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Brad Ernst

4A-1A Editor
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Reply with quote  #1 

I went to several tournaments this weekend.  I saw parts of the Mumford, Grapeland, Whataburger, Leonard, Rusk and Tenaha Tournaments on Thursday-Saturday.  I’ve now seen about half of the top 10 teams in 1A-3A.  I’ve had an opportunity to talk to a lot of coaches and get a lot of different opinions on each region.  I’ll offer my opinion on each region and how it breaks down.  Some regions I’m more familiar with than others.

1A-II

In region 1, its Texline and everyone else.  In 1A-3A all regions, Texline is one of the best bets to make it out of their regions, which why they’re #1.  Region 2 is probably the deepest with the most good teams.  Water Valley is the preseason favorite, but they should have 2 tough games at the regional tournament to get out of the region.  Region 3 seems to be the most wide open.  Lingleville and Huckabay are the two top ranked teams in the region but I think neither is a lock to win it.  I looked over the playoff brackets, and I think Huckabay, Lingleville, Miller Grove and Roxton could be in the regional tournament and I wouldn’t be surprised if any of them got out.  Roxton is a little bit of a sleeper.  They’ve played a tough schedule and have the athletes.   It wouldn’t surprise me if they got hot and made a late season run.  Region 4 is the most top heavy with 3 good teams(Laneville, Oakwood, Douglass) in one district and Calvert.  This region has the same scenario as last year.  Calvert will have to beat the 1st and 3rd place teams in 25-1A-II to make it to the regional finals, which the 2nd place team in 25-1A-II will have the easiest route.  Before the season I would’ve said Oakwood is the favorite in the region.  From watching the teams and talking to people, I think I would pick Laneville to make it.  Damiyne Durham is the real deal though, and could carry Oakwood, but he’ll have play well.  I think Texline or Region 4 will the be favorites at state.

 

1A-I

In region 1, El Paso Harmony is gonna be the heavy favorite to come out their region.  I saw Harmony’s scores at the Caprock Classic.  They lost to Estacado by only 3 pts, and beat Greenwood and Monahans by 20+, which is impressive.  I’ve seen Estacado before, and if Harmony played them that close, they must be really good.  In region 2, with AAA now out of 1A, region 2 is looking like the weakest region.  Muenster and Poolville are the favorites in the region, but I wouldn’t count out Stamford who always seems to be in the regional tournament.  Once again region 3 is the most loaded with good teams.  Grapeland is the favorite in the region, but there are a group of teams right behind them they cant take lightly in the playoffs, like Big Sandy, Tenaha, San Augustine, Martins Mill, Lapoynor , Kerens and West Sabine.   The top of the bracket will have 5 of those 7 teams, so San Augustine will have one of the best roads to the regional finals again this year if they win district.   Mumford is a heavy favorite in region 4.  They shouldn’t have many tough games to get out of the region either.  I could see Bartlett or maybe Gervin or Stacey competing with them but I think with their talent and experience, I would be surprised if someone beat them.  Mumford should be the favorites at state, but Grapeland (if they make it) and Harmony are very capable teams that should make state very interesting.

 

2A

Region 1 seems to have a lot of solid teams, but no clear favorite.  Abernathy was the preseason favorite, but they have had several close games with a lot of 2A teams.  I would give anyone ranked in region 1 a chance plus Brownfield who currently isn’t ranked.   My gut feeling says I wouldn’t be surprised if Idalou made it out of the region with their recent tradition and experience, but that’s just a guess.  Region 2 seems to be the deepest of the 4 regions with the best 2 teams.  In my opinion, Brock and Ponder are the 2 best teams in the region and in STATE.  If either make it out of the region, I would make them the favorite at state, but it wont be easy for either to get out of the region.   I would give Peaster a chance, and Clarksville is young but if they get hot, they could be dangerous.  Region 3 I think will likely come down to Kountze and Tatum.  I would be surprised if it wasn’t one of these 2 teams, but they have to watch out for White Oak and Franklin.  If Brock or Ponder wins region 2, I’d put them ahead of the region 3 winner but just slightly.  Region 4 I know the least about but I imagine this is the weakest region.  Hallettsville seems to be the favorite but whoever wins this region will be considered the longshot at state. 

 

3A

I’ve seen most of the best region 1 teams and I’d say they are pretty close.  I was most impressed with Kennedale, but wouldn’t be surprised if about 4 or 5 other teams managed to beat them out.  I know very little about region 4, but SA Houston always seems to be the favorite.  It seems they always are pretty good but cant make it to state.  Region 1 and 4 will be underdogs to the regions 2 and 3 winners.  In regions 2 and 3 you can pencil in a Dallas and Houston ISD team to be at state.   As long as the UIL allows Houston and Dallas ISD teams with open enrollment  to compete in 3A, they will always be playing with a big advantage over rural 3A schools.  I’ve talked to several coaches and fans who feel its not a level playing field for 3A.


I have posted my opinions and thoughts.  Lets hear yours.  Who are your favorites?

no-look

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Reply with quote  #2 
I've  heard that Athens is strong in 3A  also...
TxFight

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Reply with quote  #3 
In 1A, region 3 is going to be a dandy. Tenaha vs Big Sandy in the 3rd round is going to be a heck of a game. I agree that Grapeland is the favorite, but there are teams very capable of beating them. I think if Tenaha can get past Big Sandy then they are very capable of knocking off Grapeland in Tyler. San Augustine has a very good post player that can give people a ton of trouble inside and they have the depth to pressure you for 4 qtrs.

