You know you are having some inclement weather when an indoor sport is cancelled. But that was the case yesterday as many UIL Playoff basketball games have been moved to tonight. Fans of Frisco Hoops are in for a treat as all four District 9-5A playoff seeds come from Frisco ISD schools.
Region II Bi-District Boys Basketball
Frisco Lone Star (23-5) vs Wylie (17-10)—Tues., 2/24 @ 6:30 @ Plano HS
In what should be a very solid matchup, the Rangers will count on Camden Craddock (13.9 ppg), Zach Brown (11.6 ppg) and Cameron Gooden (10.3 ppg) to ignite their offense, which averaged 60.3 ppg during the regular season, the eleventh-best total in the area.
It will be up to the Rangers’ seventh-ranked defense (51.1 ppg allowed) to put the kibosh on Wylie’s Myron Varmall (15.1 ppg, 4.7 rpg) and the equally dangerous Noah Whitworth (12.5 ppg, 6.4 rpg).
Frisco Centennial (18-10) vs Prosper (26-6)—Tues., 2/24 @ 8:00 @ Plano HS
The Centennial Titans, led by Nolan Richie (7.8 ppg) claimed the district’s third seed outright thanks to timely offense and just enough defense when it really mattered. The Titans will need more of the same, and some contributions late from their bench if they hope to upset the top-ranked Prosper Eagles.
One of the most balanced teams in the Bi-district round, Prosper defense allows just 54.6 ppg (11th in Area) while putting up some robust offensive numbers, gaining 71.3 points per game, the third-best production in the area.
Armaan Charaniya (16.7 ppg, 9.2 rpg) is a scoring force capable of carrying the team, should he need to. Prosper provides Charaniya plenty of help, however. Khalil Adams (11 ppg) and Trevor Thompson (9.2 ppg, 7 rpg) can tote the load should Charaniya be double-teamed.
Frisco Liberty (27-3) vs McKinney North (17-13)—Tues., 2/24 @ 7:30 @ Curtis Culwell Center, Garland
Although they don’t score quite as often as the aforementioned Prosper Eagles, the top-ranked Liberty RedHawks put up 65 points per game, good for seventh-best. What really separates the RedHawks, and has many foreseeing a deep postseason run, is their near impenetrable defense, which has allowed just 45.4 ppg, the best total in the area.
Like Frisco Heritage, the McKinney North Bulldogs had to play an extra game with a district foe to decide the fourth and final playoff seed. A game winning free throw as time expired purchased the Bulldog’s postseason ticket. Stars Justynn Hardaway and Dominick Ford are the heart and soul of the scrappy Bulldogs. They will have their hands full as they attempt to stave off the hard-charging RedHawks.
Frisco Heritage (19-10) vs McKinney (22-10)—Tues., 2/24 @ 7:30 @ Anna
It’s a testament to the parity of District 9-5A and 10-5A that each needed a play-in game to determine the final playoff spot. Heritage defeated The Colony in a classic UIL District tie-breaker.
The Coyotes (like the Bulldogs of McKinney North) will have a ton of momentum going in their Bi-district matchup, as they are coming off resounding, playoff-caliber wins.
Heritage will have to be on top of their game if they plan to stop the high-octane offense of McKinney. Averaging 70.9 points per game, while allowing 61.1, the Lions have a balanced attack, fueled by two top ten scoring threats. Eighth-ranked E.J. Clark (18.3 ppg) and ninth-ranked Alex Vilarino (17.7 ppg) are the team’s leaders, with Preston Smith not far behind (12.6 ppg).
Region II 5A Girls Basketball Quarterfinals
McKinney North (28-6) vs Frisco Liberty (31-3)—Wed., 2/25 @ 6:30 @ Curtis Culwell Center in Garland
As Rebecca Lescay has done so often this season, she led the Lady RedHawks to a win over a difficult opponent. During the UIL Area round, Lescay led all scorers with 16 points, as Liberty punched their ticket to the Regional Quarterfinals with the 42-37 win over Carrollton Creekview.
Now the RedHawks must ready themselves to face McKinney North, also the number one seed from their district. A win over the Bulldogs would not only mean a trip to the Semifinals, it would also exact a measure of revenge, as McKinney North put a hurt on Frisco High School, dropping the ‘Coons 90-29 in the first round of the playoffs.
Stopping the McKinney North squad is no easy task, as they have one of the most formidable rosters in the area. Led by Chanterria Jackson (12 ppg), Stephanie Jackson (9.1 ppg) and Jocelyn Scott (9 ppg, 7.2 rpg), the Bulldogs excel in transition and can put points on the board in bunches.
This matchup could prove to be one of the RedHawks’ toughest contests of the season, and it will be up to Lescay and company to stop a red-hot Bulldogs team that has eyes on a Semifinals run.