SAN ANTONIO — Stratton Potter isn’t known every bit i of Texline’southward bigger offensive threats, and he certainly hadn’t been through the first five rounds of the playoffs.
But when the Tornadoes needed someone to knock down shots information technology was Potter that came through.
Spearheading Texline’south pressure defense force in the first half, Potter’s crime defenseless up to his defensive attempt in the second. And with Potter’southward scoring came the rest of the Tornadoes.
After going without a single made three-pointer in the first 5 rounds of the playoffs, Potter sank four to help Texline knock off Irion County 58-42 in the semifinals of the UIL state boys basketball tournament on Fri morning in the Alamodome.
Texline will go for its 2d consecutive country championship on Sat morning when it takes on Graford in the title game at 8:30 a.m.
If it wasn’t for Potter, the Tornadoes may take been the ones going home.
“Potter had been struggling and I knew when he hit that showtime 3, he was going to relax and he hit four threes,” Texline had coach Coby Beckner said.
As expected, much of the Irion Canton defence’s attending was focused on standout seniors Volition Luther and Noel Lozano. Foul trouble, though, kept both players on the demote for a skillful portion of the kickoff half.
Offense was difficult to come by, but the Texline defense made sure the absenteeism of their two leaders wouldn’t spell the cease of their season.
“Our defence force helps created our own offense and we really thrive off of our defense, so playing good defence force, getting skilful stops, really helps us accept momentum on the defensive end, for certain,” Potter said.
The Hornets had xiii turnovers in the first half but only trailed past half-dozen (26-20).
Irion County head passenger vehicle John Morrow felt his squad was in the perfect spot to begin the third quarter.
“I told the kids at halftime we were right where nosotros demand to exist, and so Texline came out and hitting some large shots,” Morrow said. “We didn’t rotate on defence, they got some open looks, knocked them down and that’s what a defending state champion does.
With Luther and Lozano back on the flooring, it gave Potter and Elias Espino (16 points, 4 three-pointers) open up looks on the perimeter. Potter sank iii 3s in the beginning four minutes of the 3rd quarter. He finished with a game-loftier twenty points to go with five rebounds and four steals.
“I was on the bench at i bespeak and Stratton hits 2 back-to-back threes and I was going crazy for him considering we’re not used to him hitting that many, but he hit them tonight and came in the clutch,” Luther said.
Toward the end of the frame, the Tornadoes’ pb had ballooned to 20 points. Texline’s experience in the Alamodome had paid off.
“We came to shootaround yesterday and even today nosotros were asking questions, where’south this, where’s that,” Morrow said. “Texline pretty much knows where everything’due south at. That definitely helped them.”
Though Luther (ix points, 12 rebounds, six assists and iv steals) was back on the floor in the 2d half, he connected to defer to his teammates.
“Actually, nosotros ever expect me and Noel to get complanate on all the time and get double teamed,” Luther said. “We’ve only been telling (Potter and Espino) that if the ball comes to you, you shoot it. These guys shot the brawl really well (today).”
Fighting dorsum tears throughout the press briefing, Morrow credited his players’ fight even in the bleakest of circumstances, working to stay in the fight as long as possible.
“… Our kids never quit,” Morrow said. “It’southward one thing almost these kids is they’re fighters.”
Irion County, which was making its second state-tourney appearance and the offset since 1961, finished 33-iv.
The Hornets’ top scorers were Bo Morrow (13), Trevin Coffell (12) and Drin Qerimi (10).
Irion County will lose three players to graduation this leap — Eli Davis, Parker Conner and Qerimi.
Texline 58, Irion County 42
Elias Espino 4-xi 4-five 16, Will Luther iii-81-2 nine, Stratton Potter six-11 4-4 20, Angel Herrera 0-4 0-1 0, Noel Lozano v-11 1-4 11, Hayden Drumm 1-4 0-0 2. Totals nineteen-49 eleven-16 58.
