WEB EXCLUSIVE: Breaking out: Rangers make program history
After the school’s football team made program history by earning its first-ever postseason berth with a Nov. 1 victory against Carrollton Ranchview, the Lone Star boys basketball team followed suit in February.
The Rangers advanced to the regional quarterfinals for the first time in program history by earning wins against Gainesville (64-56) and Princeton (57-55).
“This was supposed to be a rebuilding year for us,” said Jody Brown, Lone Star head coach. “And for the most part, it was.”
Lone Star was given the tough task of replacing graduated seniors Charles Brakes, the 2012 district MVP, Christian Jones, Anthony McGown and Joey Cuervo. That didn’t stop the Rangers from earning back-to-back victories after entering the postseason as the No. 3 seed from District 10-3A.
“Overall, this district was the toughest we’ve been in so far,” Brown said.
The bi-district and area-round victories put Lone Star into a regional quarterfinals matchup against Wilmer-Hutchins on Monday. However, the Rangers had their postseason run end after dropping a 58-45 contest.
“I thought we played pretty well,” Brown said. “The difference was the 6-foot-8 guy [Wilmer-Hutchins] had inside.”
Matters were made worse for Lone Star with the team’s second-leading scorer, Zach Brown, being held without a bucket for the entire night.
“[Brown] had a really good defender on him and they just took him out of the game,” coach Brown said.
That allowed Wilmer-Hutchins to go on an 11-4 run in the opening quarter and widen that lead to 12 points before the break.
“We were down 9-0 against Gainesville and 4-0 against Princeton,” coach Brown said. “So it’s not uncommon for us to start slow.”
The Rangers then went toe-to-toe with Wilmer-Hutchins in the final two quarters, but it was too little too late, as a 58-45 loss was the end result.
“We were able to get to the basket,” coach Brown said. “Their big guy just altered all of our shots down there.”
Lone Star’s Jonathan Clay scored a team-high 13 points to become the only Ranger in double figures. M’Kyl Bordes and Michael Thomas added 8 and 6 points, respectively.
The loss dropped Lone Star’s final season record to 16-16 after going 4-4 against District 10-3A counterparts.
“The thing our guys did this year is they learned a lot,” coach Brown said, “and especially early in the year.”
Unlike last season, the Rangers will now return key pieces from the team’s run to the regional quarterfinals. With returning experience, Brown said his team should be good to go next season.
“We’ve got a bunch of young kids that have to keep getting better,” he said. “We can definitely make a good run next year.”