AP NEWS

Morton Ranch takes school history into playoffs

February 18, 2019

The Morton Ranch boys basketball team finished within one game of its first district championship last year, finishing 11-3 behind only eventual state runner-up Tompkins.

The Mavericks took the sure route to the District 19-6A championship this year, not losing a single game. They even wrapped up school history a game early, defeating visiting Taylor 81-58 on Feb. 8 to officially clinch the No. 1 seed for the playoffs.

Juniors L.J. Cryer and Eddie Lampkin combined for 48 points, making 19 of 27 shots. Cryer drained five threes and added eight assists, while Lampkin had 10 rebounds and five assists to bring the trophy to Morton Ranch for the first time.

The Mavericks had enough left to hold off rival and playoff qualifier Mayde Creek in the district finale, as Cryer’s 26 points and Lampkin’s double-double (18 points, 10 rebounds) led a 70-60 triumph.

D’erice Ulmer scored nine points in the win, while Westley Sellers contributed seven points, six rebounds, four assists and two steals. As a result, the Mavericks take a 26-6 record and a No. 18 state ranking by the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches, as of Feb. 11, into an anticipated postseason.

No. 19 Cinco Ranch and Mayde Creek were assured of playoff spots as well, one year after missing the postseason.

The Cougars are 27-6, capping a 10-2 district season with a 62-42 triumph against Seven Lakes. Their only district defeats were to Morton Ranch by the slimmest of margins, 60-59 and 71-70. They won their first area championship in their last postseason in 2017.

The Rams make their first playoff appearance since 2010, looking to add to a school-record 21 victories. Juniors Rommell Williams (17.5 points, 4.8 assists, 2.0 steals) and Isaiah Battee (11.3 points, 2.3 steals) have been the statistical leaders.

Like the girls playoff race, the No. 4 spot needed additional play to resolve. Katy and Taylor, both 5-7, split the season series with the Tigers’ win in the regular season finale.

Morton Ranch won the girls play-in series in thrilling fashion, defeating Tompkins 43-40 in overtime and Cinco Ranch 71-68 in double overtime to break a three-team tie.

Their male counterparts could be in for a long playoff run. The Mavericks look to match Tompkins’ feat of a historic district title and state tournament run.

Merely 5-27 three years ago, the Mavericks entered the postseason two wins from more school history. Their deepest playoff runs to date were area appearances in 2011 and 2018.

Morton Ranch edged Travis 64-62 in last year’s bi-district playoff before falling 78-71 to District 18-6A champion Sam Houston.