LaPoynor and Martin’s Mill will get things started during the first two days of the UIL Boys Basketball State Tournament this week in San Antonio.

Both squads drew 8:30 a.m. semifinal contests at the Alamodome.

LaPoynor (33-3), appearing in its first state tournament since winning it all 25 years ago, will take on Nazareth (27-9) in the Class 1A semifinals on Thursday.

The other 1A semifinal has Jayton (31-3) taking on Slidell (30-9) at 10 a.m.

The semifinal winners will play in the Class 1A state championship at 8:30 a.m. Saturday.

Martin’s Mill (39-0) will get things going on Friday in tournament with the early tipoff against San Saba (21-8) in the Class 2A tourney.

The other 2A semifinal follows and has Shelbyville (36-3) meeting Gruver (30-5) at 10 a.m.

The championship game is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Saturday.


This is LaPoynor’s ninth trip to the state tournament (1970, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1979, 1985, 1995, 2020) and the Flyers have won five state championships (1972, 1973, 1975, 1985, 1995).

Dean Nuckolls is head coach of the Flyers with assistants coaches Mark Driskell and Octavious Crear.

Members of the Flyers include: 5-9 junior guard Kamron Eldridge; 5-10 senior guard Dalton Creel; 6-1 freshman guard/forward Cooper Gracey; 6-2 senior guard/forward Lito Grijalva; 6-2 freshman guard Garrett Nuckolls; 5-9 junior guard Caleb Solis; 5-11 freshman guard Evan Almeida; 6-1 sophomore guard/forward Kase Johnston; 5-9 sophomore guard Jeff Young; 6-1 senior forward Zane Hudman; 6-3 senior forward Damion Hall; 6-4 senior guard Isaac Jackson; 6-1 freshman forward DiJuan Whitehead and 5-10 junior guard Aiden Maze.

Support team includes: managers Johnathan Estrada and Matt Driskell; statisticians Jacob Westbrook, Gage Nuckolls, Marsha Mills, and Lindsey Almeida; and video Josiah Young and Kale Franklin.

Other teams in the Final Four and their state appearances include: Nazareth (18), Jayton (2) and Slidell (7). Nazareth has won six titles and Slidell has won three. Jayton is seeking its first.


This will be the sixth trip to state for Martin’s Mill. The Mustangs’ won the Class B state championship in 1949 and also have appeared at state in 2006, 2007, 2015 and 2019.

Jake Bell is the head coach of the Mustangs and his assistant is Josh Jones.

Members of the Mustangs include: 6-0 junior guard Carter Jones; 6-1 sophomore guard Colton Powers; 6-1 junior guard Logan Morrow; 6-0 junior guard Dylan Morrow; 5-10 sophomore guard Jose Perez; 6-1 junior forward/center Tanner Waynick; 5-10 junior guard Arnold Gutierrez; 6-3 junior guard/forward Christian Moss; 6-2 senior guard/forward Karson Godwin; 5-10 junior guard Jose Valenzuela; 6-2 senior forward Blaine Sigler and 5-10 senior guard Garrett Celsur.

Support staff includes: managers Keagan Godwin, Case Perkins, Riley Reed and Jak Kinder; team doctor Amanda Bell; statisticians Tina Hilton and Keva Reed; athletic trainers Shad Reed and Tommy Cross; and video Shaun Parker and Natalia Ruiz.

This is San Saba’s second appearance at state and the first since 1928. Shelbyville is appearing in its fifth state tourney and second straight, while Gruver is appearing in its 10th state tournament, including back-to-back appearances.

Shelbyville is the defending state champion and has won a total of three titles. Gruver has won two state championships.


The 1995 La Poynor state championship team will be one of the honor teams this year. The Flyers won the Class 2A state title that season.

They will be honored at 8:30 a.m. Saturday.

Members of that 1995 title team include: Josh Skipper, Travell Davis, Reggie Hall, Kelvin Henderson, Kevin Clark, Jammie Maze, assistant coach Don Tarrant, coach Dwane Nichols, Jeffery Tarrant, Dale Burk, Curtis Rust, Lucas Radar, Steven Eldridge, Derrick Williams, Shaun Hanks, Derrick Clark and Mark Williams.

Other state championship teams from 1995 to be honored on Saturday include: Class 1A Sudan; Class 3A Clarksville; Class 4A Port Arthur Lincoln; and Class 5A San Antonio East Central.

Sudan and Clarksville be honored at 1:30 p.m. with Port Arthur Lincoln and San Antonio East Central being honor at 7 p.m.

2020 UIL Boys Basketball State Tournament

March 12-14

Alamodome, San Antonio

Thursday, March 12

Class 1A Semifinals

La Poynor (33-3) vs. Nazareth (26-8), 8:30 am.

Jayton (31-3) vs. Slidell (30-9), 10 a.m.

Class 3A Semifinals

Coldspring-Oakhurst (36-4) vs. Dallas Madison (23-12), 1:30 p.m.

Peaster (34-5) vs. San Antonio Cole (32-6), 3 p.m.

Class 5A Semifinals

San Antonio Wagner (35-5) vs. Mansfield Timberview (29-8), 7 p.m.

Lancaster (36-1) vs. Fort Bend Hightower (33-5), 8:30 p.m.

Friday, March 13

Class 2A Semifinals

Martin’s Mill (39-0) vs. San Saba (21-8), 8:30 a.m.

Shelbyville (36-3) vs. Gruver (30-5). 10 a.m.

Class 4A Semifinals

Argyle (33-4) vs. Stafford (32-9), 1:30 p.m.

Houston Yates (26-4) vs. Dallas Oak Cliff Faith Family (24-13), 3 p.m.

Class 6A Semifinals

San Antonio Brandeis (33-3) vs. Duncanville (29-5), 7 p.m.

Dickinson (32-5) vs. Wylie (32-7), 8:30 p.m.

Saturday, March 14

Class 1A Final, 8:30 a.m.

Class 3A Final, 10 a.m.

Class 2A Final, 1:30 p.m.

Class 5A Final, 3 p.m.

Class 4A Final, 7 p.m.

Class 6A Final, 8:30 p.m.



Sports Editor

I am a native Tylerite and I grew up reading the Tyler Morning Telegraph and The Tyler Courier-Times. My parents took both the morning and afternoon papers. I came to work here 35 years ago at the age of 23, right after college.

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