A day after things did not go according to plan, the Lufkin Panthers bounced back in a big way and are bring some hardware back with them.

Lufkin defeated Cypress Falls 39-32 in the championship game of the consolation bracket in the Adidas Division I 7-on-7 State Championship tournament Saturday at Veterans Park in College Station.

The Panthers finished third in their pool on Friday to drop into the consolation bracket. Lufkin was in danger of losing its first elimination-round game to Houston Langham Creek, but was able to do enough to pull out a 19-13 victory. The Panthers followed that up with a 7-point win over Byron Nelson and a 47-6 thumping of El Paso Montwood in the quarterfinals. Lufkin kept its foot on the gas, winning its semifinal over San Antonio O’Connor, 33-21 before capping its day with the victory over Cy Falls.

Robert E. Lee and Lindale also started strong in consolation bracket play, with the Red Raiders thrashing Abilene Cooper 53-26 and the Eagles taking care of Mission Veterans 19-14.

Lee’s tournament ended in the second round in a 54-34 loss to eventual semifinalist O’Connor.

Lindale continued its strong showing with a 34-25 second-round victory over Laredo United to reach the quarterfinals. On Friday, the Eagles lost by a single point to both Manvel (which went on to make the final of the championship bracket) and Byron Nelson.

The Eagles faced Atascocita in the consolation quarters. The two had met in the Tyler Lee State Qualifying Tournament with Atascocita winning handily. In the rematch, Atascocita won again, 48-26, to advance to the semifinals where it lost to Cy Falls.

In the championship bracket, Austin Westlake captured its first-ever 7-on-7 state title by outlasting Manvel in two overtimes, 42-34. It was the second time in three years for Manvel to finish as state runner-up.

Westlake joins Navasota, which won the Division II tournament on Friday.

Chapel Hill, like Lindale, enjoyed a strong showing in the Division II tournament. The Bulldogs advanced into the championship bracket and advanced further than ever before, reaching the semifinals. Along the way, Chapel Hill took care of Hamshire-Fannett (41-34), Goliad (27-13) and Celina (39-32).

Gilmer and Carthage also qualified for the Division II championship bracket, but fell at the first hurdle with the Buckeyes losing 39-28 to Worthing and Carthage going down 34-28 to Kountze.

In the Division II consolation bracket, only White Oak was able to win its opening-round game as far as area teams went. The Roughnecks edged Groesbeck 20-18, but were no match for Clyde in a 64-25 loss.

Pittsburg lost its consolation opener to Giddings, 47-27 with Canton falling short 26-20 to Diboll. Diboll went on to make the semifinals where it was ousted by eventual consolation champ Giddings, 52-28.


Sports Reporter

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