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Humble gathering signature wins in 6A play; in hunt for District Championship

Photo by Jamey Wright

HOUSTON – Lair Crawford was waiting for that signature win.

With his program playing its first season at the Class 6A level, Crawford saw his group get close to that signature win but hadn’t yet gotten over the hump.

The Wildcats early in the year led now No. 4-ranked Allen at halftime at the Texas Invitational. A few weeks later at the Barbers Hill Gulf Coast Classic, Humble nearly clipped No. 2-ranked Faith Family but fell short.

Humble still needed that signature win and it finally came on December 29.

“It was against West Brook. They’re good and talented,” Crawford said about Humble’s 80-66 win against the Bruins. “We just came out and took it to them. I think after that game we knew we could play with these teams, it was just finishing it.”

That victory marked the second of what has turned into a five-game winning streak, including wins against Kingwood and Atascocita.

Of the wins in the streak, the one against Atascocita stood out for Crawford. In a game, which the Wildcats fell behind 12-0 and 22-7 at points, Humble came back to win 57-51.

It was the first win for Humble against Atascocita since 2012.

“The win against Atascocita here was big,” Crawford said. “Just because they’ve kind of set the standard the last five to six years, going to the state tournament, being in a regional tournament, winning district. They’ve played at such a high level. So, for us to play with them has been good.”

With the recent streak of success, Humble has gone 9-2 in its last 11 games and won five-straight, including an 85-46 thumping of Sam Rayburn on Tuesday to improve to 6-1 in District 22-6A play.

“I think that people doubted us coming into 6A,” Humble’s Malik Nash said. “We just have to show them that we’re ready and we want to be district champions.”

Being in the thick of a district title race may not have come to fruition without the Wildcats pulling together at the right time.

Through the first 14 games of the year, Humble was trading wins and losses night in and night out. The Wildcats went 4-6 after a 3-1 start to stand at 7-7 through that stretch.

“You just have to fight through growing pains,” Nash said. “It’ll come and go, you just have to fight through them.”

That fight showed Crawford this team was wired differently than some of the teams he’s had in the past.

“I’ve had some teams in the past that if we took lumps early on like we did this year, they would have gone in the tank,” Crawford said. “This team hasn’t. This team has stayed strong, stayed focused and kind of stayed the course. They’ve done such a good job doing that.”

Humble isn’t new to being in the mix for a playoff spot – maintaining a 25-year playoff appearance streak heading into this season – and in line for district championships – winners of two-straight titles.

Just because of the new classification, the goals haven’t changed on the north side of Houston.

“It’s not about what ‘A’ you are, it’s about playing high level,” Crawford said. “The biggest difference that I’ve tried to preach to these guys is that it’s a night-in and night out battle in 6A.”

Right now, Humble is winning those battles and having fun doing it.

“I love it, I love our team chemistry,” Humble senior Justin Lawson said. “We have fun but when we’re on the court we handle our business.”

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