High School: Cibolo Steele

Runaway cart at Cowboys Stadium plows coach

December, 18, 2011

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Seven people suffered minor injuries when a runaway electric cart raced unmanned from an end zone to midfield and plowed into several people after a high school football playoff game in Texas.

The incident happened after Spring Dekaney beat Cibolo Steele, 34-14, to win the Texas 5A Division II football title at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington on Saturday night.

Arlington Fire Lt. Darrel Whitfield said Sunday that of the seven treated for minor injuries at the stadium, one man with leg abrasions was taken to nearby Arlington Memorial Hospital for a precautionary examination.

The winning head coach was among those bowled over by the cart.

The cart toppled Spring Dekaney coach Willie Amendola, who was being interviewed near the Cowboys midfield star.

Broadcast footage showed a stunned Amendola falling backwards into the cart's passenger seat as it continued rolling. He appeared to try unsuccesfully to gain control of the cart, spinning the steering wheel with his left hand, before rolling out onto the artificial turf. As he tumbled out, a pursuing field worker hopped aboard and stopped the cart quickly.

"We have a disturbance down the field. Apparently one of the carts on the field got loose and I think there have been some folks injured in this. Oh my! That's like a runaway cart there. And it finally took someone to stop it," a shaken announcer is heard commenting on air as the cart rolled and then stopped. "That's a scary thing."

Others were seen on the ground afterward as emergency personnel rushed up, including one man sprawled motionless while someone cradled his head. Nearby, others helped a visibly stunned man to his feet.

It was unclear why or how the cart began moving under its own power. Stadium workers were picking up fluorescent orange sideline yard markers and pylons in one of the end zones after the game when the cart unexpectedly took off.
Austin Lake Travis can wrap up its state record fifth straight crown with a win over Waco Midway (13-2) in the Class 4A Division I state title game on Friday at Cowboys Stadium.

Bi-district »   Area round »
Region semis »   Region finals »
State semis »   Finals »   Totals »

Class 5A: Div. I | Div. II
Class 4A: Div. I | Div. II

5A Division I: Reg. 1 | Reg. 2
5A Division II: Reg. 1 | Reg. 2
4A Division I: Reg. 1 | Reg. 2
4A Division II: Reg. 1 | Reg. 2

The Cavaliers (15-0) already belong in elite company having won four straight. Only Celina (1998-2001) and Sealy (1994-97) have accomplished that feat, although Aledo can join the three-timers club with a win over Manvel on Saturday.

Would a win make Lake Travis the most dominant dynasty in Texas history?

Celina’s run came at the 2A level. Sealy did it in 3A. Southlake Carroll may have the best argument having won four 5A state titles in five years from 2002 to 2006, going 79-1 in the process. Carroll’s one loss was a 16-15 defeat at the hands of Katy in the 2003 state-title game.

While Lake Travis’ dynasty can top Carroll’s in total state titles, it won’t catch the Dragons in win percentage. The Cavs lost to Austin Westlake in 2007 and to Aledo and Cedar Park in 2010, giving them at least three defeats in their five-year run.

Both Carroll and Lake Travis represent affluent communities, but there’s one interesting difference between the two dynasties. Lake Travis has had three different head coaches in that time span -- Jeff Dicus, Chad Morris and now Hank Carter -- while Carroll had just one -- Todd Dodge.

A fifth straight title is not guaranteed for Lake Travis, though. Midway is riding an impressive nine-game winning streak in which it’s given up more than 20 points just once. The Panthers beat previously undefeated Denton Ryan, 19-7, and destroyed an athletic Tyler team (51-20) that knocked off Highland Park and Sherman.

If Lake Travis does win a fifth title, the sixth may be harder to come by. The school will likely go 5A next year.

Cibolo Steele gunning for second title

Cibolo Steele may be starting a dynasty of its own.

A year removed from winning the first state title in the school’s brief history, the Knights (15-0) are right back in the 5A Division II state-title game looking for more hardware.

