Last week marked the end of the men’s basketball regular season for Texas public schools, which means the playoffs begin this week.
Paschal thought they were headed toward a post-season, but a late collapse at home against Bowie saw them eliminated on a buzzer-beater, 52-51.
Arlington Heights snapped their three-game losing streak with a 66-42 road win against North Side and awaits a playoff matchup against Timberview.
This week’s high school hoops roundup:
The scene was set for a perfect ending.
After a huge road win against Arlington on Friday, the Panthers needed one last win Tuesday to force a rematch with Arlington for the fourth and final playoff spot.
This season, it wasn’t meant to be. Bowie completed a fourth-quarter comeback with a buzzer-beating floater by sophomore Donta Coady that gave them the 52-51 victory.
Senior forward Malcolm Mays led Bowie with 14 points for the win. Paschal senior guard David Wamstad had 24 points, including an incredible 3-point shooting display (8-9) that night.
It was senior night for the Panthers, and they started off strong holding a 14-9 lead at the end of the first quarter. Paschal extended that lead in the second quarter and led by 10 at halftime, 29-19.
The home atmosphere was a contributing factor early on. Paschal looked right at home while Bowie struggled with turnovers. Wamstad was 6-7 from 3 in the first half and every time he hit another shot, the crowd erupted.
Paschal maintained their lead in the third quarter and headed to the final period with a 43-34 lead. That’s when the game began to get away from the Panthers.
Bowie began to press Paschal and the Panthers struggled to get the ball up the court. Turnovers began to mount and the Bowie cut into the deficit, eventually taking the lead.
Paschal recaptured the lead 51-50, but Bowie got the chance to win it all after a missed free throw by the Panthers. Bowie missed a 3-pointer, but Coady got the rebound and put up a floater that dropped in as time expired.
Coady was also in double figures for Bowie, scoring 13 points. Senior guard Billy Hill led with 14 points for Paschal.
The Panthers finished with a 17-4 record (7-9 in district 4-6A). Eight seniors will be departing the program next season, including all five starters and sixth-man Royce Mendez.
The Yellowjackets won their district finale, 66-42, on the road at North Side, landing in district 6-5A play with an 8-6 record.
Arlington Heights will head to the playoffs as the district’s four-seed and will face their toughest test yet in their playoff matchup against Timberview. The Wolves finished 31-2 overall and went undefeated in district 5-5A.
The time and date for that game are to be determined this week.