BOYS BASKETBALL: Texans Claim Playoff Berth Showdown with Eagles

BOYS BASKETBALL: Texans Claim Playoff Berth Showdown with Eagles
Posted on 02/12/2014
This is the image for the news article titled BOYS BASKETBALL: Texans Claim Playoff Berth Showdown with EaglesCLICK HERE for District 22-5A Boys/Girls Basketball Results/Standings0019
Pasadena's Chris Martinez drives into the heart of the Sam Rayburn defense during first-half action.
0090The Pasadena Eagles’ quest for their first boys basketball playoff berth in a generation will have to wait a while longer.

Sam Rayburn sophomore Stephen Alaniz scored a game-high 21 points and teamed with senior Michael Cutler to lead the Texans to a 61-56 victory over the Eagles Tuesday night in a showdown for the final playoff spot in District 22-5A.

With Pasadena fans packing the home side of Barfield Field House, the Texans slipped to a 13-point lead early in the second half before an Eagles rally cut the Sam Rayburn margin to just two. A pair of free throws by Pasadena’s Corey Martin pulled the Eagles to within 56-54 with 1:26 left.

But a key interception by Alaniz with 52 seconds left helped swing the momentum back to the Texans, who scored the game’s final five points. Alaniz got the first on a free throw. Deante Hunt then added a layup and Alaniz tacked on a mop-up layup at the buzzer.

Had Pasadena won the game, the two teams would have finished tied for fourth place in the 22-5A standings. The Eagles, however, would have earned their first playoff berth in 21 years on the strength of what would have been a season sweep of the Texans.

Pasadena beat Sam Rayburn last month in the Texans’ gym, 60-51.

Instead, the Texans finished district play with a 7-7 record, two games ahead of the Eagles.

Sam Rayburn will take a 19-14 record into their playoff opener early next week against District 21-5A champion North Shore. Game dates and locations will be announced later this week.

South Houston, the district’s No. 3 team, was narrowly beaten by district champ Manvel, 53-48, on the road Tuesday night. The Trojans will play either Beaumont West Brook or Port Arthur Memorial in their playoff opener next week.

Alaniz and Cutler scored 23 of their team’s 36 points in the second half. Cutler finished with 20 points. Martin led the Eagles with 18 points.

Sam Rayburn defenders Justin Jaramillo (10) and Ruben Olivares (1) block the path of Pasadena's Corey Martin (1).

Sam Rayburn's Deante Hunt (20) puts up a shot over Pasadena's Ashton Sessum (44).

Pasadena Coach Brian Courtney shows his fire during a timeout late in the game.

The Texans' Justin Jaramillo draws a welcoming party of all five Eagles on a drive into the lane.

Sam Rayburn Coach Jeremy Mills directs traffic off the bench.

(Left) Sam Rayburn's Jaramillo tries to scale the heights of Pasadena's Robert Manery; (right) Pasadena's Josh Martinez puts up a three-point attempt in the final seconds. The Texans got the rebound and iced the game.