SAN ANTONIO -- A strong second half vaulted second-ranked Avinger to its third state basketball championship.

The Indians heated up from the field after halftime, clamped down on defense and on the glass, and pulled away from No. 3 Lenorah Grady, 50-36, Saturday morning for the Class A crown in front of 7,866 fans at the Alamodome.

Avinger (34-2) was making its first appearance at the UIL state tournament in 20 years. The Indians previously won titles in 1977 and 1996.

The Indians trailed 20-19 at halftime, but thanks to 52.6 percent shooting in the third and fourth quarters, outscored Grady (30-5) in the second half, 31-16.

Meanwhile, Grady had its difficulties from the field. After halftime, the Wildcats shot just 5-for-28 (17.9 percent). Avinger also held a sizable edge in rebounding for the game, 43-24.

Championship game Most Valuable Player Desmond Chism led Avinger with 18 points and 10 rebounds, while Grayson Early added 16 points, seven boards, and two steals.

Demionte Mitchell chipped in with nine points, 11 rebounds, and three steals.

Grady was led by Cole Avery, who finished with 14 points and 12 rebounds. Jaylen Short contributed 12 points in defeat.

Avinger began to pull away at the end of the third quarter. A Brennan Dowell steal led to a Curtis Henry layup in the closing seconds of the period, which gave the Indians a 32-25 lead -- their biggest of the game up to that point -- entering the fourth.

The Indians maintained their cushion, leading 44-36, with 2:36 remaining when Grady was forced to put Avinger on the free throw line. And Avinger put the game out of reach by going 6-of-6 on foul shots inside the final two minutes.


No. 2 Avinger 50, No. 3 Lenorah Grady 36

Boys Class A State Championship
At Alamodome, San Antonio

Grady               9    11      5    11    --    36
Avinger           10      9    13    18    --    50

GRADY (30-5) -- Cole Avery, 14; Jaylen Short, 12; Kyle Garza, 7; Devynn Smith, 3.
AVINGER (34-2) -- Desmond Chism, 18; Grayson Early, 16; Demionte Mitchell, 9; Curtis Henry, 5; Brennan Dowell, 2.
THREE-POINT GOALS -- Grady: Short (2), Avery, Garza. Avinger: Mitchell.