Defending Champ White Oak Rolls into 2A Title Game with 69-50 Semifinal Win vs. Winnie East Chambers
AUSTIN -- One more game. Friday morning in Austin, White Oak ensured itself of that and a chance to defend its Class 2A state championship crown.
The Roughnecks got a big game from interior duo Hayden Nichols and Levi Yancy, plus a baker's dozen of assists from point guard Kris Anderson in a 69-50 state semifinal win against Winnie East Chambers at the Frank Erwin Center.
White Oak (36-1) plays Brock (32-6) in Saturday's 1:30 p.m. state championship at the Erwin Center. White Oak beat Brock 61-53 in last year's title game.
Nichols and Yancy combined for 37 points and 24 rebounds to dominate inside. Nichols scored a game-high 21 points and grabbed nine rebounds, while Yancy had 16 points, 15 rebounds, and six blocked shots. Anderson scored only two points, but the Roughnecks didn't need him to score. He dished out 13 assists and accumulated a 2.6-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio.
"We're fortunate that we're pretty versatile on offense. Different nights, different ones step up, and whatever the situation calls for, hopefully that's the type of shot we get," said White Oak coach Ron Boyett. "We just try to put an emphasis on working for a good shot and sharing the ball."
White Oak made 65.7 percent of its two-point attempts, which compensated for an out-of-character 3-for-21 three-point performance, which drove the Roughnecks' total shooting percentage down to a respectable 46.4 percent. White Oak made one three-pointer in the game's first 21 minutes.
"I think you have to give to them and their defense for some of that," Boyett said. "In the second quarter we struggled a little bit on offense. I thought in the second half we got a lot better looks at the basket. They were closing hard on us and the kids inside made them pay for doing that."
Nichols and Yancy shot a combined 15-for-21 from the field and made 7 of 10 free-throw attempts. Josh Benson had a big game off the bench with 13 points and eight rebounds. His three-pointer, White Oak's second of the game, sparked a 9-0 run to close the third quarter and push the Roughnecks' lead from seven points to 53-37 going to the fourth.
That run essentially ended the game. East Chambers was never closer than 16 points in the final 6 1/2 minutes. White Oak added an 11-0 fourth-quarter run fueled by six Yancy points and capped by Slade Sutton's trey for a 65-38 lead with 3:28 to play.
East Chambers coach Tramaine Hancock said White Oak's size had a clear influence on the outcome of the game, but that it wasn't anything the Buccaneers' hadn't seen.
"It discombobulated us a little, but we've seen size," Hancock said. "It did affect us in a way, but I think in the end, experience took over and they just wanted it a little badder than we did."
Until White Oak's third quarter-ending run, East Chambers hung around. White Oak led 18-10 after one quarter and staged a 17-4 run for a 31-14 advantage, poised to turn the game into a blowout. But East Chambers held the Roughnecks scoreless the final five minutes of the first half and scored 10 unanswered to cut White Oak's halftime lead to 31-24.
"We really went away from a lot of things that got us here, and it cost us," Hancock said. "That was a great run, but it wasn't enough."
Brennan Beckett hit 3 of 5 three-point attempts to lead East Chambers with 11 points. Jarrod Guillory and Glenn Roberts scored 10 points apiece.
Seventeen of White Oak's 26 made field goals were assisted. The Roughnecks won points in the paint (30-18), second-chance points (11-4), and fastbreak points (18-3). White Oak also dominated the glass, 46-24.
White Oak's Skylar Sutton and Slade Sutton scored seven points apiece despite an off shooting day. The normally sharpshooting duo made 5 of 19 shot attempts, but contributed in other ways as Slade blocked two shots and Skylar had six rebounds.
White Oak aims Saturday for its fourth boys basketball state championship in school history. A win gives the Roughnecks their first back-to-back championships. They also won the 1953 and 1957 titles. Ponder three-peated in 2A from 2008-10.
White Oak 69, Winnie East Chambers 50
Frank Erwin Center, Austin
Winnie East Chambers -- 10 14 13 13 -- 50
White Oak -- 18 13 22 16 -- 69
Winnie East Chambers (26-10) -- Brennan Beckett 11, Jarrod Guillory 10, Glenn Roberts 10, Darius Guillory 5, Dory Roberts 5, Nick King 4, Brandon Johnson 3, Jarred Lezak 2.
White Oak (36-1) -- Hayden Nichols 21, Levi Yancy 16, Josh Benson 13, Skylar Sutton 7, Slade Sutton 7, Cass Carr 3, Preston Templeman 2.