SAN ANTONIO — LaPoynor went into halftime trailing the No. 1 team in the state by 13 points in Saturday’s Class 2A championship game inside the Alamodome.
But the Flyers were far from done.
They battled all the way back to take a 41-39 lead nearly three minutes into the fourth quarter and led by as many as three, 46-43 with 3:11 to play. However, LaPoynor didn’t score the rest of the way as Lipan ended the game on a 7-0 run to take a 50-46 victory.
“Credit to Lipan for being an extraordinary program and extraordinary team,” LaPoynor head coach Kim Reid said. “We would be better off not getting a double-digit deficit, but we’ve talked all year about how we’re going to face adversity. When you come from a small community in Texas, and LaPoynor ISD in general, guys just don’t have any quit in them. That’s going to happen every game we come out.”
Per Dave Campbell’s Texas Basketball’s Ishmael Johnson, Lipan is the first program since Nazareth in 2007 to win the boys and girls championships in the same season. It was Lipan’s fourth boys state title.
Lipan jumped out to a quick 9-2 lead before layups by Cooper Gracey and Dijuan Whitehead, who were both named to the all-tournament team, to cut the score 9-6. The Indians eventually led 21-10 after the first quarter as Garrett Smith drained a three in the final seconds to give him 11 points for the quarter.
The Indians stretched it out to 27-10 and led 32-19 at halftime. The Flyers outscored the Indians 14-6 in the third quarter and Mann Scott’s layup with 39 seconds cut the score to 38-33 heading into the fourth quarter.
LaPoynor didn’t make a 3-pointer in the first three quarters, but Whitehead and Scott knocked down triples to start the fourth quarter to tie the game at 39, and layup by Scott gave the Flyers a 41-39 lead. With LaPoynor up 46-45, a layup by Smith put the Indians in front with 47-46.
Down 48-46, LaPoynor was looking to tie or take the lead, but Smith came up with a steal with five seconds remaining and made two free throws to end the game.
Smith led Lipan (38-1) with 21 points. Reese Cook and Tate Branson had 9 points each.
Whitehead led LaPoynor (33-8) with 15 points and seven rebounds. Gracey had 14 points, seven rebounds and four assists. Scott had 10 points.
The Flyers were 20 of 46 from the field, 2 of 15 from three and 4 of 7 on free throws. Lipan was 17 of 39 from the field, 3 of 7 from three and 13 of 20 on free throws.