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Grapeland Faces Muenster Thursday Morning in 1A Division I State Semifinal

Grapeland’s John McKnight hoists the trophy after his team’s 85-71 win over LaPoynor in the Class A Division I Region III championship game March 1 in Tyler. (Christopher R. Vinn, ETSN.fm)

UIL Boys State Basketball Tournament

Class A Division I State Semifinal

Grapeland (33-4) vs. Muenster (27-2)
  • When: 8:30 a.m. Thursday
  • Where: Frank Erwin Center, Austin

 

Road to Austin

Grapeland
  • Area: def. Martin’s Mill, 71-68 (OT)
  • Regional quarterfinal: def. Kerens, 88-70
  • Regional semifinal: def. Tenaha, 83-49
  • Regional championship: def. LaPoynor, 85-71

 

Muenster
  • Area: def. Merit Bland, 67-46
  • Regional quarterfinal: def. Trenton, 72-50
  • Regional semifinal: def. Poolville, 62-38
  • Regional championship: def. Collinsville, 63-47

 

Grapeland’s Patrick Walker brings the ball downcourt during the Sandies’ 85-71 win over LaPoynor in the Class A Division I Region III championship game March 1 in Tyler. (Christopher R. Vinn, ETSN.fm)

Players to watch

Grapeland
  • Patrick Walker, G, Sr., 6-1 — 19.3 ppg., 6.0 rpg., 5.3 apg., 2.7 spg.
  • Jacolby Simpson, F/C, Sr., 6-3 — 20.2 ppg., 7.4 rpg., 1.1 apg., 2.0 spg.
  • William Whitehead, F, Jr., 6-3 — 12.5 ppg., 11.2 rpg., 0.5 apg., 2.0 spg.

 

Muenster
  • Lyndon Cook, F/C, Jr., 6-7 — 20.1 ppg., 17.3 rpg., 3.6 apg., 1.9 spg.
  • Cole Walterscheid, F/C, Sr., 6-6 — 14.7 ppg., 8.2 rpg., 1.2 apg., 1.2 spg.
  • Blake Hoepfner, G, Fr., 6-0 — 9.4 ppg., 3.6 rpg., 1.3 apg., 1.1 spg.

 

Grapeland’s Jacolby Simpson puts up a shot during the Sandies’ 83-49 rout of Tenaha in their Class A Division I Region III semifinal Feb. 28 in Tyler. (Christopher R. Vinn, ETSN.fm)

What to expect: It appears as if Thursday morning’s semifinal will be a contrast in styles. Grapeland makes no bones about what it likes to do: shoot the ball. The Sandies have five players averaging double figures in scoring, and as a team they shoot 34 percent from the 3-point line. Grapeland averages 79.3 points per game and has averaged 81.2 in its four playoff games. Muenster counters with size as four Mustangs stand 6-foot-4 or taller, including the low-post combination of Cook and Walterscheid. If the game turns into a battle of half-court offense, Muenster may have an advantage. Rebounding will be equally important for Grapeland, which uses the defensive rebound to ignite its transition game that often times yields wide-open looks from the 3-point line.

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