The D’Hanis Cowboys downed the defending champion Brackett Tigers, 47-31, Thursday night to gain a spot in the boys’ championship game of this year’s Southwest Texas Junior College Invitational basketball tournament.
With their semi-final victory, the Cowboys advanced to play the winner of Friday’s semi-final contest in the title game Saturday night.
Results from the 59th-annual SWTJC tournament will be reported in Thursday’s edition of the Uvalde Leader-News.
For a brief account of the boys’ championship ball game, see the Leader-News Facebook page.
Up 14-4 at the end of the first period, the Cowboys continued to add to their scoring lead.
Jacob Hutto downed a three-point field goal to increase the D’Hanis lead to 17-4 just 27 seconds into the second period.
Alex Magers banked in a shot from 12 feet out, Peyton Higgins scored off an offensive rebound, and Jett Henefey scored on a close-range shot to extend the D’Hanis lead to 23-5.
Kyle Looper topped off a 9-3 scoring run for the Cowboys with his three-point field goal.
The Cowboys finished the first half with a 28-11 lead over the Tigers.
They maintained a comfortable lead throughout the remainder of the second half.
Peyton Higgins finished as the leading scorer for D’Hanis with 12 points.
With the loss, Brackett was to play for third place Saturday.
In the consolation semi-final game Thursday, the Sabinal Yellowjackets topped the Knippa Rockcrushers junior varsity, 55-15.
Sabinal advanced to Saturday’s consolation game, while the Knippa jayvee was to play for seventh place.
Earlier Thursday, the D’Hanis Cowboys won a 41-39 thriller over the Sabinal Yellowjackets.
With the score knotted at 39-39, Peyton Higgins threw up a shot from about 10 feet out.
His shot shot went in at the buzzer to give D’Hanis a victory.
Action in the contest went back-and-forth between two evenly-matched teams.
The score was tied six times, including two times in the fourth period before the game-winning shot was made.
Sabinal led D’Hanis, 8-5, after the end of the first period, but the Cowboys rallied to tie the score at 17-17.
Rafael Rodriguez sank a three-point field goal with two minutes left in the first half to put Sabinal up 20-17.
Despite missing five free throws in the third period, the Cowboys came on to take a 28-24 lead.
Jeff Henefey downed a 12-foot field goal early in the final period to extend the D’Hanis lead to 30-24.
The Cowboys maintained the scoring lead throughout most of the period, until Sabinal made a late comeback.
Reagan Cox downed a free throw and Kenneth Cole hit on a short-range field goal to cut the D’Hanis lead to 35-34 with just under three minutes to go in the game.
Cox swished a three-point field goal at the 2:11 mark to put Sabinal up, 37-35, over D’Hanis.
D’Hanis’ Alex Magers pulled down an offensive rebound and made a put-back shot to tie the score at 37-37.
But Josh Guevara nailed an eight-foot baseline shot to put Sabinal back up by score of 39-37.
Peyton Higgins downed a short-range field goal to tie the score at 39-39 with 1:25 left in the game.
He later hit on the game-winning shot.
Higgins finished as the scoring leader for D’Hanis with 19 points.
Diego Medina ended up as Sabinal’s scoring leader with 13 points.
In the first boys’ game of the tournament, the Brackett Tigers whipped the Knippa Rockcrushers junior varsity 74-18.
Knippa’s jayvee filled the tourney spot vacated by the Leakey Eagles.
Leakey, which had basketball players who were still participating in post-season football competition, withdrew from the hoops tournament.
Kristopher Creel wound up as the scoring leader for Brackett with 22 points.
Cole Paxton also scored in double figures for Brackett. He had 12 points.
Zachary Patiño, a Knippa freshman, led the Rockcrushers junior varsity with six points.