By Jay Plotkin
It turns out Lake Travis and Hays didn’t need to play a third game for playoff seeding Friday night.
Playing at Dripping Springs, The Cavaliers and Rebels gave fans a case of déjà vu, taking them back to last Friday’s game at Lake Travis. Lake Travis opened up an early lead. Hays rallied to tie the game only to watch the Cavaliers reel off a big run to take control and coast home. Lake Travis followed last week’s 68-50 win with a 62-45 win to claim the top seed from District 14-6A. Hays will play Westwood in the first round of the playoffs on Monday at 7 p.m. at Vandegrift High School.
Lake Travis opened up a 15-8 lead after one quarter before Hays went on a 16-4 run to lead 24-21. Jake Krafka scored eight during the run, which included four three-pointers. But the Cavaliers closed the first half on a 6-0 run and led 25-24 when Danny Rivara scored at the rim as time expired.
The Rebels tied the game on Ian Vassberg’s three-point play just a minute into the third quarter, but they never threatened again. The Cavaliers started attacking the basket relentlessly and closed the quarter on a 17-6 run to lead 44-33. Christian Seidl and Tate Searle scored six each during the run.
“We knew they were a team that made runs,” said senior Jake Budde. “We just had to withstand that and then push things.”
Hays closed to within 50-41 with 5:45 left in the game before Budde closed the deal. After missing all four of his shots in the first half, the senior made all five shots he took after the break – most from at the rim.
“We are a team that can shoot the ball well from the outside, but we have to make sure we don’t rely only on that,” Budde said.
He put the exclamation point on the win with a pair of dunks late to cap a 14-point, 8-rebound, 7-assist night. Searle had a team-high 15 points. Seidl added 12 and Rivara chipped in with 10. Krafka scored 17 to lead all scorers.
“I just wanted to dunk it,” he said of the finish.