Irion County (33-iv):
Eli Davis 0-one 0-0 0, Jordan Harrison i-8 ane-3 iv, Trevin Coffell 5-fourteen 1-ii 12, Bo Morrow 6-10 ane-two 13, Parker Conner 1-four 0-0 3, Drink Querimi 4-6 2-2 10. Totals 17-43 5-ix 42.
Halftime – Texline 26, Irion County twenty; 3-point FGs – Texline 9-20 (Potter 4-viii, Espino iv-vii, Luther 1-ii, Herrera 0-1, Lozano 0-i, Drumm 0-1), Irion County 3 (Harrison 1-4, Coffell i-2, Conner 1-4, Davis 0-1, Morrow 0-2); Rebounds: Texline 33 (Luther 12, Potter five), Irion County 31 (Qerimi 10, Coffell 8, Morrow 8); Assists: Texline 14 (Luther 6, Herrerea iv), Irion Canton 10 (Coffell iv, Harrison 3); Turnovers – Texline xi (Herrera 3), Irion Canton 17 (Harrison four, Coffell 4, Morrow 4, Qerimi 4).
FINAL: TEXLINE 58, IRION COUNTY 42
— Jordan “JJ” Harrison fouls out for the Hornets.
— 55-39 Tors. 1:55 left.
— 53-38 Tornadoes at the 3:56 marker of the 4th.
— With five:12 left, it’s 53-36 Texline.
— Fourth quarter nether manner with the Hornets needed a miraculous turnaround.
— The fans decked out in majestic are trying to requite their Hornets a much-needed heave.
Stop 3RD — TEXLINE 46, IRION Canton 31
— sixteen turnovers for Irion County, 8 for Texline.
— Piece of cake to come across why these guys are the defending champs. They’re up 46-26 belatedly in the 3rd.
— Information technology’s 43-26 Tornadoes. ane:27 3rd.
— Texline stretches advantage to 38-22. iii:55 tertiary.
— 35-22 Tornadoes. Their largest atomic number 82 of the game then far.
— Defending champs upwardly 32-22 now.
— Tornadoes up 29-22. 6:11 third
— Texline’s top scorers at the half: Elias Espino (ix), Volition Luther (half-dozen) and Noel Lozano (6).
x:54 a.one thousand.
— Irion County’southward top scorers: Trevin Coffell (7), Drin Qerimi (6) and Bo Morrow (5).
HALFTIME: TEXLINE 26, IRION County 20
— With 40 seconds left in the half, it’due south 26-20 Texline.
— 24-16 Tornades with 2:33 left in the half.
10:44 a.one thousand.
— 21-16 Texline.
— Hornets cut deficit to 21-14. four:39 left in the half.
— 21-11. Hornets need to end the bleeding.
10:39 a.one thousand.
— nineteen-eleven Texline.
ten:38 a.one thousand.
— Tornadoes push advantage to 17-xi. 6:38 second
— It’south been a good one so far.
— 15-11 Texline. 7:07 2nd
Stop 1ST — TEXLINE 12, IRION County ix
10:33 a.one thousand.
— With under a minute left in the first, it’southward x-7 Tornades.
— Texline takes a 6-5 reward late in the first. 3 by Elias Espino.
— Good crowd here this forenoon.
— It’s 5-iii Hornets early in the first.
— 3-0 Irion County afterwards Trevin Coffell score the first bucket.
— No score yet.
— We’re finally under style!
— The players are existence introduced.
— Texline has everybody back from last twelvemonth’due south state-title team except for one player.
— Updated starting fourth dimension for Irion Canton vs. Texline: x:xx a.m.
— Who will meet the Graford Jackrabbits in Saturday’southward championship? We’ll find out soon.
— Just three teams still standing in Class 1A. The Irion County Hornets are hoping to be 1 of the final two.
— The Irion County-Texline state semifinal will be starting shortly later ten a.grand.