2A: Clarendon 65, Lipan 51
When you’re hot, you’re hot.
Clarendon head coach Boston Hudson knows when LaMarcus Penigar is doing “LaMarcus things”, as he likes to call it, he has to just let him go. During the third period, the senior guard stole the show in the team’s 65-51 win over Lipan in the 3A state title game.
After not hitting from deep in the first half, the senior guard connected on his first attempt during the middle of the third. Then, Lyric Smith found him off a screen for his second the very next possession to tie it. Seconds later, Penigar scooped up a loose ball and pulled-up from the top of the key and hit another to give Clarendon their first real lead. And it didn't stop there.
The senior went 5-of-7 from 3-point range in the third period alone and finished with a sensational 41 points and was named the game’s MVP. On his last make in the period, one that was at least five feet behind the 3-point line, you could see Hudson motioning his team away to let Penigar cook on his own.
“First half, I was in foul trouble, and we were down so I had to come up with a nice little plan and I got hot and when you’re hot you just keep shooting,” Penigar said. “I was in that Kobe mode.”
However, previously unbeaten Lipan wasn’t going away even after that run.
The Bronco lead stayed around eight nearing the middle of the final period before Jmaury Davis put things to rest. The junior Texas Tech football commit leaked out after a loose ball and flushed home an acrobatic windmill slam, putting the reigning champs up 10.
“I had been trying to do it, but they were getting back fast so I finally found an opportunity to do it and I didn’t want it to be a regular dunk,” Davis said. “I wanted to put the crowd into it.”
Moments later, Penigar hit his seventh 3-pointer of the half to balloon the lead to 13. You could feel the energy pull away from the Lipan crowd.
“It’s so hard, especially in the state of Texas (to go back-to-back),” Hudson said. “You got to play well at the right time and catch a few breaks and all that stuff that goes into it. But I’m just so glad for these guys.”
The 26-year-old Hudson is now a two-time state champion and the first repeat in 3A since Houston Yates in 2012-13 and 2013-14. After the game, he was mostly effusive in praise for Lipan and head coach Brent Gaylor.
“They’re very disciplined and well-coached,” Hudson said. “I have a lot of respect for Lipan but we’re going to enjoy this and celebrate. It’s awesome.”
5A Final: Beaumont United 62, Mansfield Timberview 55
Sometimes you recognize a team of destiny.
Beaumont United’s run to its second state title in its young school history was one that flashed the team’s mettle. That tested path paved the way for the Timberwolves’ 62-55 win over Mansfield Timberview Saturday afternoon.
In a game that refused to let either team maintain a big lead, United pulled out another late-game run to go back-to-back in 5A 62-55 over Mansfield Timberview. Neither team held a lead larger than six points.
“It went back and forth,” Beaumont United head coach David Green Jr. said. “They had us, we had them, but in the end, we made more plays and that was the difference in the game in the second half.
“They don’t panic, and they keep it real with me, I’m kind of animated. I get on them kind of hard.”
If you followed the Timberwolves throughout the post-season, you would’ve presumed that eventually the close wins would catch up to the reigning champions. But in fact, it only prepared them for their final test. Let's dissect their path: An overtime one-point over Goose Creek Memorial, a close win over district-rival Crosby and a slugfest two-point win over Dallas Kimball in the semifinal showed that Green's team’s fight is everlasting. Senior forward and Houston signee Terrance Arceneaux, who hit the state championship-winning shot a year ago, didn’t have the flashiest game Saturday but his contributions were just as needed. The senior finished the game as MVP for the second time and ended with 14 points, 10 rebounds, three blocks and four steals.
“I told Terrance, ‘If you don’t finish strong, we’re not going to win this game,” Green said. “’You’ve got to finish strong, get some put-backs and some big free throws.’ And big fella, you stepped up tonight.”
Arceneaux finishes his high school career exactly how envisioned it when he first suited up for varsity.
“The goal was to win state my ninth-grade year” Arceneaux said. “Me and Coach Green sat down and told me what I needed to do to get better and different things like that. He stuck with me and believed in me all my four years.”
Sophomore Kayde Dotson was a defensive staple who contributed hugely on the offensive end with Timberview defending four-star junior Wesley Yates with a box-and-one. He finished with a team-high 17 points.
“(Dotson) told me, ‘Coach, I’m going to be on tonight’,” Green said. “That’s the mindset that this young man has. He’s a sophomore. His offense was on tonight and we needed every point,”