Steele owns the state’s longest active winning streak at 28 games and has dominated its opponents in 2011 with an average margin of victory of 24 points, including a 21-point margin in the playoffs.

But the Knights also have a tough opponent in the title game -- Spring Dekaney (13-2). Dekaney boasts Trey Williams, the best running back in the state not named Johnathan Gray.

Williams, a Texas A&M commit, has rushed for 3,633 yards and 45 touchdowns this season, numbers akin to what former Steele running back Malcolm Brown, now at Texas, did for the Knights last year when they won it all.

Title games among most viewed events in area

December, 23, 2010
Last weekend's state championship games were some of the highest-rated televised high school events ever, according to Fox Sports Net Southwest.

Euless Trinity's loss to Pearland was the sixth highest-rated high school championship all-time in Dallas and the most watched sports event in Dallas/Fort Worth and in Houston on Dec. 18 with a 2.6 household rating. An average of 67,200 homes tuned in in Dallas.

Denton Guyer's loss to Cibolo Steele averaged a 2.5 rating and was seen in an average of 63,800 homes.

Full list of 2010 UIL football state champions

December, 19, 2010

Finals weekend memorable despite area losses

December, 19, 2010

Four teams from North Texas played in championship games at Cowboys Stadium over the weekend, but only one of them kept a state title trophy in the area.

Running back Johnathan Gray put on a performance for the ages as Aledo claimed the Class 4A Division II crown Friday, easing some of the sting felt by local high school football fans because of Saturday losses by Denton Ryan, Denton Guyer and Euless Trinity.

Trinity’s 28-24 loss to Pearland cost the Trojans a mythical national championship as well as the Class 5A Division I state title. But the power of Texas high school football was on display with 43,321 fans on hand, some who came to view the main event and others who stuck around from previous games. The attendance figure approached the state record of 49,953.

The city of Denton had its heart broken by Lake Travis and Cibolo Steele, but fans of Ryan and Guyer can find comfort in the fact that no district had sent two teams to state championship games in the same year since 1962.

Finally, who could forget about Gray’s record-breaking performance in Aledo's 69-34 win over La Marque. His eight touchdowns gave Gray a state-record 59 for the season, surpassing Sugar Land legend Ken Hall’s mark of 57 set 57 years ago, as the Bearcats wrapped up an unbeaten season and won their second straight state title.

The performance earned Gray the No. 8 spot on the national ESPN SportsCenter top 10 plays of the day.

The state title games also made a splash in the social media world with terms such as Guyer, Pearland and Lake Travis becoming trending topics in the Dallas/Fort Worth area Saturday.

While a cloud of sadness followed most of the local football fans away from Cowboys Stadium, the future looks bright for some of the teams that represented the area this weekend. Mario Edwards Jr. returns to Denton Ryan projected as one of the top recruits of his class and ensures another stout defensive front for the Raiders.

And of course there is Gray, who is just a junior and will have a chance to set the state's career touchdown record while trying to lead Aledo to a third straight championship.

High school replay: Championship weekend

December, 19, 2010
High school football championship weekend has arrived in Texas, and Dallas-Fort Worth has a representative in each of the four title games in the top two classes. All games are at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, and the ESPN Dallas crew will be on hand for all of them.

Undefeated Aledo faces La Marque to kick off the action in the Class 4A Division II title game Friday. Saturday brings Denton Ryan-Lake Travis for the Division I crown. Denton Guyer-Cibolo Steele (Division II) is the first of the day's Class 5A championships. The highlight of the weekend comes when national power Euless Trinity duels Pearland for the 5A Division I crown.

Guyer comeback bid falls short in 5A DII final

December, 18, 2010
[+] EnlargeGuyer's Walsh
Travis L. Brown/ESPNDallas.comJ.W. Walsh and Denton Guyer were shooting for a state title in their first season in Class 5A.
ARLINGTON, Texas -- When in trouble, J. W. Walsh’s safety blanket is Quintavia Gardener.

