Who let the Longhorn loose? Dobie's Christian Sanders streaks past the La Porte defense to the hoop in the second half. PHOTOS BY AL CARTER, Pasadena ISD Communications
DEER PARK -- Dobie sophomore Christian Sanders scored a career-best 29 points, enough to rouse the Longhorns from a dismal start to an 81-70 victory over La Porte on Tuesday night in a bi-district playoff clash at Deer Park High School.
The Longhorns, champions of District 22-5A, will take on Fort Bend Bush in second-round action on Friday. A place and time for that game will be determined on Wednesday.
In other playoff openers on Tuesday night, Sam Rayburn lost a late lead and fell to Channelview, 56-49, in the game preceding the Dobie-La Porte contest; and South Houston fell to Port Arthur Memorial, 66-54, in a game played at Barbers Hill.
La Porte led the Longhorns 21-11 at the end of the first quarter, and took a stunning 25-12 edge early in the second quarter after a pair of Dobie turnovers led to breakaway layups for the Bulldogs.
But Sanders, who committed one of the turnovers, immediately took control of the game. After scoring only two points in the opening quarter, Sanders scored 11 in the second quarter and 11 more in the third.
The Longhorns whittled La Porte's lead to 36-30 at the half, then pummeled the Bulldogs for 51 points in the second half.
A layup by Sanders tied the game at 39-39 midway through the third quarter and added another layup to retie it at 45-45 three minutes later.
The Longhorns look their first lead with 36 seconds left in the quarter when Devonte Banks nailed a 3-pointer from the corner. Another 3-pointer, this one by Daryl Edwards at the third-quarter buzzer, gave Dobie a 55-50 advantage.
Edwards' shot ignited a nine-point run by the Longhorns, who raced to an 11-point lead in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter.
La Porte made a brief run, closing to within four points, but Dobie's Geo Ramirez hit two free throws with 49 seconds left to put things to rest.
Ramirez chipped in 16 points to the Dobie cause while Banks added 12.
Rashad Washington led La Porte with 19 points.
Sam Rayburn, the third-place team in 22-5A, led Channelview 45-43 going into the final quarter, but were outscored 13-4 the rest of the way.
Sophomore Michael Cutler scored 16 points for the Texans. Senior Bryan Canales also scored 16 and contributed Sam Rayburn's only field goal of the fourth quarter.
Marquise Johnson topped Channelview scorers with 15 points.
Like Sam Rayburn, South Houston grabbed a lead only to give up its grip on a bi-district victory. The Trojans led by 11 points early in the second quarter.
The Titans broke the game open with an 11-point run to end the third quarter.
Calvin Mitchell led South Houston with 14 points.
Dobie's Geo Ramirez drives for two points early in the game.
Dobie sophomore Daryl Edwards (left) scans the middle over La Porte's Ruben Jimenez; Longhorn senior Taylor Holland works the top of the key.
Dobie students anxiously wait out free throws in the final seconds.
Sam Rayburn senior A.J. Espinoza rips the ball from the reach of Channelview's Robbie Miller.
Texans senior Tim DeSoto peeks inside for an open passing lane.
Sam Rayburn students erupt in cheers as the Texans make a late effort to get back in the game.