ARLINGTON, Texas -- For the Arlington Seguin boys basketball team, clinching the District 7-4A title on Friday’s Senior Night was special enough.
To do it emphatically with a 63-40 victory over Mansfield Summit, its biggest rival, in front of a big home crowd made it all the sweeter.
“This was a long time coming, and we beat ‘em big a big margin,’’ said Seguin 6-foot-9 senior post Kelvin Downs, an Arkansas State signee. Downs finished with 13 points, 12 rebounds and a couple of “don’t forget me’’ dunks in the final minutes of his last home game.
Guard Cris Boleware led the Cougars with 16 points.
“It feels great to win the district title, the best feeling I’ve had,’’ Boleware said. “Doing it in front of our fans is a big part of it.’’
Seguin (26-5, 12-1 in 7-4A), No. 8 in ESPNDallas.com Class 4A Top 10, has one district game remaining at Cleburne on Tuesday before the state playoffs begin.
Coach Bobby Thigpen’s season-long emphasis on defense paid off for the Cougars. A tight man-to-man limited Summit to 4-of-21 shooting in the first half, allowing Seguin to open a 28-13 halftime lead.
“The old saying is ‘defenses win championships’ and I believe that,’’ Thigpen said. “We played straight man-to-man and really keyed on No. 11 (Joel Kapiamba) because he’s a good player. It came down to pride and heart.’’
Boleware helped Seguin pull away by scoring seven points in a 75-second span before halftime.
“I started feeling it and the guys got the ball to me,’’ Boleware said. “Our team shares the ball pretty well.’’
Summit (22-9, 10-3) can finish runner-up in 7-4A with a home court win over Granbury on Tuesday.
Kapiamba was the only Jaguar in double-figures with 14 points.
Coach Jason Mutterer said Sequin’s length was the major reason for Summit’s shooting woes.
“Not only do they have 6-9 and 6-7 guys, they area very athletic, too.
“We did everything we were supposed to do in the first quarter,’’ Mutterer said. “I look back at a fast break chance when we were down 15-10 in the second quarter and turned it over. We have to take advantage of situations like that when we're playing a team like Seguin.’’