Countless times in its record-breaking season when a play broke down, the Denton Guyer quarterback simply threw long in the direction of the 6-1, 180-pound Gardener, one of the quarterback’s closest friends and a receiver athletic enough to catch just about anything in his direction.

But at the most crucial moment, with the Class 5A Division II state title on the line, the play backfired.

Cibolo Steele defensive back Kwame Clark, three inches shorter than Gardener, intercepted Walsh’s deep throw at the Knights' 9 with 1:31 remaining, securing Cibolo Steele’s 24-21 victory Saturday evening before 37,744 at Cowboys Stadium.

An emotional Walsh apologized to teammates after the game.

“I should have known better than to throw that ball when the game is on the line,’’ the Oklahoma State commit explained later. “It was a little underthrown. It needed to be a little higher.’’

Gardener got his hands on the ball, but the shorter Clark had the advantage because Gardener was forced to reach over him. It was easier for Clark to secure the ball in his chest and remove any doubt of a dual-possession catch.

“J.W. has been making that play to Q all season,’’ said Guyer coach John Walsh, J.W.’s father. “It probably isn’t the soundest play, but it has worked all season. It is a reason we’re where we were at tonight. Their cornerback did a great job in coverage.’’

Walsh was scrambling left, a difficult throw for a right-handed quarterback, when he spotted Gardener behind the defense.

Guyer had driven from its 21 to the 37 and was not far from field-goal range at the time of the interception.

Certainly, Guyer had other opportunities in a game that was longer on defense then most would have expected with Walsh in one huddle and running back Malcolm Brown, a Texas commit, in the other.

Guyer (13-3), trying to win a state title in its first Class 5A season, took its first and only lead, 21-17, on a 10-yard touchdown run by Treavon Walton with 7:13 remaining.

The Wildcats only had to go 17 yards for the go-ahead touchdown, thanks to Josh Stewart’s punt return and a facemask penalty on the end of the run.

Steele (14-2) answered with a grinding 77-yard march in 10 plays, with Brown, the Offensive MVP, carrying the final two yards on a toss sweep. Brown finished with 107 yards and two touchdowns on 28 carries, despite suffering a stinger in his shoulder in the first half.

“The trainers loosened it up and I was ready to go after that,’’ Brown said.

Steele quarterback Tommy Armstrong made a game-saving play on the winning drive by digging out a recovery of his own fumble deep in the Steele end when Guyer players seemed to have a much better shot of securing the ball.

Steele is the first school to win a state championship in its first year in Class 5A since Southlake Carroll in 2002.

Guyer’s last two seasons ended in losses in the Class 4A playoffs.

“We’ve done a lot in the that three years, we’ve won a lot of football games,’’ coach Walsh said. “I’m so proud of these kids and our program.''

Guyer-Steele offers glance at Big 12's future

December, 16, 2010
Saturday's Class 5A Division II championship game features unbelievable offensive talent and perhaps a taste into a rivalry that could carry over into the Big 12.

QB J.W. Walsh, a four-star recruit committed to Oklahoma State, and Denton Guyer face Malcolm Brown, the No. 2-rated running back in the 2011 class and Texas commit, and Cibolo Steele.

Watch ESPNDallas.com's Travis L. Brown, Jeff Andrews and Randy Jennings break down the state finals of the UIL football playoffs.
Class 4A Video   Class 5A Video

Video Interviews:
Denton Ryan's Dan Kottman »
Aledo's Johnathan Gray »
Aledo's Matthew Bishop »
Denton Ryan's Kaylon Alexander »
Denton Guyer's Ty Hook »

Brackets: All 4A/5A »
4A DI | 4A DII | 5A DI | 5A DII
Others (from UIL website) »
Walsh has thrown for 3,079 yards and 35 touchdowns. He's also rushed for 1,300 yards and six touchdowns for the Wildcats this year. Guyer is playing in its first Class 5A title game.

Brown is ESPN's No. 7 overall player in this year's recruiting class and is the top rushing prospect in the state. He had 20 scholarships offers before deciding to attend Texas next year.

