Dallardsville Big Sandy Burns Grapeland In 2A Regional Semifinals
JEWETT -- Dallardsville Big Sandy's revenge tour will continue at least one more day.
The state's top-ranked Class 2A team stepped on No. 18 Grapeland early in Friday's Region III regional semifinal playoff game and rolled to a 73-41 victory at Leon High School in Jewett. It is now two games away from reaching a second straight state championship game appearance after a close loss in last season's title match against Canadian.
Big Sandy (37-2), which advanced to play Tenaha in the regional championship game at 2 p.m. Saturday back in Jewett, shot consistently well through the contest and closed the night averaging 55.5 percent from the field. The team connected on 30 of 54 attempts.
Shots didn't fall as easily for Grapeland (27-9) in the early minutes. Add to it a complex motion offense attack and a jam-packed hostile crowd that filled its side of the stands an hour before tipoff, the team started to push the tempo and settled for any glimmer of a first look in an effort to get back into the game.
Panicked decisions cost the squad. Grapeland's final game of the season featured 27.3 percent shooting and 15 turnovers as it dug deeper and deeper into a hole.
Senior guard Angel Bullock's 26 points guided Big Sandy. Fellow starters Samuel Richard and Benson Williams chipped in 16 and 13 apiece.
Parker Wilson scored a team-best 10 points for Grapeland.
A Williams 3-pointer at the 4:46 mark of the first quarter permanently put Grapeland down by multiple possessions. Then, at 16-9 with three minutes left in the period, Big Sandy roared out on a 9-2 run.
From there, down 29-16 in the second quarter, Grapeland gave up a 10-0 run to be outscored 14-3 in the period. Then Big Sandy opened the second half on a 15-0 run for a commanding 54-16 advantage.
Big Sandy has not lost to any Class 2A teams this season.
Regionally, Grapeland joined larger East Texas counterparts as a Big Sandy victim alongside Jasper, Longview, Nacogdoches, Longview and Tatum. Colmesneil, a district opponent of Big Sandy's, lost to the team twice.
Grapeland tied San Augustine for the tightest margin in a Big Sandy playoff win this year. San Augustine went down, 72-40, Tuesday in the regional quarterfinal round.
All three of Grapeland's prior postseason victories came by double digits.
Saturday's meeting between Tenaha and Big Sandy will be those two teams' third playoff meeting against each other in three years. The stretch is currently tied at a game apiece with Big Sandy eliminating Tenaha last season to reach the state tournament in San Antonio.
Seniors Dee Bass, Richard Brock and Jaques Faulk will graduate from Grapeland in May. The basketball program should return 10 players from its 14-man playoff roster next season.
No. 1 Dallardsville Big Sandy 73, No. 18 Grapeland 41
Boys Class 2A Region III Semifinal
At Leon High School, Jewett
Big Sandy 25 14 19 15 -- 73
Grapeland 13 3 4 21 -- 41
BIG SANDY (37-2) -- Angel Bullock 26, Samuel Richard 16, Benson Williams 13, Zach Dickens 8, Joseph Williams 8, Seth Maze 2.
GRAPELAND (27-9) -- Parker Wilson 10, Tink McQuirter 9, Jason Walker 7, Riley Chipman 6, Jaques Faulk 3, Case Boyd 2, Rodney Davis 2, Kamari Smith 2,
THREE-POINT GOALS -- Big Sandy: Bullock (4), Richard, Williams. Grapeland: McQuirter, Walker, Wilson.