Mount Vernon Runs Through Elysian Fields For Regional Berth + Faces Big Midweek Dilemma
LONGVIEW -- Mount Vernon may have robbed itself of an opportunity to visit San Antonio later this week by defeating Elysian Fields, 83-63, Tuesday in the regional quarterfinal round of the Class 3A state playoffs at Spring Hill High School.
Believe it or not, there was some disappointment on head coach Joe Thomas' end that he and his squad might not get to see the Lady Tigers play their 3A state semifinal game Thursday at the Alamodome.
If they go cheer in South Texas, they'll put at least 672 miles on their bodies just ahead of playing Friday in the boys Region II semifinals at Rockwall-Heath High School. And that's if they go directly from Mount Vernon to the Alamodome and then straight on to Rockwall-Heath.
"It's a lot of fun," Thomas said. "This is the funnest problem we've ever had, trying to get all this stuff figured out how we're going to do it. But it's a great problem to have. We're glad to have it. At this point, we're hoping to go. We've just got to figure out how to get practices in and get ready to face Dallas Madison."
If the Tigers do indeed go to San Antonio, they will have to figure out a way to keep fresh. Mount Vernon boys basketball is pretty taxing on the body.
Elysian Fields (16-10) was the first team in a long time that was able to run with the Tigers up and down the floor. The Yellowjackets' problem, they only compared favorably in categories without specific metrics.
Mount Vernon (26-2) beat Elysian Fields in the rebounding department by a two to one ratio. It won 30 of 40 boards on the defensive end of the floor and 18 of 32 opportunities around the attacking goal.
All five of the Tigers' starters recorded at least five total rebounds. Senior post Bailey Floyd lead the way with six offensive and six defensive rebounds.
Missed opportunities to either win or sustain possessions forced Elysian Fields into foul trouble.
Three starting players, two guards and a forward, had three fouls by the midway mark of the third quarter. Two -- a guard and a forward -- ultimately fouled out of the game.
But the biggest difference between Mount Vernon and Elysian Fields was 3-point capability. The Tigers scored 27 points from beyond the arc to the Yellowjackets' six in what devolved into a largest lead of 34 points before Elysian Fields managed to get back within 20 points in the final seconds.
Brett Thomas, the senior son of Joe Thomas, scored six treys toward a game-best 28 points.
"Facing them was a big deal," Brett Thomas said. "We're about to go to a tournament that's such a high level. They could run with us, and it prepares us for teams that will be even tougher."
Mount Vernon took a permanent lead, 9-7, around the four-minute mark of the first quarter and led 26-12 at the period's buzzer thanks to five successful 3-point shots. From there, Elysian Fields never cut the deficit to less than seven points and trailed 77-43 at the time Joe Thomas yanked the last of his starting five.
Nine of 10 players on the Tigers' roster scored and recorded rebounds during the contest. All nine played critical minutes.
Tyler Cooper and Kason Pletcher scored 18 and 13 points, respectively, behind Brett Thomas' game-best performance on the winning side.
Ty Feaster's 25 points led Elysian Fields and Sharay Ratliffe Jr. chipped in 15 to round out all of the game's double-digit scorers.
Feaster also recorded 10 rebounds for the contest's only double-double.
Dallas Madison, the top-ranked team in all of 3A in the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches' poll, defeated Edgewood elsewhere Tuesday. It will square off with Mount Vernon at 6 p.m. Friday.
The winner of the upcoming game will return to Rockwall-Heath for a 1 p.m. game Saturday against either Mount Pleasant Chapel Hill or Ponder with a berth to the state tournament on the line.
In the intermediate time, attention in Mount Vernon shifts back to its girls team.
"It has been absolutely awesome at school the past few days," Brett Thomas said. "Since they're doing so well and we're doing well, it's just great all around town. It just keeps getting better for us."
Mount Vernon 83, Elysian Fields 63
Class 3A Region II Quarterfinals
At Spring Hill High School, Longview
Mount Vernon 26 20 24 13 -- 83
Elysian Fields 12 17 12 22 -- 63
Mount Vernon (26-2) -- Brett Thomas 28, Tyler Cooper 18, Kason Pletcher 13, Bailey Floyd 8, Trey Wickware 6, Tyrese Linwood 4, Brandon Aguilar 2, Dylan Rogers 2, Hylke Talsma 2.
Elysian Fields (16-10) -- Ty Feaster 25, Sharay Ratliffe Jr. 15, Robert Johnson II 9, Cole Myers 4, Christavian Smith 4, Caleb Mosley 2, Dylan Parker 2, Brandon Wilkerson 2.
THREE-POINT GOALS -- Mount Vernon: Thomas (6), Cooper (2), Pletcher. Elysian Fields: Feaster, Johnson.