SAN ANTONIO – Five minutes into the final game at the Mule Dome, the odds of Sam Houston beating Alamo Heights in the Mule Dome finale were about the same as, say, the Commodores beating Incarnate Word, as the Hurricanes had no field goals and were down 8-1 in front of a loud student section. Then, De Angeles Reed got hot, the offense ran the ball down the Mules' throat in the second half, and the Hurricanes came with a huge upset.
Reed scored eight of his 13 points in a 10-1 run in the opening period, as the Hurricanes came back to beat the Mules 67-62 in overtime to move into a tie for the 27-5A lead, and potentially could cause chaos in the UIL 5A playoff bracket. The Mules have lost two in a row, after starting district play 12-1.
“They kept talking to us on the sideline,” said Reed. “I came back in, and handled my business. We usually finish the game bad, but today we started bad. We have been practicing hard and working on the press. This environment, it really felt like the playoffs.”
Reed worked his magic early. Bralyn Sanchez worked his late. Down 47-40 midway through the fourth, Sanchez hit a three and a two pointer to bring the Hurricanes (21-8, 12-3) within two. Eventually, Sam Houston tied the game, and had a chance to win it, but Tyrese Wolford’s three-pointer at the buzzer spun out. Along with three shots that spun out in the third quarter, it looked like destiny was trying to will the Mules to win in their last game at the 70-year old Mule Dome, the home to six final four teams, including last year, and two state champions. The Mules will play all their games on the road next season while the gym is rebuilt.
But in bonus time, Sanchez hit five free throws, the Hurricanes forced two turnovers in the final minute, and the Mules never led in the extra frame. He finished with 13 points for the contest, although Isiah Miller led all scorers with 19.
“We kept each other’s heads, and came out with the win,” said Sanchez. “Coach told us to keep pressing and take it to the rim. We have heads high, and are ready for the first round.”
The result could cause potential chaos in the UIL 5A playoff bracket, much less the 27-5A standings. Should Heights and Houston both win on Tuesday, they would either flip a coin or play a tie-breaker game for seeding. If Heights finishes second, it would end up on the same side as Wagner, who is top-three in the state. Right now, Hurricane coach Erik Coleman is happy his team picked up a win in a hostile environment.
“For us, it’s about playing with pace, and pressuring the basketball throughout the game,” said Coleman. “All throughout practice, we talked about tempo, tempo, tempo. That really helped us out tonight.”
Heights (22-9, 12-3) was led by Jeb Brysacz, who had 15, and Cole Arnold added 13. It plays Edison on Tuesday. The Bears beat the Mules earlier in district play. Also, Sam Houston closes with Burbank.
Greg Sherman covers high school sports for VYPE San Antonio, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.