Mansfield Timberview provided the area's biggest opening-round surprise of the Class 5A boys basketball playoffs by stunning Richland, 60-44, Tuesday night at Arlington High.
Richland, the District 6-5A champion, entered the playoffs with a 28-3 record and a No. 3 ranking in ESPN Dallas Class 5A Top 10.
“The key for us was our ability to handle Richland’s pressure,’’ Timberview coach Duane Gregory said Wednesday. “When we do three things, defend, block out and play at our tempo, we are a good basketball team.’’
Seasoned in a district that included South Grand Prairie, Duncanville and Cedar Hill, all bi-district winners Tuesday, Timberview (20-14) entered the playoff as the fourth-place seed from 5-5A.
The Wolves broke open a close game by outscoring Richland by 13 points in the fourth quarter.
Brandon Pye, a 6-footo-1 senior point guard averaging 16 points a game, riddled Richland by scoring 26.
“Brandon is our first four-year starter and when you consider what was on the line, that had to be one of his biggest games,’’ Gregory said.
Timberview, which has alternated between Class 4A and 5A since opening in 2004, is in the playoffs for the sixth time in its eight seasons. In 2009, Timberview reached the state tournament, falling victim to eventual Class 4A state champion Houston Yates in the semifinals.
The Wolves will meet Coppell (25-8) in an area-round playoff scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Friday at Grand Prairie High’s Amos Turner Gymnasium. Coppell got past Allen 43-41 in overtime in a bi-district game Tuesday night.