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Mansfield Legacy used a 13-0 run in the first quarter and Richland could never recover as the Broncos beat the Royals, 76-44, in a Class 5A Region 1 area round game Wednesday at Burleson HS.
The Broncos (19-4), No. 14 in the 5A rankings, will face district rival Mansfield Summit (No. 13), which beat Grapevine, in the regional quarterfinals. Legacy and Summit split the season series.
Richland, District 6-5A champ, ends the season 22-7.
“It’s only our second game all year where I have all five starters playing together because of COVID,” Legacy coach Cornelius Mitchell said. “So we’re starting to gel together at the right time. Glad our struggles came early and we’re benefiting now. We’re stronger because of the things we’ve been through.”
Richland scored the first two baskets. Legacy took the lead and never trailed again when Wayne Wiggins made a three to make it 5-4 in the opening minutes. Wiggins, who scored 13 points, was fouled on a 3-point attempt and made all three free throws.
Quion Williams, who led all scorers with 24 points, scored the next five to push Legacy’s lead to 13-4 with 2:48 left in the quarter. The Broncos led 17-9 at the end of one. Wiggins and Charleton Cranford nailed back-to-back threes and Legacy went on an 18-4 run in the second quarter. It held Richland to six points in the period and led 35-15 at intermission.
The Royals got as close as 17 in the third quarter. CJ Nelson led the Royals with 11 points. Ky Walton and Jourdyn Grandberry added nine and eight, respectively.
“We mainly wanted to stop No. 1 (Grandberry). He’s their best ball player. We stop him and you control the game,” Williams said. “We had to maintain that lead, get the ball up the floor. We had to do the right things, make the extra pass to make sure we stayed on top.”
Added Mitchell, “They’re so well coached. We just had to make them uncomfortable. We played quick, got down the floor before their defense could get set. The third quarter is the most important quarter. You wear them down in the first and second quarters, take over in the third and pull away in the fourth.”
Byron Nelson 64, Abilene 48
After a sluggish start, the Bobcats ramped up both sides of the ball and got three scorers in double figures to beat the Eagles in a Class 6A Region 1 area round game Wednesday at Aledo HS.
Byron (20-3) advances to the regional quarterfinals for the first time since 2013 and will take on No. 10 North Crowley (28-1), which edged out Odessa Permian.
“This is a special group of kids,” said Byron coach Scott Curran, who won his 400th career game. “6A is tough in the Metroplex. We’ve a lot of good teams and good kids come through here. It’s a battle every night and this group is as resilient as you can get.”
Trailing 22-21 at halftime to an Abilene squad in the second round for the first time in five seasons, the Bobcats raced out to a 19-9 third quarter. Senior forward Jesse Iweze scored the first three points of the period that led to an Abilene timeout.
“This is a big deal and the coaches wanted this for awhile,” Iweze said. “We wanted this bad and just trusted each other and we ended up winning this game.”
Byron Nelson kept going with layups by Finley Bizjack and Conner Lindsey, and an Iweze dunk to extend its lead to 31-24 with 5:03 left in the third. Senior Kaden Morgan hit a three and finished at the bucket to give the Bobcats a 40-31 lead at the end of three.
“We thrive on our defense to get us back in games,” Morgan said. “We practice defense every day. 50-50 balls, charges. It brings us a lot of energy.”
Morgan, who scored 13 points, added five more points in the fourth quarter and the Bobcats had their biggest lead at 18 points with three minutes left. Iweze had a team-high 20 points and Bizjack added 10. Lindsey chipped in eight.
Abilene, which was led by Nathan Watts’ game-high 24 points, led 9-7 after the first quarter. Byron Nelson grabbed an 11-10 lead on an Iweze dunk before the Eagles went on a 9-2 run.
“We weren’t very clean in the first quarter. We didn’t play well. We were rushing things,” Curran said. “Finally settled in and got it done. Just got back to the game plan and relaxed. Told them we couldn’t let them speed us up and had to keep our composure. We finally got after it and our ball pressure and help defense got better.”
Byron shot 18 of 22 at the free-throw line, including 8 of 9 in the fourth quarter.
“We did a good job getting it inside to Jesse. He does a great job catching it in the paint or around the block, and we had good penetration from our guards.”
Added Morgan, “Feels amazing. We’ve been working everyday. Happy to be here and we strive to keep going.”