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Frenship
59
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Final 7
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45
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50
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21
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66
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43
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48
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28
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33
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33
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24
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55
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35
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23
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34
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53
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Ropes
10 a.m. Sat.
Lorenzo
Wellman-Union
7:30 p.m.
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58
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46
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88
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77
Southland
Final 49
Petersburg
Follett
Sat. 4 p.m.

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Trinity Christian
New Mexico Military
Canceled
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Smyer survives late Morton rally for berth in regional tournament

Lucero, Escobedo lead Bobcats effort while Ross pours in 26 for Indians

Posted: February 26, 2013 - 10:55pm  |  Updated: February 27, 2013 - 1:42am
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Smyer's Brennen Fowler blocks the shot of Morton's Kody Kuehler during their playoff game at the Rip Griffin Center Tuesday. (Stephen Spillman)  Stephen Spillman
Stephen Spillman
Smyer's Brennen Fowler blocks the shot of Morton's Kody Kuehler during their playoff game at the Rip Griffin Center Tuesday. (Stephen Spillman)
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The Smyer girls basketball team left Tuesday for the state tournament in Austin. The boys team may not be far behind.

The Bobcats survived another close one, getting 13 second-half points from Nic Lucero and 16 huge points from T.J. Escobedo with Morton focusing on center Brennan Fowler, and Smyer outlasted the Indians for a 64-61 victory in a Class 1A Division I regional quarterfinal Tuesday night at the Rip Griffin Center.

“You never really get ready for Morton,” Smyer head coach Lonnie Burnam said. “They count on so many possessions in a game that we worked all week long about slow it down ... spread the floor, make their press run the floor, hold the ball as long as you can without passing up a good shot. The kids did a good job of executing the game plan. They to back after misses, got back after makes and did a good job running the floor so the couldn’t shoot layups like the had all year.”

Fowler added 17 points, 10 rebounds and seven blocked shots before fouling out late in the fourth quarter with the Bobcats (22-10) trying furiously to hold off a rally by the Indians (19-14), who got a game-high 26 points from talented guard Mookie Ross.

Smyer will face the winner of Wednesday’s game between Wellington and Vega in the first round of the regional tournament on Friday at the Texan Dome in Levelland.

“It feels great,” Fowler said. “Two close games like that feels good going into the regionals.”

A 9-3 run by the Bobcats, which included seven points from Lucero, covering the end of the third quarter and beginning of the fourth gave Smyer a 48-39 lead with 6:34 remaining in the game.

A free throw by Lucero with 3:10 remaining kept the lead at nine, but Morton had one last push.

A layup and two free throws by Ross around a jumper by Kalin Bracken sparked a 6-0 run that pulled the Indians to within 57-54 with 2:25 remaining. The teams traded buckets when Fowler left the game with five fouls with 1:07 remaining.

But Escoedo and Lucero closed it out with four free throws, negating five points from Ross in the final 33 seconds to seal the win.

Morton came out intent on not letting Fowler get loose on the offensive end, double-teaming him in the low post with a zone defense while sending two out to challenge point guard Nicolas Lucero. The Indians seemed fully intent on letting someone else beat them.

T.J. Escobedo did a good job of trying in the first half, leading the Bobcats at the break with eight of his team’s 28 first-half points while Fowler had seven. Fowler was most effective on the defensive end with five blocks and three rebounds, but he also picked up his third foul of the game must seconds before halftime.

Morton, meanwhile, lead on Ross to get the job done, and the senior guard complied with 14 of the Indians’ 27 first’ half points.

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george.watson@lubbockonline.com • 766-2166

terry.greenberg@lubbockonline.com • 766-8700

CLASS 1A DIVISION I REGIONAL QUARTERFINAL

at the Rip Griffin Center, Lubbock

SMYER 64, MORTON 61

SMYER — Lucero 6 7-9 19, Fowler 7 3-5 17, Ramirez 0 0-0 0, Albus 2 0-0 5, Escobedo 3 10-11 16, Jones 0 0-1 0, Paiz 3 0-0 6. Totals 21 21-26 64.

MORTON — Bracken 3 0-0 8, Ross 9 7-9 26, Willingham 0 0-0 0, Chavez 2 3-4 9, Espino 1 1-3 3, Hall 1 1-2 3, Kuehler 1 4-4 6, McLendon 2 2-5 6. Totals 19 18-26 61.

Smyer 10 18 15 21 — 64

Morton 14 13 9 25 — 61

3-point goals: Smyer 1 (Albus); Morton 5 (Bracken 2, Ross, Chavez 2). Total fouls: Smyer 18, Morton 21. Fouled out: Smyer, Fowler. Technical fouls: None. Records: Smyer 22-10; Morton 19-14.

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