Texas team’s defensive feat in semifinal may be unmatched

Cameron Smith
Prep Rally

Flower Mound (Texas) Marcus High recently wrapped up the Texas Class 5A state title with a 40-38 victory over Garland (Texas) Lakeview Centennial High. While that state final will probably remain the game most clearly associated with the team's legacy, the Marauders actually made a much more impressive statement with their semifinal victory, a 53-41 win against Fort Bend (Texas) Hightower High.

Flower Mound Marcus Class 5A state title
Flower Mound Marcus Class 5A state title

Not only did the Marauders dominate Hightower on offense, they forced the Hurricanes into an incredibly ominous statistic: According to the Dallas Morning News, Hightower recorded just one assist … in the entire game.

That's right, in the course of a semifinal game in the largest classification in one of America's largest states, one team only recorded a single assist. And despite a game-high 20 points from Hightower guard Jonathan Jordan, the Hurricanes finished the game 0 for 13 from behind the 3-point line, according to the Houston Chronicle. They shot just 35 percent from the field in the loss.

Now, that is an impressive defensive outing. Considering the fact that it came in a state semifinal that should have been evenly matched, it might even be unparalleled.

Still, all that effort might have been for naught if Lakeview Centennial hadn't abandoned the run-and-gun style it used in an astounding 27-2 run at the start of the second half, a streak which at least one sports reporter says should have won the team a state title. Considering the fact that the Patriots trailed by 20 points at halftime before the start of that run, it's not a stretch to come to that conclusion.

Instead of marveling at Centennial's remarkable comeback, the Morning News' Brandon George and others watched on in stunned silence as the Patriots slowed their pace, playing right into the defensive-minded Marauders' hands. According to the Morning News, Centennial led by five points with 6:30 to play … then didn't score until the game's final minute. The result was the game's second complete turnaround, one in which Marcus took a 40-36 lead before holding on against a final, furious Lakeville Centennial rally.

Fittingly, Marcus ended the season playing defense, and doing so successfully. Given the statistical feat accomplished by the Marauders in the state semifinal a day earlier, they probably wouldn't have had it any other way.

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