By JASON GORDON
The Hays High boys basketball team keeps rolling along heading into its final district game of the year.
The Rebels, who have already clinched their first playoff spot in 11 years, improved to 7-3 in District 27-4A with a 70-49 thumping of the Lions at Lockhart Friday night.
Hayden Cagle was dominant in the first quarter, scoring 12 of his 24 points, including four monster dunks. The Rebels took a commanding 24-12 lead after one quarter of play.
“We have Travis Miller back and we went with our big lineup,” Hays head coach Dean McMullen said. “That freed Hayden up on the wing and he was able to show his mobility.”
Miller also finished with 13 points to help Hays build a 38-24 halftime lead. The Rebs outscored Lockhart 16-6 in the final period cruise to victory.
Hays was able to earn the win while resting starting guards Caleb Kimbro and Jacob Rodriguez against a Lions’ team that has yet to win a district game.
Steven Jass also chipped in with eight points in Hays’ victory.
Because the Rebels will have to forfeit their district finale that was scheduled for Feb. 14 against Smithson Valley for having 22 non-tournament regular-season games on their schedule, one more than the UIL allows, Hays’ last game before the playoffs begin will be Friday at home against second-place Canyon.
Although Hays is locked into the third place slot in the District 27-4A playoff standings, McMullen said the Rebs will treat the Canyon game like a postseason game.
“We’ll be playing all our starters,” McMullen said. “We’re treating it like a playoff game and then we’re going to make the adjustments we need to make.”
Hays will play Kerrville Tivy in the first round of the playoffs, the second-place finisher in District 28-4A, at a site to be determined either on Feb. 20 or Feb. 21.
“They are a fundamentally sound, physical team who I would say is methodical compared to the fast pace we like to play at,” McMullen said. “They play tough man-to-man defense and we’re going to try and utilize our big lineup against them.”
He added the Rebels are peaking at the right time, much like the Pflugerville Connally team that went to state in 2006 when McMullen was an assistant coach.
“Back then, we were playing our best basketball of the year at the right time, just like I think this team is now,” he said. “I think when we’re at our best we can play with anybody.”
- Hays boys basketball team in first playoff game since 2001 Tuesday night against Tivy at South San High 02/13/2012
- Rebs strike back: Hays uses taller lineup to avenge last year’s losses to Lobos 01/4/2012
- Hays boys basketball team wins first playoff game since 1980, Rebs next play Lake Travis at Canyon Lake High Friday night 02/21/2012