No. 1 Mumford parlays early outburst into regional date

Mustangs gallop to 18-0 lead, Dawgs can’t catch up
BY BILL MARTIN
Reporter Sports Editor


Mumford’s Aubrie King blocks Thorndale’s Trey Gomez’s shot in the early going as the Mustangs earned their third straight trip to the regional tournament. 
Reporter/ Teresa Ging Mumford’s Aubrie King blocks Thorndale’s Trey Gomez’s shot in the early going as the Mustangs earned their third straight trip to the regional tournament. Reporter/ Teresa Ging BRYAN—Posting two playoff wins for the first time since the last of their back-to-back state championships in 2008, the Bulldogs were rewarded with a date with the No. 1 team in the state, Mumford.

Thanks a lot.

Finding themselves in an early 18-0 hole, the Bulldogs could not claw their way back in a 72-44 loss Tuesday night at Rudder High School in front of a standing-room-only crowd in the Class A, Division I, Region IV quarterfinals.

Aiming for its third straight appearance in the state finale, 35-1 Mumford moves on to the Region IV Tournament this weekend at Canyon High School in New Braunfels.

They will face No. 19 Port Aransas (27-7) Friday in the semifinals at 6 p.m.

Mumford defeated Port Aransas 73-53 last season in the regional semifinals.

No. 25 Snook (19-7) and Santa Maria (18-4) are in the other side of the bracket and hey will play at 4 p.m.

Snook shocked No. 9 and 29-1 Bartlett 64-51 Tuesday.

The winners face off at 1 p.m. Saturday for a trip to the state tournament March 6.

Mumford sprinted to an 18-0 lead to start the contest and Thorndale missed its first 12 shots and turned the ball over five times before converting its first basket, Bradley Betak’s followup of his own miss with 2 minutes, one second left in the opening stanza.

“Just started really bad,” said first-year Thorndale Coach John Kovar. “We took some bad shots. After we settled down we played them really close the rest of the game.

“Really had a good second quarter until the last minute they hit a few baskets. They are a great team and are so long on defense. They can contest every shot.”

“Thorndale is a really good team, and they’ve been playing on a roll, and we knew we had to get the early jump on them,” said Mumford Coach Chris Sodek said. “There were some loose balls that went our way and some big shots. I think we kinda punched them in the mouth for a little while until they were able to work their way back in the game.”

Despite the daunting deficit, the Bulldogs continued to pressure the Mustangs and actually sliced the lead to 27-15 by the middle of the second quarter, but Mumford ripped off a 13-2 run for a 40-17 halftime advantage.

Thorndale shot 24 percent in the first half and was 1-of-10 from long range.

The Bulldogs cut the lead to 44-27 on Jordan Hafley’s steal and layup with 4:15 left in the third quarter, but LaKendric Hyson’s thunderous dunk spurred Mumford to a 10-4 run to close out the third for a 54-31 lead heading into the final period.

Thorndale could get no closer than 20 in the fourth quarter and again, an end of the quarter double-digit rush propelled Mumford to an insurmountable lead.

Thorndale and Mumford got off the same amount of shots on the evening (61), but the Mustangs were able to connect on 31, while the Bulldogs connected on just 19 (31 percent).

Dion Mack supplied 19 points to lead Mumford, followed by Seth Smitherman’s 17 points and 13 rebounds, Aubrie King’s 15 points and Hyson’s 12 which included a pair of high flying dunks.

Hyson had been battling the stomach flu, but played the entire game and supplied seven boards, five steals, and four assists.

Eric Hinistroza was the only Bulldog in double digits with 16, including nine in the second half.

Thorndale leading scorer Jordan Hafley (16.1 ppg) was limited to nine points after taking an elbow to the forehead early in the contest.

The last time these two teams faced off was in 2010 at the area level.

Mumford, ranked No. 2 in the state and 32-2, pulled away in the fourth quarter for a 69-51 victory.

Area

The Bulldogs jumped out early and breezed by Harper 60-39 in Marble Falls in area action.

Vazquez led the way with 15 points and five steals, followed by Hafley’s 13 points.

For the second straight contest, the Bulldogs’ full court pressure bothered their opponent and Harper (19-10) struggled from the floor.


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