The game will be Guyer's third trip to Cowboys Stadium this season. The Wildcats (13-2) were 1-1 in the previous games, both against Cedar Hill -- most recently in the area round of the playoffs and also in the Kirk Herbstriet Classic on Labor Day.

Guyer looks to complete a mini story-book ending to its season after advancing to the state championship game by blocking a punt and scoring with just seconds left in the semifinal against Longview.

Despite a successful season with huge wins, head coach John Walsh said Guyer's season won't be complete without achieving the ultimate goal.

"We're tired of winning gold balls," Walsh said. "We want a ring on our finger."

Denton ISD flourishes after uncertain stretch

December, 15, 2010

Wearing his white Stetson, Denton ISD athletic director Ken Purcell nervously paced the press box at SMU's Ford Stadium last weekend as he watched Wylie chip away at Denton Ryan's once seemingly insurmountable lead.

Minutes prior, he sat stoic and still, the way he usually looks while watching yet another win by Ryan or Denton Guyer.

After Wylie's fourth-and-goal attempt failed in the waning minutes to secure Ryan's 25-20 state semifinal win, Purcell released a deep sigh and quietly recoiled into his seat with his hands folded.

"I'm just getting too old for this stuff," Purcell said.

Behind Purcell's sigh was five years' worth of uncertainty and tension within the community over the opening of Guyer and the affect it had on Ryan and Denton High, the city's flagship school.

[+] EnlargeDenton Ryan
Travis L. Brown/ESPNDallas.comDenton Ryan is back in a state championship game for the first time since a run of four straight finals ended after a 2003 appearance.
All the turmoil will be forgotten on Saturday at Cowboys Stadium, when Guyer faces Cibolo Steele for the Class 5A Division II championship after Ryan takes on Austin Lake Travis in the 4A Division I title game.

Denton ISD is the first district to have two schools play in Texas football state championship games in the same year since 1962, when Fort Worth ISD sent Dunbar and Kirkpatrick to Prairie View Interscholastic League title games in the days of segregation.

When Guyer opened in 2005 to accommodate a population boom in the city, Denton ISD chose to fill the new school's classrooms with a one-year transfer policy that allowed students to attend Guyer for any reason, as opposed to rezoning and enforcing the new boundaries.

Guyer’s enrollment number quickly ballooned, and it had stellar participation in all its athletic programs. After going 1-19 in its first two years of varsity football play, Guyer exploded in 2008 to reach the 4A state semifinals, registering a stunning upset of Ryan in the process.

“Seeing the level of talent that was in Denton and what [Ryan coach] Joey [Florence] had done with that program and it being a consistent state power, that’s what attracted me to the Guyer job,” Guyer coach John Walsh said. “It was a gamble, but it was researched hard.”

While the one-year transfer rule succeeded in allowing Guyer to open with a full curriculum and easing the overcrowding issues at Denton and Ryan, it had unforeseen consequences on the athletics programs.

Watch ESPNDallas.com's Travis L. Brown, Jeff Andrews and Randy Jennings break down the state finals of the UIL football playoffs.
Class 4A Video   Class 5A Video

Video Interviews:
Denton Ryan's Dan Kottman »
Aledo's Johnathan Gray »
Aledo's Matthew Bishop »
Denton Ryan's Kaylon Alexander »
Denton Guyer's Ty Hook »

Brackets: All 4A/5A »
4A DI | 4A DII | 5A DI | 5A DII
Others (from UIL website) »
Student-athletes flocked from Denton and Ryan and their aging facilities to brand-new Guyer, which boasts state-of-the-art athletic facilities on par with any in the state.

With most of its athletes now at Guyer, Denton High went into a tailspin. At times it had a varsity football roster with no more than 30 players. From 2005-09, Denton won six games total.

Even Ryan, coming off a streak of four consecutive state title game appearances, lost athletes to Guyer. Its facilities weren’t much better than Denton High's, and the overflowing trophy case wasn’t enough to keep athletes at the school.

