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PREVIEW: Tatum Tangles With Ponder, Hoping to Capture First-Ever Basketball State Title

Tatum players huddle before the start of their Class 2A semifinal against Bushland on Friday morning in Austin. The Eagles used a big second quarter to pull away for a 58-41 win. (Travis Harsch, ETSN.fm)

UIL Boys State Basketball Tournament

Class 2A State Championship Game

Tatum (35-4) vs. Ponder (31-7)
  • When: 1:30 p.m. Saturday
  • Where: Frank Erwin Center, Austin

 

Road to Austin

Tatum
  • Bi-district: def. Frankston, 94-59
  • Area: def. Newton, 70-43
  • Regional quarterfinal: def. Nacogdoches Central Heights, 56-54
  • Regional semifinal: def. Marlin, 79-29
  • Regional championship: def. Kountze, 84-82 (OT)
  • State semifinal: def. Bushland, 58-41

 

Ponder
  • Bi-district: def. Rio Vista, 81-36
  • Area: def. Van Alstyne, 73-70
  • Regional quarterfinal: def. Millsap, 65-43
  • Regional semifinal: def. New Boston, 68-57
  • Regional championship: def. Brock, 50-48
  • State semifinal: def. Aransas Pass, 51-47

 

Players to watch

Tatum
  • Chaston Brooks, G, Jr., 6-1 — 15 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals vs. Bushland in semifinals)
  • Klifton Willis, G, Sr., 6-1 — 9 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals vs. Bushland in semifinals)
  • Robbie Rockwell, G, Sr., 6-0 — 10 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal vs. Bushland in semifinals)

 

Ponder
  • Chase Harris, G, Fr., 5-10 — 20 points, 7 rebounds vs. Aransas Pass in semifinals
  • Clay Morgan, F/C, Sr., 6-6 — 15 points, 11 rebounds, 3 blocks vs. Aransas Pass in semifinals
  • Josh Peterson, C, Sr., 6-6 — 13 points, 5 rebounds, 4 blocks, 3 assists vs. Aransas Pass in semifnals

 

Quoteworthy

  • Tatum coach Brett Carr on Ponder: “I fully expect it to be a war. I know their kids and (head coach Jude Stanley) and I have known each other for a number of years. I thought if we had a shot at making it here that was probably the team we were going to have a shot to play. Our kids know their kids a little bit, they played each other during the summer. They’re very strong underneath and it’s going to be a huge challenge for us.”
  • Carr on keys to victory: “We’re going to attack them with 13 guys. Their big guys are so dominant inside and we’ll have to do a great job of defending them and do a great job of keeping them off the boards. And our guards are going to have to do a great job of getting rebounds like we did (in the semifinals).”

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