BIG matchup Friday in Big Sandy as San Augustine visits. Last year Big Sandy knocked off SA by a bucket, and then SA proceeded to win out until Austin.

In district Grapeland, Big Sandy and Tenaha shouldn't get tested, while Kerens, San Augustine have a little bit of in district competition. Martins Mill and LaPoynor will battle each other in district.

I am going to say that the regional tournament will consist of some combination of Grapeland, Tenaha, Big Sandy, Martins Mill, LaPoynor and San Augustine.
The Cotton Farmer

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Reply with quote  #4 
In response to your 2A Region 1 predictions, I have to respectfully disagree with you. I've seen Idalou play about 5 times this year and they are really down this year compared to the past 4 years. With a very good Childress team (who I think will be in regionals depending on how they place in district play) in their district I find it hard to believe they will win. Also Slaton who is in their district is very underrated. I truly believe that they could get possibly get 2nd and leave Idalou in 3rd. Which would make the road to the regionals very hard to get to for Idalou. They've for sure got one of the best coaches to go to state...there's just a lot more teams with more talent.

I do completely agree with you about Brownfield however, I watched them beat Idalou like a drum in the Fibermax Caprock Tournament in Lubbock this past weekend. They took Abernathy to overtime in the championship but in the end couldn't stop Abernathy's 6'8 senior all state post from carrying his team to victory. If Brownfield's star player Sha' Colby Hill is hitting they have a chance to beat almost anybody in the region in 2A. He can go off for 30 points like nothing.

Now on to Abernathy, I really don't see how they can't still be your favorites. You mentioned that they've had a lot of close games to a bunch of other 2A teams. I looked at their schedule and at the scores of the games and it seems that they've pretty much dominated every game except for Idalou which was their first game to have the whole team back from football, so obviously they're going to be very rusty like the box score suggested. The next close game was a loss and their only loss, was against 4A soon to be 6A Frenship who if I'm not mistaken was ranked at the time they played. They may still be I don't know. Then they beat 12th ranked Peaster in double overtime, who you mentioned had a chance to maybe get by Brock and Ponder who you think are the best teams in the state in 2A. They beat a very good ranked Bushland team by 12 I believe and then beat a very underrated 3A Shallowater team by around 18 points or so. Lastly, the only other close game I see that they've played was against Brownfield who we both agree has a very solid chance of making it to regionals and possibly state. Now maybe we differ on what we consider "a close game" but I think if you beat a team by lets say 15 points that it wasn't too terribly close.
So the only close games in my opinion where against good ranked opponents and they beat them all, regardless of if it went to overtime or not. They found a way to win the close games and that refuse to lose attitude that they appear to have makes them my favorites. Plus it doesn't hurt that they have the best big man in the region and probably the state in 2A I watched that kid play when they beat brownfield, he only had 3 touches in the first half and 4 points. Abernathy was down 33-20 at half. That kid absolutely took over that game In the second half. Put up 24 points with 2 monster dunks. The footwork he has is insane for how big he is, he can shoot 3's and see the floor very well. There is no one in the region that can stop him, and that 6'5 guard they have is absolutely deadly from the 3. If him and the big man are both on, on the same game it's over for the other team, regardless of who it is.

I would really like to see the playoff bracket before I predicted who will be in regionals. But since we don't know yet. I think that Abernathy, Bushland, Brownfield, Childress, Canadian, and Wall all have a very strong chance of being there, and Idalou has a small chance just because of how good their coach is. But until I see something happen to change my mind. I really think that Abernathy is the favorite. But that can all change.
Brad Ernst

4A-1A Editor
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Posts: 1,138
Reply with quote  #5 

I think people misunderstood my comment about Abernathy.  I really was trying to say that since Abernathy has played a lot of close games, that there are several good teams in the region that could possibly win it.  I still think Abernathy is one of the favorites in region 1.  I liked your analysis on the region.  You mentioned a lot of the teams I expected to hear about but left off a few teams.  How about Holliday?  They just beat #7 Childress in the Eula Tournament.. Should Childress not be in the top 10 or Holliday should be ranked?  You also didnt mention #9 Breckenridge. I looked on their maxpreps page and they have several close games against unranked 2As.  Are they overrated?

 

Here is the playoff bracket if you want to try to predict the regional tournament.  You just have to know what district each team is in

http://www.uiltexas.org/basketball/playoff-brackets/boys/2A/1-3

The Cotton Farmer

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Reply with quote  #6 
When I give my opinions on teams it usually because I have watched them play and I like to see them at least twice before I decide how good they are. Since I live close to Lubbock I usually only see teams from this area. So you can understand why Holliday and Breckenridge would completely slip my mind. Really the only reason I know about Childress is because I watched them play Abernathy at LCU last year in the Area round of playoffs And Denver City in the Bi District Round. I expect Childress to give Abernathy fits if they meet them in the playoffs.

The only team that I would say is overrated is Idalou

Also when I said I would like to see the playoff bracket before I predicted who went to regionals. I meant like I want to see who is going to be filling those spots and how they'll match up with each other.
jacket94

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Reply with quote  #7 
2a reg 4.  Aransas Pass and East Chambers are still pretty good.  Probably not on Brock/Peaster/Ponder level but they can play.
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