After two years in Class 5A, Ryan dropped to 4A, which was Denton ISD’s intention. It wanted its high schools to have an enrollment number just below 2,000, which is usually around the 5A cutoff.

But Ryan's loss of athletes was unexpected. Beginning in 2005 -- its second year in 5A -- Ryan lost in the first round of the playoffs three straight years, astonishing for a program that had gained national recognition by playing in the first nationally televised high school football game against Southlake Carroll in 2004.

“I’ve said privately and I’ve said publicly, I think we made a couple of bad decisions in the school district when we gave Guyer open enrollment for one year,” Purcell said. “Denton High immediately lost 400 kids that chose to go to Denton Guyer. It really impacted their programs.”

Recognizing the effect Guyer’s facilities had on the transfer policy, Denton ISD and Purcell put together a $282 million bond package that, among many other things, upgraded the facilities at Denton and Ryan. The bond passed in November 2007.

Denton and Ryan moved into their new fieldhouses before the 2009 football season. Ryan’s is a pristine monument with dark windows shading a massive weight room. Wooden steps baring the Ryan Raider double-R logo lead athletes up to each weight station.

[+] EnlargeDenton Guyer
Travis L. Brown/ESPNDallas.comThere's been plenty of celebrating for Denton Guyer during its march to the Class 5A Division II state championship game.
Denton’s might be the most impressive of the three. It’s a two-story behemoth that overlooks Bronco Stadium, the former home of Denton’s football team before C.H. Collins Athletic Complex opened in 2004.

“In hindsight, I wish we’d built the new facilities at Denton High at the same time we built Guyer High School,” Purcell said. “But I’m not critical of our administration or myself. It’s hindsight. If we’d known what we know now, we’d have done some things differently.”

The city and the district weathered adversity and uncertainty. With new zones and a little time, the numbers crept back up at Denton and Ryan, and equal footing with facilities helped keep athletes at each school.

“We put a few measures in to keep kids from jumping from one school to another that I think have been effective -- rules that are even more stringent than the UIL rules,” Purcell said. “I think it’s helped some. It’s slowly growing back.”

Now each of the three football teams is enjoying success not seen since before Guyer opened. In its first year in 5A, Guyer has reached the Division II state title game after appearing in the 4A state semifinals each of the past two years.

Ryan regained its form in 2008 by advancing three rounds into the playoffs. This season, the Raiders, are in a state title game for the first time since 2003.

Even Denton made the playoffs for the first time since 2002, a feat overshadowed by Mesquite Poteet’s playoff run but no less remarkable given the fundamental issues the school has faced for years.

“It’s very hectic here right now,” Purcell said. “I’ve been through this as coach and, of course, as an AD with Ryan’s run. But man, you double it with both of them in. It’s double the media, double the tickets. It’s been a heck of a run the last six weeks.”

Breaking down the 5A football title matchups

December, 15, 2010

ESPNDallas.com high school reporters Travis L. Brown, Jeff Andrews and Randy Jennings preview Saturday's Class 5A championship games, with Denton Guyer facing Cibolo Steele in Division II and Euless Trinity taking on Pearland in Division I.

UIL state championship game matchups set

December, 12, 2010
The UIL handed out three state football championship trophies over the weekend, but that was just a prelude for what's on tap for next weekend when the remaining nine titles will be decided and four area teams will be in action.

Henderson was the first team to claim a 2010 UIL state title, defeating Chapel Hill, 28-21, in the Class 3A Division I final Friday at Cowboys Stadium, which will host five more championship games before all is said and done.

The six-man championship games were held Saturday in Abilene. In Division I, Garden City stopped Throckmorton, 82-68. In Division II, Richland Springs blanked Sterling City, 46-0.

The championship games will resume with three matchups Friday and six more on Saturday.

The first area team to get its shot will be Aledo, which was the wire-to-wire No. 1 team in the ESPNDallas.com area Class 4A rankings. The Bearcats will face La Marque at 8 p.m. Friday at Cowboys Stadium in the Class 4A Division II championship game.

