The District 18-5A basketball season is nearing an end, as some teams have just three or four regular-season games left on their schedule.
Waco University became the first boys team to clinch a playoff spot by not even playing a game on Friday. The Trojans are 7-0 to open district play.
On the girls side, College Station, Rudder and Temple have all clinched playoff spots, though there’s still much to be determined as far as the district champion.
The Rudder and A&M Consolidated boys teams are locked in second place behind the Trojans, with Rudder holding the tiebreaker, after both beat College Station this week.
Here are three takeaways from this week’s District 18-5A action.
Lady Cougars make statement win over Rudder
The stakes were certainly high Friday night at Cougar Gym.
Rudder won the first match between the two teams and the winner of this game would have sole possession of first place in the district.
College Station seized the opportunity, outscoring the Lady Rangers 20-4 in the third quarter for a decisive 67-48 win.
With the win, the Lady Cougars immediately became the team to beat in the district, as Temple and Rudder loom close in second and third place, respectively.
It wasn’t that the Lady Cougars won, it was how they won, holding Rudder prolific post scorers, freshman Deondra Young and senior Deysta Wilbert, to a combined 13 points.
“Our post did a good job of fronting them when they got the ball down there and then our backside help was also on point,” Lady Cougars coach Megan Symank said.
The Lady Cougars also possess one of the best scorers and rebounding guards in the district in senior Rae Hughes (22 points, 16 rebounds against Rudder), making them especially dangerous.
Rudder and Consol boys battling for second place
With University still unbeaten at 7-0, it may come down to a race for second place for Consol, Rudder and possibly College Station.
The Rangers and Tigers went 2-0 on the week, both beating the Cougars. Rudder is in control of the tiebreaker, though, after beating Consol on Jan. 13.
The Tigers have been boosted by the play of freshman Nate Floyd, who averaged 14 points a game this week.
“[Floyd’s] needed some confidence and he’s come up piece-by-piece, so this will definitely help that,” Consol coach Thirman Dimery said Tuesday. “He’s been a tremendous addition carrying the ball up the floor for us and he’s continually making plays.”
Rudder may have the most balanced offensive attack in the district. The Rangers beat the Cougars 62-52 on Friday without a player scoring more than 12 points. Sophomore guard Korbin Cunningham has been key in distributing the wealth, averaging 3.2 assists a game.
It was definitely a down week for the Cougars, who went 0-2, but they’re still in the playoff picture in fourth place with a two-game advantage over Bryan.
Bryan girls taking care of business
After a 76-57 loss to College Station to close out the first round of district play, Lady Viking coach Elizabeth Jesurun laid out the team’s battle plan.
“If we at least win the same games we did in the first half, I think we’ll end up with that fourth place spot,” said Jesurun after the loss on Jan. 17.
So far, so good.
The Lady Vikings took down University and Consol this week and hold a three-game advantage over fifth-place Waco. They’re slightly knocking on the door of third place, two games behind Rudder with the rematch set for Tuesday at Rudder.
Senior KeeKee Nowlin sparked the Lady Vikings to their two wins this week, averaging 19 points. If the Lady Vikings at least beat Waco on Friday, they’ll clinch a playoff spot, ending a one-season drought.