Westfield Boys Charge to the Front; Duncanville Girls Win Title No. 5
Spring Westfield senior Jase Febres controls the ball at the top of the key as the Mustangs work on the clock late in the second half. Febres was named the most valuable player of the Texas Invitational.
Never even a bridesmaid -- but always glad to be on the guest list -- Spring Westfield made a fast break to the altar Saturday night, winning the boys championship of the McDonald’s Texas Invitational Basketball Tournament with a 61-54 victory over Allen at Phillips Field House.
The Mustangs cashed in a combined 39-point effort from Jase Febres and Darius McNeil to win their first Texas Invitational title after a decade of appearances under Coach Van Price.
Westfield’s best previous tournament finish was third place in 2012.
The girls’ side served up more of the same for Duncanville, which beat Clear Springs, 61-48, in the championship game. The title was the fifth for the Pantherettes in the past six years.
Duncanville placed four girls in double figures with Aniya Thomas leading the way with 15 points. Pantherette standout Zarielle Green used the second half to score all of her 11 points.
Green was named most valuable player on the girls’ side of the tournament. Febres took home MVP honors on the boys’ side.
Among Pasadena ISD schools, Dobie’s boys team claimed top honors with a third-place finish in Division 2 Bronze Bracket play. The Longhorns took third with a 65-59 victory over Fort Bend Austin.
Also on the boys’ side, Memorial won the championship of the D-2 Bronze Bracket in an all-Pasadena ISD final. The Mavericks edged South Houston 57-50 for the title.
Pasadena took consolation third place in the D-2 Silver Bracket with a 61-59 victory over Barbers Hill. And Rayburn took consolation third place in D-2 Bronze with a 51-35 victory over Dallas Hillcrest.
Pasadena ISD girls teams, all playing inD-2, failed to produce a victory on the final day. Dobie lost to San Antonio Madison in the Silver semifinals. South Houston fell to Lake Ridge and Rayburn lost to The Woodlands in the Bronze semifinals. In the Consolation semifinals, Pasadena lost to St. Pius X and Memorial fell to Corpus Christi Memorial.
The five Pasadena ISD boys squads finished 13-12 in the tournament. The five girls teams posted a 4-16 mark.
Westfield jumped to a quick 7-0 lead against Allen, also making its first appearance in a Texas Invitational title game. The Eagles made a strong effort to climb back into contention, but the Mustangs won every quarter, never allowing Allen any serious traction.
The Eagles got to within eight points at a critical juncture of the final quarter, but McNeill hit a 3-pointer to stretch Westfield’s lead to 49-38 with four minutes left. Allen got as close as five in the final 10 seconds, but the victory for Westfield was already secure.
McNeill was the standout of the fourth quarter, scoring nine points and sinking six free throws. Febres finished with 21 points and McNeill with 18.
Cam Christon led Allen with 16 points. Dylan Ditzenberger added 12.
In the girls game, Duncanville trailed Clear Springs 21-19 midway through the second quarter, then went on an eight-point splurge to take a 27-21 lead.
The Chargers scored 10 straight points in the second half and took a 40-38 lead with 2:08 left in the third quarter. But the Pantherettes reclaimed the lead on a 3-pointer by Nina Alvarez and never looked back.
Duncanville controlled the fourth quarter, 17-8.
Clear Springs was led by Sierra Cheatham, who scored 14. Dymond Gladney added 13.
The title was the second straight for the Pantherettes. Duncanville won the Texas Invitational in 2011, 2012 and 2013 before falling short in 2014.
Lewisville Hebron won the D-2 boys title with a 62-44 over Humble. North Crowley won the D-2 girls championship with a 52-32 victory over San Antonio Jay.
Westfield's Darius McNeill takes off on a fast-break dunk in the first half.
Westfield's Febres (left) goes up and around Allen's Jerritt Dixon; (right) Westfield's Demarcus Morris brings down the hammer on Allen's Cam Christon but draws a foul.
The cameraman nearly takes a tumble as Allen's Brenton Mills (2) and Westfield's Morris battle for the ball.
(Left) Allen's Jaylen Walker (21) races upcourt as Westfield's Dylan McCray gives chase; (right) Allen's Christon draws the long arm of Westfield's Morris as he attempts a layup.
Allen's Dylan Ditzenberger hangs in the hair while attempting a shot from the lane.
Allen's Brenton Mills looks around for a call as players scramble for a loose ball.
Westfield Coach Van Price looks over a set of charts just before the start of the second half.
Dirty knees and all, Duncanville's Zarielle Green plays defense against Clear Springs's Dymond Gladney.
(Left) Duncanville's Starr Jacobs (23) battles the Chargers' Audrey Wandji for a loose ball on the baseline; (right) the Pantherettes' Nina Alvarez sets up for a key 3-pointer late in the third quarter as her coach, Cathy Self-Morgan, looks on. The shot gave Duncanville a lead it never relinquished.
The Chargers' Gladney works the ball against Duncanville's Jacobs.
(Left) Duncanville's Lauryn Bowie (50) reaches for a rebound as four players tangle under the boards; (right) Clear Springs's Tasharian Robinson (10) leans into a shot from the perimeter.
The Chargers' Robinson looks for an opening in the Duncanville zone.
The 2016 McDonald's Texas Invitational girls champion: Duncanville
The 2016 McDonald's Texas Invitational boys champion: Spring Westfield