Denton Ryan will kick off Saturday's action at Cowboys Stadium when it faces Lake Travis at noon in the 4A Division I final.

The two 5A titles will be also decided Saturday at Cowboys Stadium, with Denton Guyer taking on Cibolo Steele in the Division II game at 4 p.m. The day will be capped with Euless Trinity and Pearland battling for the Division I trophy at 8 p.m.

Here's the complete schedule for the remaining championship games:
At Mansfield's Vernon Newsom Stadium
(Tickets for the games being held at Newsom Stadium will be available for presale through participating schools and at the stadium the day of the games.)
7:30 p.m. - 1A Division II, Windthorst vs. Falls City
Noon - 1A Division I, Mart vs. Goldthwaite
4 p.m. - 2A Division II, Idalou vs. Lexington
8 p.m. - 2A Division I, Daingerfield vs. Cameron Yoe
At Arlington's Cowboys Stadium
(All tickets sold at Cowboys Stadium will be $12. Parking is $10.)
4 p.m. - 3A Division II, Carthage vs. Coldspring
8 p.m. - 4A Division II, Aledo vs. La Marque
Noon - 4A Division I, Denton Ryan vs. Lake Travis
4 p.m. - 5A Division II, Denton Guyer vs. Cibolo Steele
8 p.m. - 5A Division I, Euless Trinity vs. Pearland

All games from Cowboys Stadium will be televised live on Fox Sports Southwest and Fox Sports Houston (4A Division II game on Friday at 8 p.m. will be carried on FOX Sports Houston Plus in the Houston-area due to Rockets conflict on FOX Sports Houston).

The games from Newsom Stadium will be webcast live on FoxSportsSouthwest.com and FoxSportsHouston.com.

Late blocked punt lifts Guyer over Longview

December, 11, 2010
UNIVERSITY PARK, Texas -- Denton Guyer had little reason for hope.

The Wildcats trailed by six with 25 seconds left in the game. They had gotten pushed around by Longview for the third straight year. All Longview needed was a good punt to put the game away.

Enter defensive tackle Dan Kottman, who led a furious Guyer rush to block Longview's punt. One play later, quarterback J.W. Walsh hit Quint Gardener on a 15-yard fade pass to the end zone to give Guyer an improbable 28-27 win Saturday at SMU's Ford Stadium.

[+] EnlargeJW Walsh
Travis L. Brown/ESPNDallas.comJ.W. Walsh led Denton Guyer back from a 17-0 halftime deficit, throwing the winning touchdown pass with 10 seconds left in the game.
Guyer (13-2) advances to the Class 5A Division II state title game at 4 p.m. Saturday at Cowboys Stadium against Cibolo Steele.

"It's definitely the biggest play I've ever made," Kottman said. "I knew we had to make a play and do something big. I took a run for it and made the stop."

The win finally gets Guyer past Longview, which defeated Guyer each of the past two years in the Class 4A state semifinals.

"Before the game I said it [Longview] wasn't a hurdle, but it was a hurdle," Guyer head coach John Walsh said. "At 17-0 at half, I just couldn't get rid of them. They find ways to hurt you. That's a great program."

Leading 27-21, Longview (10-5) got the ball at its own 5-yard line with 5:51 left in the game. The Lobos appeared well on their way to ending the game with an 11-play drive that took the ball to midfield before stalling with 25 seconds left in the game.

Guyer's defensive front immediately broke through the line after the ball was snapped on the punt attempt. The punter hesitated with the kick before a host of Guyer defenders reached him. Kamrhan Jones recovered the ball at the Longview 15-yard line. Gardener's game-winning touchdown reception came on the ensuing play with just 10 seconds left on the clock.

"When I saw them block that punt, I knew we were going to win," J.W. Walsh said. "From that moment I knew because when we get inside the 20 we have a money man, and that money man is Quintavia Gardener."

The blocked punt redeemed Guyer after an absymal first half when it turned the ball over on all five of its possessions, leading to a 17-0 halftime deficit. In the second half, Guyer scored touchdowns on all four of its possessions.

