SAN ANTONIO -- The Avinger Indians are one win away from a state basketball championship.

Second-ranker Avinger used a suffocating defense and efficient shooting to earn a 46-37 win over Happy in Thursday morning's Class A state semifinal before 5,563 fans at the Alamodome.

The Indians (33-2) will meet Lenorah Grady at 8:30 a.m. Saturday for the title.

Avinger forced 21 turnovers and converted those Happy (28-6) miscues into 14 points on the other end, while holding the Cowboys to 35 percent from the field (14-of-40).

The Indians also turned it over 21 times, but made for that by shooting 51.6 percent, including a 7-for-11 performance in the second half.

Three Avinger players reached double figures in scoring, led by Demionte Mitchell, who finished with 15 points, four rebounds, and three steals. Desmond Chism added 14 points, six boards, and two steals, while Grayson Early contributed 11 points and five rebounds.

Sterling White led Happy with 13 points and eight rebounds.

The teams played to a 7-7 tie after one quarter, but Avinger took control in the second period by beginning the quarter on a 9-0 run and entering halftime with a 20-11 lead.

An 8-2 Avinger spurt in the first four minutes of the third quarter bulged the Indians' lead to 15 points -- their biggest of the game.

Happy pulled to within six points, 37-31, with 2:58 remaining, but Avinger sealed the win by going 7-of-8 from the foul line down the stretch.


No. 2 Avinger, 46, No. 5 Happy 37

Boys Class A State Semifinal
At Alamodome, San Antonio

Happy           7      4      7    19    --    37
Avinger          7    13    12    14    --    46

HAPPY (28-6) -- Sterling White, 13; Sam Middleton, 8; Colton McCarley, 5; Trevor Phillips, 5; Dalton Gray, 4; Cooper Gray, 2.
AVINGER (33-2) -- Demionte Mitchell, 15; Desmond Chism, 14; Grayson Early, 11; Brennan Dowell, 2; Curtis Henry, 2; Alex Perry, 2.
THREE-POINT GOALS -- Happy: McCarley, Middleton, Phillips, White. Avinger: Mitchell.