Mansfield Timberview (38-2) did something in the first quarter of Saturday's UIL 5A state championship game that is hard to do in any game, so it rolled to a 77-64 win against San Antonio Wagner (33-6) at San Antonio's Alamodome.
Tristan Starks gave Timberview the early 2-0 lead, then Wagner's Journee Phillips made a three, and the Wolves followed with the next 20 points to take a 22-3 lead with 3:08 left in the opening quarter. Rodrigo Soares' 11 points and CJ Smith's seven led them in scoring, while their defense held the Thunderbirds scoreless for five minutes and one second.
Smith finished with a game-high 24 points, and earned the VYPE Player of the Game honor.
"It's feeling amazing," Smith said after the game. "It feels great to be able to do this for myself, my team, and for all the people of Mansfield."
Journee Phillips scored 12 of his 20 first half points in the second quarter and Jalen Jackson added six of his eight, so Wagner found more success, and cut the Timberview lead to 12. But, Smith scored eight of his 15 first half points to prevent a closer game.
Wagner continued to inch closer in the third quarter because three of its first four makes in the second half were from behind the three point arc. Two of those were by Isaiah Kennedy, as the deficit dropped to eight with 5:02 left.
Wagner ultimately got the deficit down to four with 7:24 left in the game, but Timberview bounced back to take a 19 point lead in the fourth. The Wolves were able to finish strong because they started the final period on an 19-6 run and forced six Wagner turnovers in the quarter.
"We said that fourth quarter, 'Don't worry about the offensive end. It's all about the defensive end,'" said Mansfield Timberview coach Duane Gregory. "We knew that last quarter was going to be aggressive and physical, and it was."
Mansfield wrapped up its second boys basketball state championship in three seasons, with Rodrigo Soares scoring 13 points, Trazarien White adding 11, and both Marquiss Childs and Tristan Starks contributing 10.
Wagner fell short, like the 2016-2017 UIL 6A state title game against Cypress Falls, but got 22 points from Journee Phillips and 16 from Jalen Jackson.
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