on the cards, and a few sleepers hitting their stride at exactly the right time, the one thing you know about regional weekend is that everything will not go exactly to plan.

6A Region 1

Who: Duncanville vs. Arlington Bowie (6 PM), Odessa Permian vs. Richardson (8 PM)

Where: Wilkerson-Greines AC in Fort Worth

The Field: With all due respect to Arlington Bowie and Permian, who have both had exceptional runs to get back to this stage after making appearances over the last few years, the matchup that hoop fans across the state want to see is Round 3 of the 6A District 8 co-champions Richardson and defending state champs Duncanville. After a controversial ending at Sandra Meadows Arena that gave Duncanville an OT win, Richardson bounced back with a win on their own home floor to clinch a share of the district title. Duncanville won the coin toss and went into the bracket as the 1 seed, and has had to navigate a challenging road to get here, narrowly defeating Grand Prairie in their last game. Richardson got a tougher draw early, having to play Desoto right out of the gate, but handled Waxahachie in the last round to roll into Wilkerson Greines with some real momentum.

Permian did almost pull off a shock upset of Denton Guyer last year in the regional semis, so don't be surprised if they use that experience to give a young but talented Richardson team all they can handle. Bowie's is the outlier here as one of two 4th place teams in a regional tournament in 6A, but they've pulled off some surprises on their way here and are firing on all cylinders at exactly the right time and Duncanville will have taken notice. When all is said and done, I expect Duncanville's experience and state pedigree to get them past Richardson and give them a chance to defend their title in San Antonio.

The Pick: Duncanville over Richardson

Players to Watch:

Duncanville: Micah Peavy, Ja'Bryant Hill, Damon Nicholas

Richardson: Rylan Griffin, Cason Wallace

Permian: Nakavieon White, Shy Stephens-Dreary

Bowie: Donta Coady, Alfred Washington

6A Region 2

Who: Killeen Ellison vs. Spring Westfield (6 PM), Wylie vs. Round Rock Westwood (8 PM)

Where: Davis Fieldhouse (Dallas ISD)

The Field: Not exactly how most thought this region would play out, but these three games are sure to be extremely competitive. No.3 ranked Ellison seems to be the tentative favorite, thanks to their depth and the scoring productivity of Nehemiah Nuckolls and Shamir Bogues. Ellison has pushed past 3 DFW teams so far, including a dark horse favorite in the region Mesquite Horn, but don't count out Westfield just yet. Clocking in at No.19, the Mustangs are in more than capable hands with their senior leadership pacing them to a 33-3 record on top of an undefeated district championship. They were able to navigate their way past Hendrickson and Klein in the past two rounds, and will attempt to take on the same role that Klein Forest did last year, rolling up to Dallas and bringing back some hardware to Houston.

The other semifinal features two surprises, as Allen vs. Vandegrift looked to be nailed on as the matchup we'd see in the late game. But both fell to upsets on their path here, and instead Wylie and RR Westwood will jump it up for a chance to play for a state tournament berth. Westwood has all kinds of momentum in their favor after knocking off two district champions en route to this game (including the winners of their own district Vandegrift), but Wylie will do everything they can to not let that number get to 3. Wylie’s depth and athleticism will likely make the difference against the Warriors, though in the regional finals they will surely be the underdog.

The Pick: Ellison over Wylie

Players to Watch:

Ellison: Shamir Bogues, Nehemiah Nuckolls

Westfield: Jadyn Chaney, Lonzo Rand, Eli Lee

Wylie: Drew Lutcher, Eli Taylor, Cory Wells

Westwood: Christian Robinson, Santi Campos

6A Region 3

Who: Dickinson vs. Katy Morton Ranch (6 PM), Summer Creek vs. Houston Bellaire (8 PM)

Where: Berry Center (Cypress, TX)

The Field: I don't know if there's a better matchup in the entire state than the 6 o'clock game Friday night in Cypress. Dickinson has been consistently excellent and more than earned their no.2 ranking, but Morton Ranch has found their groove after some early season struggles and both teams have the star power required to be successful at the highest level of Texas HS ball. Baylor signee LJ Cryer will lead Morton against Houston bound Tramon Mark in one of the most high-wattage individual matchups the 2020 playoffs. Cryer has scored over 3,000 points in the high school ranks and will be looking to add another 20 or 30 to that number when these teams meet, though the all-around scoring ability of Mark may just be able to outdo him. Both teams have exceptional supporting casts, including TCU signed big Eddie Lampkin and Westley Sellers for Morton Ranch, lining up against the likes of Marcus Williams and Deuce Guidry for the Gators. In the late night matchup, Summer Creek will look to reinforce their no.7 ranking as they're pitted against a Houston Bellaire bunch feeling good about themselves after defeating Tompkins in the regional quarters. Summer Creek has a stable of talented guards to keep an eye on with their ability to slash and score at will, but the Cardinals are battle hardened from the first three rounds and nothing is ever a given this late in the season.

The Pick: Dickinson over Summer Creek

Players to Watch:

Dickinson: Tramon Mark, Deuce Guidry, Marcus Williams

Morton Ranch: LJ Cryer, Eddie Lampkin, Adrian Caldwell

Summer Creek: Javon Jackson, Dylan Miles, Dylen Scales

6A Region 4 

Who: Los Fresnos vs. SA Brandeis (6 PM), Convese Judson vs. Laredo United (8 PM)

Where: San Antonio's Littleton Gymnasium

The Field: For the second straight year, Austin Westlake looked clear favorites in the region only to be knocked out before the regional tournament, leaving the door wide open for any one of these four teams to qualify for state. Los Fresnos comes in as the highest ranked team according to our rankings (no.20), but will have their hands full stopping the offensive attack that Brandeis brings to the table. The Falcons can counter that size with their defensive prowess and shooting ability, as they feature 4 players averaging double figures, including their star freshman and leading scorer Gerry Martinez. Brandeis will look to guards Tanner Brown and Kyle Schaefer to lead their own charge on offense, as both have proven themselves as reliable scorers at this level. The other semifinal, features a Converse Judson team seeking to recapture the spark that led many other Rockets teams to the promised land of the state tournament, and in guard Mike Chandler they have some safe hands to carry them forward. In Judson's way back to state will be Laredo United, riding an emotional high after a strong 20-point win over McAllen Rowe in the quarterfinals. This is a very wide open region, and I wouldn't be shocked to see any of these 4 escape after a pair of very competitive games.

The Pick: Judson over Los Fresnos

Players to Watch:

Los Fresnos: Gerry Martinez, Ricky Altamirano, Elian Gonzalez

Brandeis: Kyle Schaefer, Tanner Brown, Gavin Gibson

Judson: Mike Chandler, Davion Wilson, Kyonte Holder

United: Carlos Puerto, Frank Viro, Carlos Guzman