"We just couldn't hold onto the stinking ball," John Walsh said. "You just can't fumble."

J.W. Walsh, who threw two interceptions and lost a fumble in the first half, rebounded nicely by accounting for all four Guyer touchdowns in the second half. He finished with 206 passing yards and 79 on the ground.

His first came on Guyer's opening possession of the second half. He danced through the middle of Longview's defense before bouncing outside for a 26-yard touchdown run to cut Longview's lead to 17-7.

From that point on, Guyer nibbled into Longview's lead. Walsh hit Josh Stewart on a 32-yard touchdown pass after a Longview field goal. Gardener, who caught three balls for 77 yards and two touchdowns, caught his first touchdown from 16 yards out to cut Longview's lead to 27-21 late in the fourth quarter.

Timberview win sets up D-FW title game

March, 4, 2010
Mansfield Timberview made the UIL Class 4A girls state title game an all-Dallas/Fort Worth affair by defeating Cibolo Steele, 59-40, in the second semifinal Thursday night at Austin’s Frank Erwin Center.

Timberview, state runner-up in 2009, will meet Frisco Wakeland at 3:30 p.m. Saturday.

The victory was the 23rd in a row for Timberview (36-2), No.1 in the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches state 4A rankings and No. 61 nationally by ESPN Rise.

Maegan Conwright, a Kentucky signee, led Timberview with 20 points. Teammate Cree Conner had a game-high 15 rebounds.

Timberview, which defeated Steele, 67-46, in the state semifinals last season, reeled off the first seven points of the game and never trailed. Steele (34-5) got as close as eight points on two occasions in the fourth quarter.
The Frisco Wakeland girls advanced to the Class 4A championship game with a 39-34 win over Del Valle on Friday at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin.

Wakeland (30-6) will play the winner between Mansfield Timberview and Cibolo Steele at 3:30 p.m. Saturday.

Del Valle took an early lead, but turnovers helped Wakeland climb back in and take a 20-15 lead going into halftime.

Down by just one with less than two minutes remaining, Del Valle had a chance to take the lead but couldn't score. Wakeland pulled away with free throws and defensive stops.

Timberview girls eye second title shot

March, 3, 2010
The Mansfield Timberview girls basketball team is looking to take care of some unfinished business.

A return to this week’s UIL State Basketball Tournament has been almost expected since last season when Timberview lost in the Class 4A state championship game.

“I’ll bet two days haven’t gone by all season without someone asking the girls if they were going to go back to state,’’ Timberview coach Candi Harvey said. “I’m very proud of the way these girls have handled incredibly high expectations.’’

The coach said she plans to use the school’s first trip to state last year and tweak a few things in the team schedule.

“You’ll always find a few things that could have been done differently and we hope to gain from our experience,’’ Harvey said. “The main thing is to make sure we keep our focus while allowing the girls to have a good time, too.’’

In a 2009 state semifinal rematch, Timberview (35-2) will face Cibolo Steele (34-4) at 8:30 p.m. Thursday at the University of Texas' Frank Erwin Center.

Timberview defeated Steele, 67-46, last year to advance to the title game against Waco Midway.

Timberview shot an uncharacteristic 17.5 percent from the field and lost to Midway, 50-27.

“This is a totally different team than last year, even though we have a lot of returning players,’’ Harvey said. “We have more offensive threats than last year. We went into the championship game last year a little star struck. But we don’t talk a lot about that game. That was last year. If we should be fortunate enough to make it back to the championship game, I think it will be a different story.’’

Timberview is No. 61 nationally in ESPN Rise Fab 50 rankings and No. 1 in the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches Class 4A state rankings.

Leading scorers are 5-9 senior guards Keena Mays (Kansas signee) and Maegan Conwright (Kentucky) with averages of 11.4 and 14.9, respectively.

Timberview secured its place at state by beating the TABC's second-ranked 4A team, Canyon, 44-30, in the Region I title game.