Argyle Holds Off Center, 47-45, For Regional Championship Berth
COMMERCE -- With 13.1 seconds remaining and trailing by two points, the Center Roughriders drew up the perfect play to extend their season.
Everything went according to plan. Almost.
Octavius Evans' 3-point shot from the wing for the win rimmed out as time expired, allowing Argyle to escape with a nail-biting 47-45 win Friday night in their Class 4A Region II semifinal at The Field House on the campus of Texas-A&M-Commerce.
“It just didn’t go down," said Center head coach Hiram Harrison of Evans' final shot.
Argyle (32-3) advanced to Saturday's regional final, and will face Paris, which upset defending state champion Dallas Lincoln, 74-68, in overtime.
Center was appearing in its second consecutive regional tournament. The Roughriders (32-5) were eliminated in last year's Region III semis.
“We thought we could get here again, and we did," Harrison said. "We thought this was a game we could win, and we had an opportunity, and we let it slip through our fingers. But I’m proud of them, they did a great job.”
Argyle led by five points, 42-37, with 1:50 remaining, but Jaterious Evans made two huge 3-pointers to keep the Roughriders alive. The second one tied the game, 45-45, with 18 seconds remaining.
However, Center employed a full-court trap when Argyle inbounded the ball, and was called for a foul, sending Argyle to the free throw line with 13.1 seconds to play.
Argyle senior guard Nathan Priddy, who poured in a game-high 27 points, knocked down both foul shots to give the Eagles a two-point lead.
“We knew they were a pretty good team, and they shot the ball well, and we didn’t do a very good job defensively," Harrison said of Argyle.
Octavius Evans led Center with 15 points and four rebounds. Kaleb Parks added 13 points, five rebounds, three steals, and two blocks, while Jaterious Evans finished with 12 points, four boards, and two steals.
Center held just three leads all night, but Argyle never stretched its advantage to more than seven points.
The Roughriders led briefly early in the third quarter, 29-27, but sloppy play prevented Center from finding continuity on offense.
"We had too many turnovers in that third quarter; I think we had eight that third quarter, and we were still right there," Harrison said. "But you can’t have eight (turnovers) in any quarter and expect to win against a team like that.”
Despite the mistake-prone quarter, Center trailed by just two points entering the fourth quarter.
Center had four field goals in the fourth -- three from beyond the 3-point line -- to Argyle's two. The Eagles spent a majority of the final period at the free-throw line, but converted just 6-of-12 attempts, which allowed Center to remain close down the stretch.
No. 10 Argyle 47, No. 6 Center 45
Boys Class 4A Region II Semifinal
At The Field House, Texas A&M-Commerce
Argyle 13 13 10 11 — 47
Center 11 14 9 11 — 45
ARGYLE (32-3) — Nathan Priddy, 27; David Davis, 8; Christian Splain, 6; Jon Harding, 3; Max Valentino, 2; Brandon White, 1.
CENTER (32-5) — Octavius Evans, 15; Kaleb Parks, 13; Jaterious Evans, 12; Jamar’h Johnson, 3; Reggie Daniels II, 2.
THREE-POINT GOALS — Argyle: Priddy (3), Splain (2), Davis. Center: O. Evans (3), J. Evans (2), Johnson.