By JASON GORDON
SAN ANTONIO – The last time the Hays boys basketball team won a playoff game the fathers of two current Rebel players were on the squad.
That all changed Tuesday night, as Hays overcame a very sluggish start to pull away from Kerrville Tivy for a 47-33 win in the bi-district round of the playoffs at South San High.
It was the first postseason victory for the Rebs since 1980. Hays advances to play Lake Travis at 7 p.m. Friday in the area round at Canyon Lake High School.
“You could hear it in the way the crowd just kept cheering after the game,” said senior Trey Johnson, whose dad Buddy was on Hays’ 1980 team. “We’re going to keep riding that momentum our fans give us as far as it will take us.”
Tivy came out of the gate running an offense that more resembled a three-legged snappin’ turtle race, pulling the ball out for minutes at a time to try and make Hays come out of its zone defense.
The tactic worked for a bit, as the Antlers led 3-2 after one quarter of play and 21-13 at halftime.
Hays used a man-to-man trap after the break that befuddled Tivy.
The Rebs went on a 17-2 run from midway through the third quarter to midway through the fourth to take command of the game.
Jaren Rodriguez started the surge with a 3-pointer from the right baseline and Johnson followed with a driving layup. A Steven Jass steal and pass to Jacob Rodriguez for a 3-pointer at the top of the key gave Hays a 31-29 lead heading to the final quarter.
Hayden Cagle’s steal and layup, and Jaren Rodriguez’s fade-away jumper that bounced up and in increased the margin to 37-30, and Tivy never threatened again.
“We’re not satisfied with one win,” said Caleb Kimbro, whose father John was on the 1980 Rebel team. “We definitely started out slow, but I think the playoff experience we have now will carry over to the next round.”
Hays head coach Dean McMullen said his team never hung their heads, even after scoring only two points in the first quarter.
“Once we got the lead, you could feel it in the air, our guys weren’t going to give it up,” McMullen said. “We have been playing with confidence all year long and we knew we were never out of it. Our slogan all season has been ‘never satisfied’ and we expect to continue our run against Lake Travis.”